Selasa, 05 Januari 2010

Teaching English for Young Learners (How to Use Flash Card)

Teaching English for Young Learners

(How to Use Flash Card)



A. Intoduction

Teaching a foreign language can be most enjoyable and relaxing. Yet, most learners feel that an appropriate lesson consists of traditional tasks with lots of writing and reading, listening to the teacher and speaking with the fellow partners in class during activities. When a lesson consists of a game, then it is not a lesson in the eyes of the young learners and, therefore, it is greatly appreciated. Still, it is such a lesson that gives the teacher the opportunity to help the learners acquire new forms and lexis in the easiest and most effective way. It does not have to be a complicated game with a board, cards and dice. What is simple is usually more effective with the young learners who find it difficult to understand a long list of rules. Very often a teacher finds activities in course books that can easily be turned into a game. This game was based on a similar table in the course book for Primary School, used as a drilling activity. By turning it into a game, it becomes far more exciting and challenging.

There are many media is use in teaching learning process. Usually media is use in teching english to young learners because use it the teaching learning process will more easily.Young learners will be interesting and enjoyable in class room. For example Realia. realia is various kind of visual media which can be efectively use by EFL and EYL. Realia is a term used in library science and education to refer to certain real-life objects.

On the one hand, interest in foreign language education for children is spreading rapidly throughout Europe. There is a recognizable trend towards lowering the starting age to Grade 1. On the other hand, a lot of secondary teachers still seem to be quite skeptical as to the benefits of such primary programs.



A. Some Considerations For Teachers Before Beginning To Teach Young Learners With Flash Card

  1. Definitions of Flash Card

Flash cards is the tool I always use with learners of any age group, and there is a great deal of activities and games a teacher can use flash cards in. For revising vocabulary, for example, I split students into 2 teams which stand in a row, I show a flash card with an object. The first learner who names the object correctly gets a flash card. At the end of the game the team with the most flash cards wins.

  1. Using flash cards with young learners

Flash cards are a simple, versatile, yet often underexploited resource. I would like to offer some reasons for using flash cards and a selection of activities for use in the Young Learner classroom, although some of the activities could also be used with fun-loving, lower level adult classes.

In this article there is one example for each type of activity. If you follow this link - Flash card activities - you will find more examples for each type of activity.

* Why use flash cards?

* Where to get flash cards?

* Activity types for using flash cards

* Memory activities

* Drilling activities

* Identification activities

* TPR activities

  1. Why use flash cards?

Howard Gardner's multiple intelligence theory reminds teachers that there are many types of learners within any one class. Gardner's research indicates that teachers should aim to appeal to all the different learner types at some point during the course. It is particularly important to appeal to visual learners, as a very high proportion of learners have this type of intelligence. Flash cards can be bright and colourful and make a real impact on visual learners. Many of the activities outlined below will also appeal to kinaesthetic learners.

For children at reading age, flash cards can be used in conjunction with word cards. These are simply cards that display the written word. Word cards should be introduced well after the pictorial cards so as not to interfere with correct pronunciation.

Flash cards are a really handy resource to have and can be useful at every stage of the class. They are a great way to present, practise and recycle vocabulary and when students become familiar with the activities used in class, they can be given out to early-finishers to use in small groups. I sometimes get the students to make their own sets of mini flash cards that can be taken home for them to play with, with parents and siblings.

  1. Where to get flash cards?

· Buy them - Some course books provide a supplementary pack of flash cards or they can be bought in sets.

· Make them yourself - If you don't have access to professionally produced flash cards, don't worry, it's really easy to make your own even if you're not very artistic. You can use pictures from magazines, draw simple pictures or copy from the internet or clip art. The most important thing is to make sure they are all of the same size, on card (different colours for different sets) so you can't see through them. If possible you can laminate the sets as you make them and they will last for years. The advantage of making your own, apart from the fact that they're cheap and yours to keep, is that you can make sets for your specific needs. You may like to make a set to use in conjunction with a story book or graded reader, or even to accompany project work.

· Students make them - I have recently begun to incorporate the production of flash cards into the classroom. After introducing a new lexical set, using realia or the course book, ask students to produce the flash cards for you. Give each one an item to draw. They can be mounted on card to make the set.

Activities for using flash cards I have divided the activities into the following categories: Memory, drilling, identification and TPR activities.

In this article there is an example for each type of activity. If you follow this link - Flash card activities - you will find more examples for each type of activity.

  1. Memory Activities

o Memory Tester

o Place a selection of flash cards on the floor in a circle.

o Students have one minute to memorise the cards.

o In groups, they have two minutes to write as many of the names as they can remember.

  1. Drilling Activities

o Invisible Flash cards

o Stick 9 flash cards on the board and draw a grid around them.

o Use a pen or a pointer to drill the 9 words. Always point to the flash card you are drilling.

o Gradually remove the flash cards but continue to drill and point to the grid where the flash card was.

o When the first card is removed and you point to the blank space, nod your head to encourage children to say the word of the removed flash card.

o Students should remember and continue as if the flash cards were still there. They seem to be amazed that they can remember the pictures.

o Depending on the age group I then put the flash cards back in the right place on the grid, asking the children where they go, or I ask students to come up and write the word in the correct place on the grid.

This activity highlights the impact of visual aids. It really proves that the images 'stick' in students' minds.

  1. Identification Activities

o Reveal the word

o Cover the flash card or word card with a piece of card and slowly reveal it.

o Students guess which one it is.

o Once the card is shown, chorally drill the word with the group using different intonation and silly voices to keep it fun. Vary the volume too, whisper and shout the words. Children will automatically copy your voice.

o Alternatively, flip the card over very quickly so the children just get a quick glimpse.

o Repeat until they have guessed the word.

  1. TPR activities

o Point or race to the flash cards

o Stick flash cards around the class.

o Say one of them and students point or race to it.

o Students can then give the instructions to classmates.

o You can extend this by saying "hop to the cat" or even "if you have blonde hair, swim to the fish" etc.

o You can also incorporate flash cards into a game of Simon Says. "Simon says, jump to the T-shirt" etc.

B. Target and Games to Young Learners

Greetings and Warm-up: Greet the class with a good-morning or good-afternoon depending on the day. Have the class stand up and respond to your greeting and do the warm-up. Ask the students, “Do you want to sing a song?” Usually, they’ll nod and begin to twitch and move their bodies. Some will respond with a yes. Songs I teach young learners include the “Eensy Weensy Spider”, “Head & Shoulders, Knees & Toes”, “The Alphabet Song”, “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”, “Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush,” “Ring Around The Rosey”, and “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”.

After the warm-up, sit the students down. Introduce the new vocabulary using flashcards. Show the flashcard or place them on the blackboard. Point to the flashcard and say happy. Have the students repeat after you. Do this a few times for all the new vocabulary. I’ll also act out the emotions using facial and body expressions. The children seem to enjoy it.

Model the dialogue with a puppet. I use a Panda puppet to help me do this. Place the flashcards on the blackboard. Take Panda out of a special bag. Say “Hello Panda” and then introduce him to the class. Ask Panda “How are you?” while pointing to the happy flashcard. Panda’s answers: “I’m happy.” Do this for all the flashcards and repeat the process a couple of times. Make a mistake or two along the way. Point to the mad flashcard. Have Panda say, “I’m hungry.” then turn to the students, and have them tell Panda the correct answer.

Divide the class into 2 groups. One group asks the question “How are you?” And the other group answers, “I’m (adjective) depending on the flashcard shown. Run between the two groups. Better still, if you have a helper or if the homeroom teacher is present, ask them to help you. Alternate the dialogue between the two groups a few times until they get the hang of the dialogue.

Activity: Sit the students in a circle. Hold up a flashcard (happy) and point to it and say, “I’m happy.” Then hold up a ball and say, “How are you?” Demo with several students. Give the ball to one student and the flashcard to another student. Have them stand up. Get them to practice the dialogue. Do this several times with several different students until they get a feel as to what they are suppose to do. If the students are very timid or shy, have two students stand up and do each part of the dialogue. So, two students say, “How are you?” And the other two students say, “I’m happy.” Play the music and get the students to pass the ball and flashcard around the circle, both going in opposite directions. Stop the music. The two students holding the ball and the flashcard stand up and do the dialogue.

If I there’s a Chinese or Japanese teacher or helper in the class, I’ll play the “How are you?” game. Divide the class into two equal groups, teams A and B. If there’s one team with an extra member, have one student play twice. Line up the two teams in two single straight lines. Demo the game with a few students. Team A students go to Team A teacher and Team B students go to Team B teacher and is asked the question “How are you?” while being shown a flashcard. The respective student responds. They then go to the end of the line and the next student advances. When ready, start the game by shouting out go and encourage the students to advance to the front. Show your student a flashcard and ask him/her “How are you?” S/he answers, “I’m happy.” They then go to the end of the line and the next student advances. The first team to get through the questions wins. As a reward, the winning team gets a round of applause.

To wrap up the class, have the students do a drawing activity. Hand out pieces of blank paper. Have the students watch you draw a happy face. Place the flashcards on the board and ask the students to pick one and draw it on their piece of paper.

Go around the classroom and ask the students, “How are you?” while pointing to their piece of paper.

If there’s time remaining, teach them a new song or sing again the song you did in the warm-up.

End the class with a good-bye and say, “That’s all for today. See you next time.”


Monster Fashion Show: Clothes Vocabulary Flashcards

Monsters wearing leather jackets, polka dot pajamas and plain, blue T-shirts: The clothes cards are a fun way to introduce clothes items vocabulary and adjectives that collocate well with clothes items (such as leather, striped, or purple).

These cards can be used at two levels. One is simply to introduce the clothes item such as jacket or boots. The other is to introduce the clothes item along with some words that might possibly describe it such as leather jacket or striped suit.

Fish is a good game to play with these cards:

A: Are you wearing a silk blouse?

B: Yes, I am. (No, I'm not. Go fish.)

Amounts and Containers Flashcards

Quite often when we talk about foods, we talk about specific amounts of foods. This is also helps turn uncountable nouns into countable nouns by quantifying them. This set of flashcards covers the different ways that we quantify foods.These cards also cover about forty different food items.

Some terms covered are:

cup of tea

bottle of ketchup

plate of cookies

handful of peanuts

spoonful of medicine

jar of jam

bucket of chicken

pot of coffee

bowl of soup

You can use the game Fish or memory to practice this game. Fish goes likes this:

A: Do you have a cup of tea?

B: Yes, I do.

(Or No, I don't. Go fish. A takes a card from the deck)

If the answer was yes, B gives the card to A and A gets a point.

This set of flashcards covers the names of the oceans and continents. As well, the cards can be used to review present perfect and simple past tenses..

Some phrases covered are:

The Pacific Ocean, The Atlantic Ocean, The Arctic Ocean, The Southern Ocean, The Indian Ocean, Europe, Asia, Eurasia, North America, South America, Australia, Antarctica

1. How many continents are there?

That depends on where you teach. Europeans for example view North and South America as one continent. Others view Europe and Asia as one continent because it is one landmass. Many schools in North America still teach 7 continents, which has some merit based on historical divisions. We have included Asia cards, Europe cards and Eurasia cards so you can choose what you are going to teach. We haven't included a combined America card however.

2. How many oceans are there?

As a kid I learned four oceans, the Pacific, the Atlantic, the Indian, and the Arctic. However, the waters around Antarctica have recently been awarded ocean status as they constitute their own current and other conditions. Since the year 2000, these waters have been called the Southern Ocean. Also, there is some debate about the status of the Arctic ocean as an ocean. Some oceanographers consider it to be a sea, a mediterranean sea in fact. At present, it is still afforded ocean status.

3. Game for practising this vocabulary:

A good game for practicing this vocabulary is fish. Just make two copies of each card and paste them onto some poster board and then cut them out. For ESL teachers, it can also be used to review the present perfect tense and the past tense:

A: Have you been to the Indian Ocean?

B: Yes, I have. (Or: No, I haven't. Go fish.)

If the answer was 'Yes, I have.':

A: Did you see a lionfish?

B: Yes, I did. (Or: No, I didn't. Go fish).



A. Conclusion

Through these flash cards, learn be quickly about the names of objects, colors, letters, and so on. Besides being used as material for the introduction of objects, flash cards can also be used for materials tell. The story could have come from us (parents) or children are told about the pictures he saw.

Although we did not set targets on the ability, flash cards proved to be extremely useful. Besides enjoy, within a very short procedure knowledge is growing fast.


Cameron, L. (2001). Teaching Languages to Young Learners. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Nunan, D. (1999). Second language teaching and learning. Boston: Heinle and Heinle.

Tomlinson, B. (2003). Introduction. In B. Tomlinson (Ed.). Developing Materials for Language Teaching (pp. 1-11).London: Continuum.

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