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- My Cookbook!
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- 외국어교육특수대학원 TESOL학과
- 이화여자대학교 외국어교육특수대학원
When young learners learn a foreign language, they do not have specific needs for learning compared to adult learners. They are physically and emotionally active and have shorter attention span. Therefore, it is essential for language teachers to research effective approaches with creative ideas in order to attract young learners who are physically and emotionally active. (Brewster, Ellis & Girard, 2002). When children are exposed to childcentered
lessons with various activities, they will naturally participate in the class and increase their confidence in using English (Paul, 2007).
This textbook is designed to guide 7-year-olds at a Korean private institute for creative English education with the theme: cooking. Each lesson will consist of a storybook and songs that will activate the students’ schema along with game, discussion, and short activities to develop Multi Intelligences (MI). The class size should be no more than 6 students since a large number of materials including cooking appliances will be required in a limited space. The target learners of the textbook are already aware of the basic phonics and can create simple sentences. With proficiency level 2 on the WIDA scale, the target learners can listen, speak, read, and write with teacher’s guidance yet they lack productive skills. Throughout this textbook, students will maintain a positive attitude on learning English, develop their communication skills, and build confidence in using English.
Method & Rationale
In the textbook, the following theoretical approaches will be used: Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) and Theme-Based Instruction (TBI). The textbook will be based on CLT by emphasizing the function of language and practicing to deliver meaning for interpersonal communication (Nunan, 2011). There will be ongoing interaction among students and between teacher and students while engaging in role-play, presentations, and speaking games. Throughout this approach, students will naturally gain opportunities to improve their speaking skills as well as learn how to communicate in various discourse types.
Another applied methodology is TBI, which also can be defined as activity-based approach since relevant activities are introduced to build connection for the theme and the target language (Cameron, 2001). Cooking activities in each chapter will be developed into whole language learning process and be integrated with other subjects, such as math and science.
The main theme, cooking, leads learners to develop social and cooperative skills because they will be working with classmates and family. For young learners, cooking is an effective teaching approach due to the use of the five senses and movement in the class (Brewster et al., 2002). Taylor and Dodd (1999) states that cooking activities in language class for young learners can help to improve logical mathematical skills by understanding sequencing, weighing, dividing and counting in a recipe. Also, scientific concepts including boiling, mixing, heating, and freezing will be taught through the cooking activities. More importantly, students will feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of the course and enjoy the hands on activities while writing one’s cookbook.
In addition to cooking, other materials such as songs and storybooks will be used to activate students’ schema and assist their understanding of the content. As Brewster (2002) explained, songs will be an efficient tool to teach young learners because it can be motivating and students to concentrate on the topic at the same time. Applying storybooks can also be a good way to teach young learners since it will make them interpret meaning, guess on their own, and become familiar with the target culture. Overall, these authentic materials will help students to develop their language skills and encourage active learning attitude.
By studying with the textbook, students will be able to develop their linguistic competence with all four language skills as well as learning other subjects by completing hands on activities and communicating with peers. In the process of completing the given task, cooking, students will be able to improve visual, mathematical, social, musical, and most importantly, linguistic intelligence. The enjoyment of learning will eventually lead to higher motivation, confidence, and positive learning attitude, which is the ultimate goal of this textbook.
Brewster, J., Ellis, G., & Girard, D. (2002). The primary English teacher’s guide, 2nd ed. Harlow, England: Pearson Education Limited.
Paul, D. (2003). Teaching English to children in Asia. Hong Kong: Pearson Longman Asia ELT.
Nunan, D. (2011). Teaching English to young learners. Anahaim, CA: Anaheim University Press.
Cameron, L. (2001). Teaching languages to young learners. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.
Taylor, S. & Dodd, A. (1999). We can cook! Snack preparation with toddlers and twos. Early Childhood Education Journal. 27. 29-33.
Littlewood, W. (2007). Communicative and task-based language teaching in East Asian classrooms. Hong Kong Institute of Education. United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press. 20.
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