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YL column: 5 Ways for Young Learners to Share their Work – by Kylie Malinowska

kylie-columnCongratulations International House Journal of Education and Training. 20 years of sharing information with educators and trainers around the globe! In honor of this achievement, this issue’s YL Column is…

Five Ways for Young Learners to Share their Work

  1. Roll out the red carpet

It’s the end of year/semester performance. The parents are seated in neat rows. You’ve spent weeks rehearsing ‘Heads, Shoulder’s, Knees and toes’ complete with handmade flashcards of the body parts. The YL DOS introduces your class, the music starts…and…your learners suddenly turn into monkeys. Flashcards are upside down, your favourite student is singing ‘neee ne ne neee ne nee’ looking at the floor. One student is waving at their mum. Another is facing the wrong way.  Sound familiar? If only there was a way to share with parents just how much your very young learners can do, right? There is!

Film your learners (singing, acting out a play, reading a story, playing a game, or create a film using a slide show of students work) then roll out the red carpet for a grand viewing with parents. Put up some credits at the end stating exactly what each child did. Who chose the costumes? Who made the posters? Do you have some funny out takes you could include at the end while rolling the credits? Or, you could use photos of the learners making the props, setting up the set, etc. It’s a great way to show parents not only what your learners can ‘perform’, but also the work that goes into putting it all together and what has been accomplished, in English, before the big day. It can also be a nice keepsake, and enables learners who need to miss the last lesson to be included.

  1. Practice makes perfect and a picture says a thousand words

I love the idea of giving learners a chance to practice what they want to say. At the last IH AMT in London, technology queen Nikki Fortova introduced me to Knovio, a great way to do this. It’s a free program so simple to use that you could use it with learners of all ages and don’t need to worry about your own tech skills. To prove how easy it is, here the very first one I made. I made it in a matter of minutes together with my then three-year-old twins the day I got home (tired and brain fried) from the AMT.  I asked them to choose some pictures they liked then copied and pasted them to a PowerPoint presentation. I then showed them each picture, recorded what they said, edited the slide to include the script. Then hit publish. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

Knovio, or any similar program, is a great way for learners to share because:

And the concept is suitable for all ages, for example:

You can find ideas for setting up and using project work here

  1. Teacher as server

Back in my day, we didn’t have mobile phones. We walked 20 miles to school barefoot in the snow and wrote notes to each other on scraps of paper. Okay, only half of that is true.

I love an idea once shared with me that encourages young learners to write and share notes. And not just for the nostalgia. The basic idea is your learners send each other handwritten notes, but it must go through the server (that’s you, the teacher).

Ideas include:

  1. Social media

There are a billion, no, trillion maybe, ways to use social media to share information. Class blogs, Facebook groups, the list goes on. Here are just two ideas.

  1. Take advantage of the IH Network

As a teacher at an IH affiliated school, you have something very special at your fingertips: 160 schools spanning 52 countries! Some schools are already making the most of this with things like the IH postcard project

Here are some other ideas for taking your classroom to the (IH) world.

NOTE: Be sure to be very aware of both safeguarding, e.g. don’t publicly share photos or personal information about your young learners and ensure they are the right age for social media sites, and general sharing principles, e.g. consent, copyright, etc. And hey! This could be a lesson in itself. Teens could create a blog post of tips for sharing information online for other learners to read.

 

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