Resources for Teaching and Learning English in Infant and Primary Education

UAB Barcelona Summer School

Number of credits: 6 European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS)
Course Fee: 850 €
Course Fee for UAB students: 200 €
Teaching Language: English
Place: UAB Campus Bellaterra (Cerdanyola del Vallès), Barcelona
Teaching Period: 21 June to 09 July

Enrol now

Enrolment guidelines

Contact: summer@uab.cat

 

PROFESSOR BIO INFORMATION

Dolors Masats has a degree in English and German studies and a PhD in Education. She is currently working at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona as a lecturer and researcher at the Department of Language and Literature Education and Social Science Education. She is a founding member of the Research Centre for Plurilingual Interaction & Education (GREIP) and the International Association Éducation et Diversité Linguistique et Culturelle (EDiLiC).  Her research interests revolved around areas such as CA-for-SLA, task-based learning, project-based learning, technology enhanced learning, language awareness and language education in multilingual milieus. She also carries out advisory tasks for the Ministry of Education and Higher education of the government of Andorra.

Maria Mont is an enthusiastic English teacher and a translator and interpreter. She worked as an English teacher for 15 years in a state school where she experimented with the use of ICT and telecollaborative projects in the foreign language class. She also coordinated several international and government-funded projects. She is currently a teacher trainer and an educational advisor at Vallès Oriental IV resource center. Since 2014 she has also been an adjunct professor at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) and a member of the Research Centre on Plurilingual Interaction and Teaching (GREIP).

Nathaly González-Acevedo got her MA Diploma in 2012 in Research on Teaching Language and Literature. In 2014, she began her PhD studies and participated in GREIP activities as a doctoral student of the group. She got her PhD in 2020 with a dissertation on “Making Visible Potentially Transformative Engagements: Preeschoolers’ Peer Interaction in Autonomous and Collaborative EFL Tasks Supported by iPad and Beebots. She is interested in the study of very young learners’ agency and in the use of technology in the teaching and learning of EFL. She is a member of the Research Centre on Plurilingual Interaction and Teaching (GREIP), and recently won a YERUN research mobility award and a COST short-scientific mission grant for a DigiLitEY stay.

  • Department of Language and Literature Education / Department of French and German
  • E-mail: dolors.masats@uab.cat; maria.mont.algamasilla@uab.cat; nathaly.gonzalez@uab.cat

 

ACADEMIC GUIDE      
Contents overview

Teachers are bombarded with proposals to innovate in their lessons but teaching English is sometimes a rather solitary task. The main purpose of this course 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 engage. 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 the target language.

Given the practical nature of the course, a minimum of 80% attendance is compulsory.

 

Week programme

 
 Week   Contents
1

Where do we come from when we teach children English?

o Brief historical overview of teaching methods and approaches.

o Teaching integrating skills.

o Tips for great classroom management.

o Exploring materials
2

What are we doing in the English class?

o The role of culture in foreign language classrooms.

o Singing along while learning.

o Folklore & Children’s literature

 as learning resources.

o Drama techniques as a resource for learning English.

3

Where should we go from here?

o The challenges of teaching digital natives.

o ICT resources for teachers.

o Getting ready to flip our classroom

 

Teaching/learning activities

This is a PRACTICAL COURSE, therefore listing here all the teaching/learning activities we will present in class is far from being a worthy task.

Theory will be constructed while participants reflect upon the proposals presented by the trainers and while they engage in the process of discovering and exchanging educational materials. Once the course is completed, trainees will have a pool of resources and materials all organized in a shared Google Drive.

To exemplify how foreign languages are learnt, a few of the hands-on-tasks will be experimentally conducted in languages other than English. Participants are also encouraged to model a short activity (see evaluation task number 3) in an additional language they know.
 

 

Evaluation

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, a minimum of 80% attendance is required, yet, it is not enough. Participants are expected to demonstrate critical thinking when participating in class discussions. They should also display a positive attitude when asked to accomplish practical activities in class.

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. Deadline: One day per person (to be determined at the beginning of the course) during weeks 2 & 3. 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.

TASK FOUR: Deadline. End of course.

A special effort will be given in having time to share. Attendees will be asked to create and share with all course participants and the two trainers a list of 4 online resources to be used for teaching English or foreign languages to young and very young children.

 

Links and references

A+ Project (2020). StandAPP and Speak up: the game is about to start. APAC ELT Journal, 92, 20-32

Clandfield, L., & Prodromou, L. (2007).  Dealing with difficulties: Solutions, strategies and suggestions for successful teaching. Peaslake, Surrey, United Kingdom: Delta Publishing.

Copland, F. (2012). Crazy animals and other activities for teaching English to young learners. London: British Council. Available at: https://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/sites/teacheng/files/B369-Young-Learners-Activity-Book_v10.pdf

Copland, F. (2014). ELT Journal: Special Issue: Teaching English to Young Learners, 68(3).

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., 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. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3064130

Moon, J. (2005). Children learning English. Oxford: Macmillan Heinemann.

Murphy, V. A. (2014). Second language learning in the early school years: trends and contexts. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Pinter, A. (2009). Teaching young language learners. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Richards, J. C. (2006). Communicative language teaching today. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Jack_Richards4/publication/242720833_Communicative_Language_Teaching_Today/links/5580c02808aea3d7096e4ddb.pdf

Slattery, M., & Willis, J. (2001). English for primary teachers: A handbook of activities and classroom Language. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Wright, A. (2011). Storytelling with children. Oxford: Oxford University Press.