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How to help your child learn English with YouTube videos Tracey Chapelton, education consultant and materials writer, has some advice for parents of young English learners, whose home language might not be English. To learn a language we need a lot of exposure to it. YouTube is beneficial if you are not a fluent English speaker, and want a more fluent model of English for your child. Helped along by the visuals of their favourite cartoon, children can watch their favourite characters involved in adventures, while absorbing the language. How to teach children English using illustrated storybooks What makes illustrated storybooks such a good resource for teaching young learners of English? The British Council’s Gail Ellis, co-author of a storytelling handbook for primary English language teachers, explains. Listen to an interview with Gail in our podcast and register for her webinar taking place on Thursday, 2 October.

Practical tips By Opal Dunn, educational consultant and author Introduction Young children learn English differently from most adults. The Art of Control Executive function — our ability to remember and use what we know, defeat our unproductive impulses, and switch gears and adjust to new demands — is increasingly understood as a key element not just of learning but of lifelong success. Researchers at the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University describe executive function as an air traffic control system for the mind — helping us manage streams of information, revise plans, stay organized, filter out distractions, cope with stress, and make healthy decisions. Children learn these skills first from their parents, through reliable routines, meaningful and responsive interactions, and play that focuses attention and stirs the beginnings of self-control. But when home is not stable, or in situations of neglect or abuse, executive function skills may be impaired, or may not develop at all, limiting a child’s success in elementary school and later life. Imaginary Play

Whole Child Development Is Undervalued The question is how to make such an approach both systemic and sustainable. Whole Person Socio-emotional, physical, creative, and cognitive capacities are deeply intertwined and equally important in ensuring a child's wellbeing, learning, and growth. How Are Happiness and Learning Connected? As teachers, we also know that when students' affective filters or defenses are sky high, fight or flight responses will be modus operandi. A room full of defensive behaviors (withdrawn, angry) is a sad, unproductive place to teach and learn. Now let's flip it and take a look at how much more we are able to learn when we are in harmony with the people and things in any given educational environment. Being in harmony means feeling safe, feeling valued and a necessary part a group, and in this case, a learning community. Hearts and Minds in Sync

What to consider when teaching English in large classes How many students do you teach? Do you feel that your classes are too big? Author and education consultant Jason Anderson looks at the issues and offers some potential solutions. The Brain-Changing Power of Conversation The Science Researchers used highly faithful audio recorders — a system called Language Environment Analysis (known as LENA) — to capture every word spoken or heard by 36 4–6 year olds from various socioeconomic backgrounds over two full days. The recordings were analyzed to measure the number of words spoken by each child, the number of words spoken to each child, and the number of conversational turns — back-and-forth exchanges initiated by either adult or child. Comparing those measurements with brain scans of the individual children, the analysis found that differences in the number of conversational turns accounted for differences in brain physiology, as well as for differences in language skills including vocabulary, grammar, and verbal reasoning. Read the MIT News story for a fuller summary of the research. The Takeaways

Being Multilingual: You speak with an accent. I don’t. Accents are things that only other people have. They are, by extension, things that you don’t want to have. Accents are, in short, shortcomings. Key Person & Attachment - Early Years Matters The Key Person Children thrive from a base of loving and secure relationships. This is normally provided by a child’s parents but it can also be provided by a key person. Guiding Principles for Use of Technology with Early Learners The thoughtful use of technology by parents and early educators can engage children in key skills such as play, self-expression, and computational thinking which will support later success across all academic disciplines and help maintain young children’s natural curiosity. The Departments recognize that families and early educators have many different options for using technology with early learners. The Departments believe that guidance needs to reflect the reality that families and early educators have access to apps, digital books, games, video chatting software, and a multitude of other interactive technologies that can be used with young children. Even as new technologies emerge, the Departments believe that these principles apply, though guidance may evolve as more research on this topic is published. The Departments’ four guiding principles for use of technology with early learners are as follows:

MIT Brain Study: Back-And-Forth Talk Key To Developing Kids' Verbal Skills New MIT research finds that for children's brain development, parents don't just need to talk to their kids — it's important to talk with them, in back-and-forth exchanges. "What we found is, the more often parents engaged in back-and-forth conversation with their child, the stronger was the brain response in the front of the brain to language," said cognitive neuroscience professor John Gabrieli. Story continues below Most Viewed Stories

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