Thursday, April 8, 2010

How do children learn?

(My notes from Olha Madylus' seminar - TESOL Convention -March 2010)

How do children learn?







Scaffolding / building blocks

Not the same way

Multiple Intelligence Theory – Howard Gardner

Linguistic: likes reading, writing, storytelling, word puzzles

Mathematical: likes reasoning, logic, problem solving, discovering patterns

Visual / spatial: likes reading maps, charts, mazes, imagining things, visualization

Kinesthetic: likes dancing, drama, crafts, songs, moving around

Musical: likes songs, chants, phonology, listening to music

Interpersonal: likes working in groups, projects, sharing, communicating

Intrapersonal: likes working alone, pursuing own interests, reflecting

Naturalist: likes categorizing, ordering, organizing

Key lesson components

· Story (context for TC)

· Characters to identify with

· Multiple intelligence theory in action

· Variety of practice activities

· Creativity

· Hands-on / active learning

· Opportunities to notice grammar naturally

· “can – do” approach

“The most important attitude that can be formed is that of the desire to go on learning”

John Dewey, 1918


· Portfolios

· Praise

· Positivity

· Achievability of tasks

Our Job is to encourage the growth of language by appreciating the learning steps

“We do not have to train children to learn … we have to avoid interfering with it”

Frank Smith, 1978 CUP

Book to remember: John Holt, How Children learn, Penguin 1968

Game: How many words can you find from

“Bread ‘n’Rice” in 28 sec

i.g. nice, brain, are, read, in, dice


Pen, Paper, Friend

A big THANK YOU to Ms Madylus for giving me permission to do this!)

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