8.2 Children: (7-9) Year-Olds
This age group is at a level where they are slowly beginning to think for themselves. These students still have a ton of energy but tend to be more focused than 4-6-year-olds. They are now old enough to be in structured classrooms with lessons compared to fun and games like the 4-6-year-olds age group whose days are made up of playing inside and outside.
Teaching this age group differs depending on your students’ personalities, maturity, and ability. Teachers will need to have acquired an overall structure for classroom lessons and an adequate collection of exercises.
The lessons can now include a competitive aspect as this age group does not shy away from competing. Roleplaying is helpful, as the students like to see themselves as tiny adults. Playing roleplay games such as adult occupations is a fun and easy way to include the target language.
To make your lessons engaging and to maintain an excellent learning environment, have a look at these tips below on how to approach learning with this age group:
- Juniors will usually respond well to some form of team scores system where you will place the students into groups at the beginning of the lesson and give/take points, respectively.
- Expose students to different cultures: The students will probably be drawn in by a particular feature of a different culture. Whether they like hamburgers, basketball, clothes or music, try to teach them about your culture and so they have something different to learn about in English. This age group is more intellectually capable than 4-6-year-olds and keener to learn about the world.
- Provide for different learning styles: Generally speaking, the primary learning techniques are considered to be visual (learning through sight), auditory (learning through hearing), and kinaesthetic (learning by physical activity). Your students’ brains are adjusting and growing towards a distinct learning style. Teachers need to be aware that students have distinctive ways of absorbing information, so make sure to use different techniques and exercises to give everyone in your class the best learning outcome.
- Be a good role model: Show them that successful learning can happen when being respectful to others, having a proper work ethic, and having fun with your tasks. Try to set an example in how you interact with people and approach your work.
Characteristics of seven to nine-year-old’s:
Children of the ages seven to nine are slightly more mature when we look at the development of their characteristics.
- They have specific views about what they like and do not like doing.
- They start to question the teacher’s choices.
- Their basic thoughts are formed.
- They have very selected views of the world.
- They depend on the physical world as well as the spoken word to communicate and interpret the meaning.
- They have a strengthened sense of fairness about what happens in the classroom, and they can work with others and learn from others.
- They can start to tell the distinction between fact and fiction.
- They are very curious.
Seven to nine-year-old’s are competent users of their mother language and will sometimes develop language awareness and eagerness when learning a different language.
There are many connections between learning one’s native language and learning a non-native language, even with the difference in age and the time accessible.
However, no one has found a widespread method or pattern of language learning, which everyone can agree with. The general language development in children seems to depend on which native tongue the student speaks and the social and emotional factors in the child’s upbringing.
Below are a few methods to consider when educating 7-9-year-olds:
Use props and content
The teacher will need to have plenty of objects and pictures to work with and make full use of the school and the surroundings. Many activities should include movement and involve the senses. They should not rely on the spoken word only. The balance will change as the child gets older, but appealing to the senses will always help pupils learn.
Experiment with the language
Playing with language is very common in first language development and is a natural stage in the initial stages of foreign language learning.
Teachers should let the pupils talk to themselves. Sing songs, tell stories. Work with the language – let them talk experiment with sounds and words.
When students begin to read, the language becomes permanent, and there are fewer other clues to meaning. Reading and writing are essential for the child’s growing awareness of language. However, both are very demanding and take time and patience to learn. Pupils can take a book home, read it repeatedly, stop, think about the language, and work it out. The same goes for writing activities.
Variety in the classroom
A variety of activities, pace, organization, and voice is a must. Older students can concentrate for a more extended period, but teachers will still need to use various techniques to keep them busy and engaged in learning.
Have systems, have routines, organize, and plan lessons. Teachers should use familiar situations, familiar activities. Children benefit from understanding the rules and being familiar with the situation.
Most of us need to feel like we belong, and this is very important for younger children. Teachers should group the children whenever possible. They do not always have to work in groups, but most children like to have other children around them, and sitting with others encourages cooperation.
Children have a fantastic ability to absorb language through play and other activities that they find fun. Very few pupils will be able to cope with grammar at this age. They may be very aware and clear about the foreign language, but they are not usually mature enough to talk about it. However, teachers do not need to focus on teaching grammar rules to every student in the class as this is usually for older children.