English Language Learning Resources
English Language Learning Resources
Each group of students, depending on the age needs different materials in order to make their English learning process easier. A group of young children in the first to the third grade needs charts with pictures on the wall, charts with Alphabets and simple English words, simple storybooks and flash cards. A group in the fourth to the sixth grades requires textbooks and storybooks with advanced words, audio materials such as radio lessons and CDs, audiovisual materials such as CDs and DVDs and Websites programs for those who are equipped with computer knowledge. Video games will also be of interest to search age groups. The group in the seventh, eighth grade, teenagers and adults, they will need advanced books such collection of essays books and novels, newspapers and magazines for advancing their vocabulary. Computer programs such as Powerpoint, Websites, CDs, DVDs and video games are also good resources (Maletsky et al, 2004).
Flash cards, picture charts, alphabet and words chart help the child to remember the alphabet and the vocabulary learnt relating to the alphabet. The mind remembers pictures faster than words. When a child associates the two, they will learn more words faster. Stories are interesting. Short, simple and interesting stories help the child develop his/her vocabulary. Visual programs such as a small skit or a short interesting documentary will help the fourth fifth and eighth graders understand their vocabulary easily. Radio lessons that use the vocabularies or concepts learnt in a particular period will also help.
Video games such as scramble have helped many seventh, eighth graders and even adults improve their vocabulary, spelling and thinking capacity for years. Essays, storybooks of advanced nature and novels help in creativity, vocabulary formation and sentence structure. Such software as Powerpoint will create an interesting learning environment for the students interested in technology. The softer provides a visual, motion and audio environment, which keeps the learner wanting to know more. Teachers can accomplish more in such a session than in a traditional class environment. Websites from the ELL, ESL, TOEFL departments amongst others can e of help to the adult learners who have access to technology and the internet (Maletsky et al, 2004).
Learners from all cultures, especially the young ones, love visual materials such as television programs, video games, books, magazines and with pictures. There are magazines and newspapers that dedicate specific sessions for the young children. Using such materials will help the children identify with the English language since these materials will not be so new to them. The structure of sentences in the first language is normally different from the English language. Learners tend to think in the first language first then translate this into the English language. Encouraging the students to watch programs that offer translation, from Spanish to English for example, would enable the learners have an easier transition process.
Scramble is one of the video games that really aids in the learning of the English vocabulary. Although it might not be easy to find such a game of the first language, incorporate class-made games of such nature will enable the learners adopt easily. For example, group competitions that involve making good sentence structures, “spelling bees”, which very common in English learning and word marching will be a start to help the learners adapt to the new culture (O’Neill & Gish, 2008).
For the advanced stages, it would be good to have exchange programs. This means that a student in Spain goes to a place like the United States and another student in the U.S goes to Spain for the same period. Although this may not be available to all the student/learners, the ones who get an opportunity may help the rest give real life situations of the difference in culture and the way one can adapt to it. Technology is being used in schools of all cultures, computer programs and the internet help the young people identify with both cultures. Adults learning English also use this technology in their workplaces. It helps the learner to have an easy transition and he/she is able to see that the cultures are not very different.
Cultural, Linguistically and Developmental Recourses
The brain of a child in the first grade does not comprehend information in the same way as that of a fourth grader. One moves from the simple materials to the complex ones. Flash cards that have pictures and their names are very effective for the mind of a young learner/first learner. The mind associates the pictures and their words. This can be followed by using the flashcards that have separated pictures and names so that the learner can do matchmaking. This concept can also be accomplished by picture and word charts
People of all cultures like stories whether they are oral, written or audiovisual. They are even more interesting for the young if they are animated. Storybooks magazines and newspapers animations are of great interest to the young learners of any culture in elementary school. For the seventh and eighth graders, the puzzles found in newspapers and some magazines help them in vocabulary building and fast thinking. Stories help the creativity of the children grow depending on the level they are (O’Neill & Gish, 2008).
Technology is being incorporated into the school learning system more and more. The English teaching departments can take advantage of the computer technology in making the learning process easier, faster and more interesting. For example, Microsoft Word helps the one using it in making the correct sentence structures and correcting any grammatical mistakes. Teachers can guide learners in the seventh, eighth grades and the adults use this software. The Powerpoint, which is normally used when doing presentations, can be used when teaching the adults. They are mostly used by in the working environment when making presentations. Most adults can identify with this program and hence be at ease when learning.
The computer can be used to “hit two birds with one stone”. Video games and the internet are mostly used as relaxation or entertainment methods. A teacher can bring in a game like scramble, which can be played by almost all ages if well taught, during a class session. This game can be played using the computer or manually on scramble boards. As the learners become entertained and fascinated, they will be able to build their vocabulary and their thinking. However, the games should be custom-made for the particular age group or learning level. Beginners cannot be given the same games as those who are at an advanced level of the learning process.
Resources and Age Group
As mentioned earlier, each material should be custom-made for the particular group, age or level of learners. Adult beginners cannot be treated as beginners in the first grade. This is because the adult comprehending ability is much higher than that of those in the first grade. However, they are will be taught more or less of the same things. Alphabets, learning pictures and their names, sentence structures, amongst others are taught in the same way. However, adults learn in the faster that the first and second graders.
The first, second and third graders are more interested in activities involving visuals more than the audios. It is important to use charts, flashcards and books with as many pictures as possible. These keep the children’s concentration on a particular subject last longer than using no such materials. The pictures of the charts on a third graders wall cannot be the same as of those on a first graders wall. The vocabulary should advance as the learner goes to another level. For example, first graders should be concentrating on such words as cup, bed, bowl, bottle, bicycle, and so on. Third graders should have charts of such words as computer, classroom, tractor, utensil, and so on. The storybooks should be of a higher vocabulary than the previous level. The main aim of reading storybooks is to improve on the vocabulary, sentence structure, once creativity and once ability to comprehend a story line (O’Neill & Gish, 2008).
The materials used in the fourth, fifth and sixth grade should be of an advanced level that those used in the former grades. For example, textbooks, short novels and complex storybooks are introduced in these levels. Most sixth grade learners have an idea of the basics of computer studies. It is important to introduce learning using this technology if the students have the knowledge and the facilities are available in the learning environment. Charts that have word separation and matching should be introduced learnt in these levels. CDs, DVDs and radio lessons are of significance in these levels of learning since the learners can be able to comprehend both the audio and the visual materials.
Adults comprehend all types of materials. Although the seventh, eighth graders, those in High School and the adults are of different levels. They can be able to comprehend the same type of information in most cases. For example, an eighth grader who started learning English when he/she was in first grade might be able to comprehend the same information with an adult who has learnt it for two or three years. Most of these learners can follow programs that use translation (English translation) and they are aware of how to use a computer.
Incorporating such learning materials will encourage the learner to practice the language even outside the classroom. Most of the upper elementary graders have computers at home, access to the school or the local library, phones, video players amongst others. These can be used to enhance learning in other environments. Teachers can offer DVDs or CDs so that the learners can view or listen to them while doing other activities. To the students who can easily access the internet, teachers should encourage the students access the websites that concentrate on learning English.
- Come with pictures and books from home
- Speak English during the English classes (even if incorrect)
- Identify objects and describe events using English
- Try to advance ones vocabulary each day
- Radio lessons once every week for English learners (divided in groups)
- English Cultural day every year
- English talking day once every week
- Audiovisual lessons
- Using the computer to play scramble or other video games that aid in vocabulary building
- Associate a complex word with something that one can easily remember
- Forming small study groups or clubs
- Watching as many English programs and practicing it so that one learns to think in English and not the first language
School Procedures and Rules
- Starting to learn English in the first grade
- Speaking English on the English speaking days and even other days
- Attending all classes
- Reporting the teachers frequently missing classes
Maletsky, E. M., Andrews, A., & Harcourt, Inc. (2004). Harcourt math: Success for English languge learners ESOL/ESL. Orlando, Fla: Harcourt.
O’Neill, S., & Gish, A. (2008). Teaching English as a second language. South Melbourne, Vic: Oxford University Press.