Resources for Teaching and Learning English in Infant and Primary Education
Teachers are bombarded with proposals to innovate in their lessons but teaching English is sometimes a rather solitary task. The course's main purpose is to offer people interested in the field of foreign language teaching “food for thought” and resources to make children’s learning experiences much more updated, fun, simple, dynamic and adapted to the 21st century competencies and skills they need to master.
The course is divided into 15 three-hour thematic sessions. Each session will evolve around one particular relevant topic related to the teaching of English to young and very young learners (students aged 3-12), but connections will be made between one session/topic and the others. All sessions will combine brief theoretical explanations with a broad array of practical activities in which participants are expected to take an active role. Attendees will also be asked to participate and/or lead group discussion to share (and contrast) their opinions, ideas, knowledge, beliefs, doubts, and experiences upon the implementation of the practical activities done in class.
No prior experience in teaching English to children and very young children is required. Yet, the course is designed to suit the needs of in-service teachers, too. The lessons will be carried out entirely in English; consequently participants are expected to have a good command of this language.
This is a PRACTICAL COURSE, therefore listing here all the teaching/learning activities we will experiment in class is far from being a worthy task. Theory will be constructed while participants conduct the tasks proposed by trainers in a virtual environment. These tasks will engage participants in the process of discovering and exchanging educational materials. All tasks are interactive and combine theory and practice. Some of the tasks are to be done individually and are self-corrected. Other tasks will be done collaboratively, but asynchronously, among participants in the virtual environment. Students will always receive direct feedback from the course trainers.
3 synchronous sessions. One per week (2 hours per session). Session one will be held from 3pm to 5pm (Barcelona’s time zone). Time span for sessions 2 & 3 will be decided with participants and will take into account their actual time zones. Days: June 21st, June 30th & July 8th.
11 asynchronous sessions. Students can decide Their own schedule. The workload is manageable (2 hours 30 minutes per session, plus time devoted to assessment tasks, maximum 20 hours).
Trainers will be accessible on a daily basis during the course. Students can contact them through the platform in case they need help or guidance.
In order to get a passing mark in this course, participants will be asked to complete four tasks, each of which is compulsory and contributes 25% to the total assessment mark
TASK ONE: Active participation in class activities and discussions. Deadline: End of course. As the course is very experiential, participants are expected to conduct a minimum of 80% of the individual and collective tasks proposed in the virtual classroom. Participants are expected to display a positive attitude and to demonstrate critical thinking when participating in class discussions.
TASK TWO: Elaboration of a short reflective essay to be submitted at the end of session 6. Participants should deepen into the study of one of the issues linked to the course contents and produce a two-page reflective paper. First, they should read one article on the topic chosen, then they should briefly present the theoretical considerations made in the selected article, and finally they should present a methodological proposal illustrating how to incorporate the theoretical postulates contained in the article into the classroom. More detailed instructions will be given in due course.
TASK THREE: Micro-teaching simulation. During the course, participants will be provided with a pool of resources, practical tools, and teaching strategies. In return, they are expected to contribute to this pool by designing and implementing a practical class activity in our course. Participants are allowed to choose the language in which they want to implement this task. They need to videorecord a five-minute activity illustrating how they would teach the chosen contents to young learners.
TASK FOUR: Deadline. End of course. A special effort will be given in having time to share. Attendees will be asked to share with all course participants and the three trainers 4 resources to be used for teaching English or foreign languages to young and very young children: realia (week 1), a story (week 2), a song (week 3) & a digital tool (week 4).
- A+ Project (2020). StandAPP and Speak up: the game is about to start. APAC ELT Journal, 92, 20-32
- Copland, F. (2012). Crazy animals and other activities for teaching English to young learners. London: British Council.
- Dooly, M., & Masats, D. (2015). A critical appraisal of foreign language research in CLIL, YLL and TELL in Spain (2003-2012). Language teaching: surveys and studies, 48(3): 1-30.
- Dooly, M., Masats, D., & Mont, M. (2021). Launching a solidarity campaign: Technology-enhanced project-based language learning to promote entrepreneurial 5 education and social awareness. Journal of Technology and Science Education, 11 (2): 260-269.
- Dooly, M., Mont, M., & Masats, D. (2014). Becoming little scientists: A case study of technologically-enhanced project-based language learning. APAC Journal, 78: 34- 40.
- Masats, D., Mont, M., & Gonzalez-Acevedo, N. (Eds). (2019). Joint efforts for innovation: Working together to improve foreign language teaching in the 21st century. Rothersthorpe: Paragon Publishing.
- Murphy, V. A. (2014). Second language learning in the early school years: trends and contexts. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Wright, A. (2011). Storytelling with children. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Dolors Masats and Maria Mont are lecturers and teacher-trainers from the Department of Language and Literature Education and Social Science Education and members of the Research Centre for Plurilingual Interaction & Education (GREIP).
Dolors Masats has ample experience as a teacher of Catalan, Spanish & English as foreign languages in formal and non-formal settings. She is also a materials designer and a curriculum advisor.
Maria Mont is an enthusiastic English teacher and a translator and interpreter. She has worked as an English teacher for 15 years in a state schools and is a teacher trainer and an educational advisor at Vallès Oriental IV resource centre.
- Department of Language and Literature Education / Department of French and German