Teaching English Listening to Children
Listening comprehension mostly benefits from this early start, pronunciation also benefits in longer term. However, younger children learn the grammar of L2 more slowly than older learners, so that although starting earlier with language learning they make slower progress. It is through listening that babies first learn the language. It is also believed that exposure to English should be first done through exposing students to verbal talks. Learners get many things trough listening. When learners have the opportunity to listen to listening materials, then teachers should expose students to listening to English as much as possible. Of the four skills in English, young learners make the most of the lesson through listening. They learn to understand the materials through listening, get the instruction and explanation through listening, learn to pronounce words through listening, and practice better through listening to teachers’ praises and feedbacks. Therefore, listening skills become very crucial emphasis in the teaching of English to young learners.
a. Teachers or tapes first?
One of the most frequently asked questions teachers have is whether their learners should listen to them or the tapes first. When teachers focus on classroom interaction, teachers can use their talks to deliver the tasks and engage students to the designed activities. Teachers can present the new words and patterns in the form of puzzles. For example, teachers can ask What kind of food do you like?. When the students do not seem to understand what it means, we can encourage students to ask us the same questions then let them guess the meaning from our respond to the questions. If we answer by saying a certain food that they are familiar with, with a little smile or gesture to show that we like it, students can guess the meaning of the pattern from the context. Students can then start asking and answering the questions among themselves. By doing this, Paul (2003: 72), argues that students learn through sensing whole chunks of language, and through thinking and guessing. Listening activities can also be designed as an interactive activity in which students do what is stated in the recording. When listening to songs or chants, children can sing along or imitate what is played.
Dictation exercise is always an important technique of teaching listening because it trains students’ comprehension in differing English sounds. Dictation doesn’t have to be dull and boring in which teachers simply state the words and students write the words in their notebooks, it can be so much fun and interesting if we apply it in language games.
Students describe a picture they have to their partner, who tries to draw what they hear. This can either be done with the person describing being able to see the picture as it is being drawn (easier) or not (more communication and question formation). This is good for prepositions, and shapes and dimensions for Technical English classes.
It is a wonderful technique to teach, English through stories. Paul, (2003: 74) argues that stories can be a supplementary material when teaching English to young learners particularly when the stories can be integrated to the course. Teachers can read it to children from storybooks, memorize the stories then tell it to children, or play it on a tape.
Teachers tend to interact more with students when retelling a story after memorizing it from a storybook. However, when reading stories from storybooks, teachers can also interact with the students by varying the intonation or by changing the voice for each different characters of the story.
There are some activities that teachers can involve when they are telling stores. These activities are designed to engage students in the story telling time and to avoid a teacher-dominated classroom activity. The activities are:
1. The children draw characters or scenes from the story.
2. Teachers tell the story with puppets, children then retell the story with their own puppets.
3. Children arrange pictures from the scene of the story, or touch/jump on the correct pictures as teachers tell the story. This activity can also be modified by asking students to guess what the story will be by arranging pictures from the scene before teachers tell them the story.
4. Each child has a word card. When her word is mentioned in the story, she has to do something about it, like raising her card, make funny noise, or put up her hand.
5. The teacher stops sometimes during the story to ask students what they think is going to happen next.
Paul, (2003: 58), states that children love songs. Children keep songs in their heads, sing them after class, hum them on the way home, and sing them at home. They like the singing activity and songs provide many opportunities to get new words and to acquire the model pronunciation. Paul, (2008: 58-59), suggests the following ways of how teachers can use songs (and chants) in class:
The children sing songs that have catchy melodies and useful language content
The children combine actions with songs. This is usually the most effective way to use songs, especially with younger children. Any songs can be combined with actions.
Activities of Teaching Listening to Children
Listen and do’ activities
1. Put up your hand
When the pupils are learning the sound system, the teacher might ask them to put up their hands when they hear a certain word.
2. Mime Stories
In mime story, the teacher tells the story and the pupils and the teacher do the action It again provides physical movement and gives the teacher a chance to play along with the pupil. Mime is when the children use only physical movement, gesture and actions to express a dramatic idea or to dramatise a scene in the story. Percussion, sound or music may accompany the movements.
Listen and draw is a favorite type of listening activity in almost classes. In listen and draw activities, the teacher, or one of the pupils tells the other pupil what to draw. This activity is particularly useful for checking object vocabulary, preposition etc.
Listening for information
1. Identifying exercises
These activities are often used to check what the pupil know, but they can also be used to give new information.
2. Putting things in order
Pupil have a number of pictures which illustrate a text in front of them. The picture are not in the right order. Pupils listen to text and put the picture in the order they think is right. An example of this type of picture in the order they think is right.
3. Listen and Color
Children love colouring picture and the teacher can easily make this activity into a listening activity, the teacher can use any picture which the pupil have in their workbook.
Listen and repeat’ activities
Song are also a form of 'listen and repeat activities. It may be a drill, it may be word with special sound.
Listening to stories
1. Reading stories
Instead of telling stories, the teacher can read aloud from a book. In this activities the techer should not change the story at all.
LISTEN AND DRAW ACTIVITIES
Competency standard : Students are able to understand and do the instruction which is heard about preposition of place using in,beside, on, under, dan between.
Basic competency : Students are able to understand the preposition of place in the learning activity.
1. Students are able to pronounce the word or sentence about preposition of place
2. Students are able to write down sentences using preposition of place
3. Students are able to read aloud and understand the location of with the corect intonation
Learning Objectives :
Students can communicate orally and in writing on a simple level related to the name common objects and the location of the objects.
Learning Material : Prepositon of place
Learning activity :
1. Opening Activity
1. Greeting and checking the rolls
2. Talking about the objectives and significance of the lesson
2. Main Activity
1. Teacher asks the students what they have learnt before
2. Teacher asks the students as brain storming“ Where is the bird flying ?”or where is the ball?
3. Teacher shows video or picture (preposition of place), students responds to the teacher’s question about preposition of place picture
Whilst – activity
1. Teacher explains the preposition of place and students give responds the material
2. Teacher asks the students the material in playing listen and drawgame.
3. Teacher give listening test about prepostion of place material ( 1sttest,teacher uses tape recorder, 2nd step, teacher use spoken word ( if the students have difficulty in the 1stlistening test )
Post – activity
1. Teacher give respond to the correct answer
2. Teacher ask to the students about the preposition of place that the students haven’t known yet
3. Close Activity
1. Teacher conclude that the material has been studied