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Arsinta Wijayanti N./ 14.1.01.08.

0053/ 3-C

UNDERSTANDING THE CONCEPT OF ENGLISH LEARNING FOR YOUNG


LEARNER

Teaching English for Young Learners is aim to provide the teachers with the skills and
knowledge that required to teach English to young learners from the ages of 5 to 11 years.
According to (Scott and Ytreberg: 1990), in this age are the most vital years in a childs
development that all education, including learning foreign language should contribute
positively to that development. Young learners have the special characteristic which make the
teachers must more understanding about the way how to teach, learn and also understand
about the character of them. In this summary, there are three classifications about the
understanding of the concept in learning foreign language for children. They are the
characteristic of young learner, the strategy of understanding the language for young learner
and the theory of second language acquisition (SLA).

First classification is the characteristic of young learners. Young learner has different
characteristic with adult. They have own world; thats why the parent and teacher must
understand what they want. We can see the young learners characteristic from three sides.
First is physical side. In this side, the learner is more dominant in physical activities, because
they are still in growing level; in understanding of what they see, hear and do; because they
have imitator characteristic. Scott and Ytreberg: 1990 state that in this character is include in
five to seven years old that they can tell about what they have done or heard. It has the
relationship with learning language that young leaner like games; the teacher can provide the
activities which involved the physical activities. The language learning can be appropriated
with the age of the learner. The teacher can use the media such as visual and audio-visual
media that can make them easy to understand the language especially English. According to
(Cameron: 2001), even very young children will encounter the language in use on video, TV,
computers and film.

Second classification is about the strategy of understanding the language for young
learner. The learner can understand the meaning in language by gesture, guess of the context
without understanding the single word repetition. The children are not necessary to
understand word by word. So the teacher should help the student to understand meaning by
using our gesture, repetition, and guess the context.
Third classification is about the theory of second language acquisition. There are two
ways we get the language in SLA. According to (Troike: 2006) the scope of SLA includes
informal L2 learning that takes place in naturalistic contexts, formal L2 learning that take
place in classrooms. They are in natural setting and formal learning. In material site; the
natural setting is unstructured while in formal learning is structured. In teacher site as the
person who gives the exposure for the learner that in natural setting, the teacher is parent and
environment (as like neighbor, TV etc), while in formal learning is only a teacher. And in the
frequency site, the time getting the language in natural setting is unlimited time, while in
formal learning is limited (only one hour a week). If we want to make our student success in
learning English till practicing, so the teacher must have a high frequency of time in
practicing English.

In conclusion, there are some important things in learning English for young learner.
That is important for the teacher especially such as understand the characteristic of young
learner, the strategy of understanding the language for young learner, and theory of second
language acquisition.

Reference:

Scott, Wendy A & Ytreberg, Lisabeth H.1990. Teaching English to Children.Longman: New
York

Troike, Muriel S.2006. Introducing Second Language Acquisition.Cambridge University


Press: New York

Cameron, Lynne.2001.Teaching Languages to Young Learners.Cambridge University Press:


New York