Education (Ming-Fang, 2010). Research Proposal
This article looks at the vital skill of English as a second language taught to very young children. In many countries, English is taught to children as young as pre-school aged, but the teaching methods are often untested and unregulated. Inexperienced instructors may also teach English. Review of literature includes: an article comparing the experiences of native English and nonnative English speaking teachers, the use of animated stories to teach English, and a study of the effectiveness of various teaching methods on the attitudes and skills of young English learners. Proposal for a study showing the long-term effect of various teaching methods and the effects of having native English versus nonnative English speaking teachers.
In many countries learning English as a second language is considered a vital necessity. English is the language is considered a common language and a necessary mode of communication for entry into the business world. Because of this, English education is often taught to young children as part of their early-child public education. Often, parents enroll children too young for primary school into private English instruction.
This childhood immersion into the English language helps the student get used to the English language and develop skills that they carry into their secondary education. However, many English language teachers do not have education degrees and they may be unfamiliar with education techniques that are beneficial to young learners. A method for determining which teaching technique yields the best long-term result is recommended. Older English students should be surveyed regarding the instructional techniques they encountered as young learners.
1. Teaching Young Children English: Experiences Of Native And Nonnative English Speaking Teachers
This article explores the experiences of people who teach English to young learners. It compares and contrasts the experiences of teachers for whom English is a first language to teachers who are nonnative English speakers. The author supposed that both nonnative and native speakers were often ill-equipped to teach, having only studied English and not
This study took place in Taiwan, where only 30% of English teacher receive a degree in English instruction. Around 45% of English teachers have short-term training in language instruction, and the remaining 25% have degrees in other subjects (Ming-Fang, 2010).
Educational training, teaching experience, and working conditions,” (Ming-Fang, 2010) which taught English in Taiwanese kindergartens.
Data was collected via a combination of observation and an interview survey. The author carried on random observations for three months, acting as a passive participant in the classroom. The interview survey focused on: experiences as an English teacher, curriculum, instruction, working environment support, children’s reactions, and parental expectation. The author conducted four interviews with each participant.
The study determined that it is easy to gain employment teaching English to young Taiwanese children, but that ease is traded for lack of an understanding in educational practices. The author also discovered that many English teachers did not know how to speak the language of the children they were teaching to, so English was the sole mode of instruction and the children were expected to acquire English by getting used to the teacher speaking the language. Parents of Taiwanese children expect them to learn English as a common communication tool. Finally, because they don’t know the countries language, the teachers were isolated from teachers of other subjects and did not have access to shared educational tools.
This study is limited because of the very small number of people who were observed and surveyed. The experiences of four teachers is not enough to gain an accurate idea of what it like to teach English to very young students. This study was like a case study of four individual cases.
2. Exploring The Value Of Animated Stories With Young English Language Learners
This article examines the value of using animated stories to teach English to young students. The authors supposed very young students need different learning tools than older students and these tools could include animated stories that contain meaningful English words. According to Yıldırım et al. (2014), “stories can be used as invaluable sources that could support children with contextualization in the language classroom.”
The researchers studied 31, novice level young English students from Turkey. They studied the students’ level of English comprehension both before and after integrating five animated stories into their English curriculum for 10 weeks. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected, measuring both the students’ attitudes toward learning English and their proficiency levels.
The results were very positive in the area of the children’s’ attitude toward learning English. There was in increase in a reported love of the English language, the desire to learn English, and their expectations that they will be able to learn English. There was also a decrease in the students’ concerns about learning the language (Yıldırım et al., 2014). Most of the students enjoyed the animated stories and thought that they helped them to learn English. The students hand an overall increase in their English vocabulary and their ability to structure English sentences.
The number of students and the methods used to collect their improvements in English class limited this test. The collected data focused on the children’s attitudes towards learning English and there was not enough data collected on whether or not their English skills actually improved. The student’s attitudes toward learning English could be influenced by any number of things unrelated to watching animated stories, including how they feel about their teacher and their general mood on the days they participated in the survey.
3. Teachers' Attitudes Toward Using Activities While Teaching English To Young Learners
This study explores how teachers feel about using various activates though help their young students learn English. The study took place in North Cyprus, Turkey between 2006 and 2007. The study also explored whether there is a difference in attitudes toward teaching methods between English teachers of pre-school students versus teachers of primary school students.
The researcher used a questionnaire to survey a sample of 110 primary and pre-school English teachers. The questions included teachers’ attitudes towards classroom activities such as singing, games, dual language instruction, symbols, and drawings. The teachers were also questions about whether or not they thought that English should be taught by native English speakers.
Results showed that, “both pre-school and primary school teachers are in favor of using different activities while teaching English to young learners,” (Şensoy and Bahire, 2009). They also found that there is no difference in the teachers’ attitudes toward using different activates when teach pre-school versus primary school students. The teachers’ opinions were evenly split on the subject of whether or not the English teachers are from an English speaking country.
This study does not take into account the students’ feelings about using multiple activates to help them learn English. While the teachers seem to think that the use of various techniques yields the better results, there is no actual measure of results. Finally, there is no differentiation between what teachers were actually employing the various methods in their classrooms.
Most of the existing research deals with the English teacher’s techniques and backgrounds. This is a problem because it does not actually determine effective methods for teaching English to young children. A few of the studies discussed the short-term effect on the students’ English skills, factor in elements such as the teaching methods and the instructors’ backgrounds. There have been very few studies exploring the long-term effects of English teaching methods and instructor backgrounds on students.
Instead of conducting a long-term study, I propose studying older students who took English as young learners, and are still in English classes today. This will reveal the long-term effects without having to follow the students throughout their academic career. Students will be chosen based on their ability to remember the teaching methods that were used on them when they were younger and their ability to remember if their teacher was a native English speaker.
Once they qualify, students will be asked about their current marks in English class. This will allow researchers to correlate there young learning English experience with their current English abilities. The students will be asked what methods were used to teach them English when they were young learners. These methods include: teaching using native language, English only instruction, singing, drawing, watching narratives, playing games, repeating words, and having English spoken to them. Students will also be asked if their teachers were native English speakers of if English was their second language. Hopefully, these questions will reveal which young learner methods leads to the most success in English later in life, and if it matters whether or not the young learner English teacher is a native speaker of the language.
The sample group will include about 100 secondary school students who currently take English classes and who also took English class as young learners. Ideally, an even amount of students from each performance level will be chosen.
Once the secondary surveys have been completed, the students’ answers will be compared against their current English skill levels. The results will be presented in both tables and charts, one set of chart for methods of instruction and one set of charts for the native or nonnative orientation of the instructor.
This study will not take into account other activities and classes that students participated in during the years between their early English education and their current level of English skill. Some students will have a natural ability to learn a language while others are likely to struggle with learning English at any age. This study will not figure other variables, such as the teachers’ ability to instruct English.
One of the studies mentioned in the literature review discussed the educational background of English instructors, citing that many of the instructors do not have degrees in education. While it would be interesting to explore if the instructors’ educational background has any long-term bearing on students’ English skills, students are unlikely to be able to report on the educational background of childhood instructors.
The lack of educational instruction for people teaching English to young children is the one of the reasons why this research study is important. Determining the English instruction methods with the best long-term results can lead to uniform techniques that can be applied to classrooms even by teachers who are unfamiliar with instruction methods.
Overall, this study has a number of stakeholders. The proposed study will replicate a long-term study; provide short-term answers to important English education questions. Both students and English instructors will benefit from an understanding of which activities produce the best long-term results. Organizations will benefit because they might learn which type of instructor is better to hire, native or nonnative English speakers. In the end, more students will have a positive learning experience as they work toward acquiring vital communication skills.
Ming-Fang, Hsieh. "Teaching Young Children English: Experiences Of Native And Nonnative English Speaking Teachers." English Teaching & Learning 34.2 (2010): 45-98
Şensoy, Şeniz and Bahire, Özad. "Teachers' Attitudes Toward Using Activities While Teaching English To Young Learners." Eurasian Journal Of Educational Research (EJER) 37 (2009): 174-187
Yıldırım, Rana and Fatma, Torun. "Exploring The Value Of Animated Stories With Young English Language Learners." Turkish Online Journal Of Educational Technology 13.4 (2014)
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