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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Dec 15th, 2010, 02:58 pm
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Default Suugestions for dealing with Young Learners with a very short attention span

Attention YL teachers: I'm sending out a BIG Sos.
I'm reaching 4 classes, 2 of which are young learners (ages 7-10).
I'm having a really hard time with one group of pupils. It's not a large class (9 kids in total), but they have a very short attention span. The boys in particular are very hard to handle
I've had them since October.
In their defence, they are out of day school by 4:30 and have English class from 5 till 7, so they are tired out.
I must point out that this is my first ever experience with young learners, so I'm still learning.
An older colleague suggested, sprucing up the class with more fun and games ( which I should do).But of course it can't all be games.
Any suggestions as to what I can do to change the situation?
Also I would like some advice on how to discioline and dole out punishments (if need be), without resorting to shouting.
Thanks in advance
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  #2 (permalink)  
Unread Dec 16th, 2010, 11:06 am
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Default Re: Suugestions for dealing with Young Learners with a very short attention span

That is a hard situation when you are teaching kids after they have been in school all day. I would present the lesson for the day in about five minutes and then have the kids do activities based around the concept. If you are teaching something like the present progressive maybe have one student go to the front of the room and act out a certain activity. The other students need to write a sentence, using the present progressive, about what he is doing. Have a new student at the front of the room for each new action. Those kids need to be moving around. Any controlled competition would be a good idea to keep the kid's attention. Good luck!
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  #3 (permalink)  
Unread Jan 17th, 2011, 09:43 am
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Default Re: Suugestions for dealing with Young Learners with a very short attention span

That is tough. 2 hours with young learners is a long time. Have you tried songs before? Get them singing (with and without lyrics) and then putting actions to the words really gets them involved and motivated. This can easily take up quite a large chunk of the lesson and if you choose songs from dedicated books, it will all be relevant to the material.
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  #4 (permalink)  
Unread Jan 17th, 2011, 10:57 am
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tinyteachinthemaking is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Suugestions for dealing with Young Learners with a very short attention span

Thak you jakda and Andrew (first poster to reply to my SOS) for your suggestions. Yes I'm trying to incorporate all of the above, songs activities and the like. The hard part is that the kids have their Cambridge Young Learner Exam in May, so it can't all be games.
A colleague has offered to take over my "difficult" class for an hour on Wednesday to see if she can whip them into shape (she has tons more experience than I have with kids.) I'll keep you posted on any developments.
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