Children and foreign languages: Observe, get to know and understand them (Didactic units for children)

Aida Gjinali

Abstract


Teaching a foreign language to children is not as simple as it seems, taking into consideration the general opinion that children are more adaptable than grown ups. Without any doubt, it is easier for a child than for an adult to learn a foreign language, due to many factors which we will go through briefly in this research, but the most important thing is how to present the learning of a foreign language to children. The global glottodidactics offers adequate and detailed information on this, providing teachers of foreign languages not only with the theoretical framework, but also with the practical one. It is proved by many important researches that a child, due to many psycho-physical and neuropsychological factors is capable of learning a foreign language as a native Italian or British, but what happens in practice is that such a natural capability is not turned against the teacher, who is not so able to operate in this age and raise affective barriers that will compromise not only the teaching of a foreign language but also it will create a long-term or maybe a permanent repulsion of the child towards the foreign language. Therefore, it is very important for the foreign language teacher who works with children to be well-educated in didactics and psycho pedagogy, as well, in order to know how to act and adapt to the age and psychology of the child and know how to achieve the main purpose that is the teaching of the language. We already know that teaching children should be a natural and spontaneous process, but teachers are met with the challenge of how to realize this. As we mentioned previously, global glottodidactics provides a lot of tools, especially the ludic methodology, which uses games as the extraordinary tool to wholly engage children and offers them the possibility to learn a language through direct and spontaneous practice. Based on what we said above, we are providing a didactic unit for children, which aims at teaching children how to know themselves and others through observation, teach them to interpret facial expressions and mimic, know how to ask and respond to specific expressions and compare between Albanian and foreign language children, learn the lexicon related to this aspect, and also raise the awareness regarding human feelings that are transmitted through facial expressions and mimic.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n22p354


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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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