Activities in Teaching English for Young Learner

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TEYL activities

Suyanto (2007) states “the students are fun to study the new things by learning, by watching, by singing, by playing, by imitating”. The activities that the students like are singing, playing, and doing fun. There are some strategies that can be used in teaching English for young learners. They are:

Songs are the words that are tied together with are sung with a certain rhythm and intonation. By singing a song, the teacher invites the students to do the activity which has the connection with daily life. Song is created to teach vocabulary, phrase or certain sentence pattern, so the teacher needs to choose and decide the song that is appropriate with the needs and purpose of learning which has to reach.

As the researcher has explained above that the young learners are often bored when they are learning the language especially in learning vocabulary. It will be enjoyable learning if the teachers use varieties of methods or activities in teaching vocabulary such as games. According to Jones, 1986 (Jones in Teaching English to Children) game is played based on the rules that are set. Games are one of interesting methods or activities that can be used to teach especially in teaching young learners. In this case, games help the students to learn vocabulary effectively. They will not be bored and will acquire the lessons easily.

Besides songs and games, another activity for the young learners is fun. Fun is an activity that can make happy when it is applied. We can enjoy the time happily while doing activity. Fun can be scrambled word, short poem, or positive expression for other people.
According to Pita Yuniasih ( 2012) in teaching activity the teacher needs to prepare and notice the purpose, strategy, contain, or matter and the evaluation or assessment. To teach English, it needs the ways or techniques which are practice, have variation, and interesting.

Listen and Repeat
Listen and repeat technique can be used in learning of listening, speaking, and reading. In this technique, teacher says it one more and the students have to repeat what the teacher says. The activity of listening and repeating can be started by asking the students to repeat the word and then repeat the phrase, and continue on a simple sentence. In reading activity, the teacher can use the text of simple story. When the teacher reads the text at the first time, the students should not see the text in order to focus on listening. This technique also can be applied in every element of language and activity. It is better for pronunciation drill in order that the students are used to pronounce English words. Listen and repeat activity can be completed with the instrument like flashcard to introduce the new words.

Listen and Do
In this technique, the teacher says expression or command and the students listens the teachers’ speech carefully, and then the students do what the teacher says. This activity is the application of a method in teaching language, which is TPR (Total Physical Response). The teacher trains the students to understand the command and the students show their understanding by doing what the teacher says.

Question and Answer
Technique of question and answer is very famous technique in every class. In daily activity, asking the question is the activity which can do whenever and people who ask waiting for the answer. In the first level, the activity that the teacher can do is asking and giving the example of the answer. Then, the students repeat it, and the teacher asks again and the students have to answer by themselves. This technique can be applied in listening and speaking. Before answering the question, the students must listen and understand the question well. In this technique, it can be applied the structure of certain sentence, for example: interrogative sentence with the vocabulary which is known by the students.

In applying this technique, the teacher erases a part of sentence and asks the student to substitute with other word which is similar. This technique can be applied in listening, speaking, additional vocabulary and grammar. To apply this technique, the teacher can use flashcards, flip cards, poster, or concrete thing (realia). One of attractive techniques is using expression “Let’s …” which is inviting the students to do something. This can kick the basic principal English Learning “Learning by Doing” (Scott and Ytreberg, 1990). Besides that, the students are fun to study the new things by “learning by watching, by singing, by lying, by imitating” (Suyanto, 2000).

Draw and Color 
For the beginner, Kindergarten or the first grade of Elementary school, the activity can be added by drawing and coloring after they know some words, things, and colors. The picture which is given can be agreed with the context or real world.

Listen and Identify
Teacher can train the students with two different sounds which are almost the same by giving interesting way, for example: by giving “minimal pairs” for vowel and certain consonant sound. In learning English, training of identifying the sound is very important since a little different speech can be different meaning.

See Differences
This technique is for training the students to do observation to find the similarity and the difference between two things or pictures. This activity is used to train the carefulness and it is fun activity for the lower level students of elementary school. Then, to prove the result of the task, the students are asked for writing the thing that they find. This activity should be applied in pair or a small group and the students can help each other.

In- Pair
The activity that is executed by the students in pair, it can train interaction between students and communicate one to another. This activity will support the students to interact and study to respect other’s opinion. In this activity, the students have to train until they are really ready to interact and communicate about something. This in-pair activity can be the activity of “question – answer”, complete the sentences or answering a problem.

Group Discussion
Group discussion is for training the students to respect to their friends each other, study listening to others’ opinion and propose the opinion to the group. Topic and propose in this learning activity must be clear. The instruction also must clear and it has responsibility that must be got from the students by giving the result of the group discussion. The result of discussion will be presented in front of the class in order that they can share with other members of discussion. It must be remembered that group discussion always comes from the problem solving. Teacher gives the problem to the group to be discussed and solved to get the solution. Teacher needs to give the guidance and notices the students’ participation well.

Cooperative Learning
A child as social creature, he or she grows in intellectual and social life in around his or her. Child can study from his friend through Cooperative Learning. There are some elements in Cooperative Learning, they are: (1) it will make positive dependence each other. (2) It will interact and face to face each other. (3) It will make communication between the member and individual. (4) It will make responsibility as the member or individual. (5) It will make group evaluation process. (6) It will make information gap that make child study from he does not know till he knows.

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