Teaching English for Young Learners
Speaking about English, come to our mind that English is the second language. As we know that the second language (L2) is English, and the first language (L1) is mother tongue (Shin, Joan Kang). English is international language, so we must know this language. Therefore, we are teach student since attain the age of 5/6 years old. We give basis of English. Teaching English for Young Learners (TEYL) need some method to learning. This is not easy like we are just dream up, because the kids have a different level of the emotional between adolescent.
According of detailed examination, (Ulearn International, 2011) said that the kids in the kindergarten attain the age of 5-6 years old can catch difficult vocabulary, because they have a different thing to catch the words. Therefore, we can give a basis of education for young learners, for example: easy vocabulary, short expressions, a variation media, songs and movement, story, games, drill and reading aloud, reward. First, we can give easy vocabulary, which the kids can keep vocabulary in his/her mind, for example: name of animals, colors, numbers, etc. Second, give short expressions training, thus they can keep on their mind, for example: stand up!, Sit down!, Smile!, open the door, etc. Third, use a variation media to teaching English, like used pictures, video, songs, etc. Fourth, songs and movement, actually, kids love songs so much. They can remember anything from song, like “twinkle-twinkle little star”. Fifth, we can order the kids to talk in front of her/his friends to give a story, or we can give their story, like a fairy tale. And I think we are knows about games, drill and reading aloud, and reward, don’t forget to give a reward to them.
After we knows some method from Ulearn International, many method to teaching English for young learners, we can give the material by videos, pictures, flashcards technique, singing, games, etc, they can absorb the lessons from this media. As we know, that the children like something which can make they feel enjoyable, stated of (BBI team, 2011). Accordingly, we must know the characteristic of the kids if we want to do the best. Actually, some method from Ulearn International was same with BBI team method. But, BBI team has one method which interesting to do. There is flashcard technique, which can step up a memory of the kids to remember something.
I read some books to children “discover interesting things about the world around of you, learn new word, answer fun questions, found lots of activities to learn about the world at the back of the book” (Pamela, 2005:1). This is the one of her books that I read. Therefore, give the material not only just material in the classroom but also in the other place, which can make the children relax and get the point. And give the books, which have many colors and unique character in a story.
In addition, expert from San Francisco State University (H. Douglas, 1994:90) said that in the general the kids can’t catch lesson or second language quickly than in adolescent their eventual success. Actually, give English education is very important to young learners. And as we know that young learners can catch the lesson, but can’t fast like adolescent, because young learners need more ability from the teachers on teaching.
Furthermore, according to Piaget (1969) (Kasihani, 2010) she said that the kids is brain ware and learners, and then he said that the basis of implication in the education has 4 phase expansion, 1) sensory motor phase, ages 2 years old, 2) preoperational phase, ages 2-8 years old, 3) concrete operational phase, ages 8-11 years old, 4) formal phase, ages 11-15 years old or more than 15 years old. Phase of the kindergarten is preoperational phase, which the kids in grows up phase and needs more notice from everybody.
Likewise, we must know the characteristic of the kids, because the kids have unique characteristic. The characteristic expert (Slatterly, M., & Willis, J, 2001) said that the kids under 7 years old have a different characteristic with children 7-12 years old. The different of both is the way of thinking. Meanwhile, the kids like acquire through hearing and makes experiencing lots of English. The kids learn with playing, love playing with language, sound, imitating, and of course, making funny noises. And then they are not be able to organize their learning and read or write. It is important to recycle language with talk and play. Their grammar will develop gradually on its own when exposed to lots of English in context. Therefore, the characteristic of the kids is very unique.
In addition, this is just the background of teaching English for young learners. And after we know about the methods and characteristic of the kindergarten or the kids, this is the way how to approach for young learners. According to (Read, 1998) mapping to survey the challenge of teaching kindergarten or kids, this is can measure your ability.
From the explanation above, we can know that Teaching English for Young Learners (TEYL) is important, because we must give some foundation to kids. There is can habituating the kids to love the second language or especially English language. But don’t forget about our language is Indonesian language. Used the method, learns characteristic, and learning with fun can make classroom be alive.