Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Innovative Approaches to teaching

Teaching young learners requires much effort and attention, yet it’s very interesting. The teacher should always provide her children with a nurturing and supportive environment, taking into consideration her children’s characteristics, abilities, multiple intelligences and needs. Many approaches can be taken in the classroom. Every teacher should know what interest her children or what is preferable to them. She can use their total physical response (TPR), the affective approach, the communicative approach, or any other approach that fits best the student. ” Maria Jose Lobo gives a very comprehensive explanation of the characteristics of young learners. She writes that young learners are: very receptive-curious-motivated-able to pick up new sounds accurately-spontaneous and willing to participate-learn by doing-physically active-interested on themselves and on what is “here now”-deeply involved in the world of fantasy and imagination. Based on the characteristics of YL, and as Carol Read suggests, the activities and materials should be interesting, motivating, relevant and practical. At Othman Thinnourain/ Khalil Shehab School, we always try to make sure that the activities are compatible with our students’ abilities in order to keep them motivated and attentive (games, gestures, role play, dramatic play, puppets show, puzzles, blocks, rhymes & songs, arts like gluing, cutting, coloring, painting , storytelling ...). We are also aware of the importance of variety in activities because young learners can’t concentrate for a long time. In addition to cooperative and group work. Children learn from each other as much as they learn from the teacher and sometimes more. Cooperative learning such as jigsaw II and STAD should be a part of a teacher’s lesson. Teachers must vary the classroom interaction (Teacher-class / Teacher-student / student-student / Group-Group). Moreover, the child actively tries to make sense of the world (Donaldson, 1978), that’s why we worked on bringing together teachers and students from different countries and enabling them to share their learning, culture , language and experiences with the aid of ICT and exchange visit. In addition to the link projects that: Encouraged respect for people from other cultures, developed cultural literacy about other cultures as well as our students’ own culture, expanded students’ knowledge about the target language as well as their native language and furthered the notion that our students are ambassadors of Lebanese culture when interacting with people from other countries. We at Othman Thinnourain / Khalil Shehab School, are integrating technology in teaching, our teachers attended different ICT workshops, prepared power point presentations , word activity sheets, videos, TV, internet researches…. related to the themes. Prepared by: Zeina Shehab
Othman Thinnourain School

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