THE AGE FACTOR – TAPPING THE STUDENT’S AGE RELATED POTENTIAL
Yahya Kemal College (MACEDONIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2014 Proceedings
Publication year: 2014
Conference name: 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 10-12 March, 2014
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:This paper is a part of an ongoing research, namely “AN ANALYSIS OF THE EFL LEARNERS IN A MULTICULTURAL ELT ENVIRONMENT: THE CASE OF A PRIVATE SCHOOL IN MACEDONIA”. In this part of my study I tried to answer the question, “What adjustments can be made to the ELT methodology to tap the age related potential of the student?” My premises are; Age is not a decisive biological factor in foreign language learning. But still, it can be a factor in terms of language teaching methodology. Teenagers are at the right age to learn a language since they carry the features of both childhood and adulthood. Language learning is enhanced when we take the character of teenagers into consideration. Following this thought sequence I asked the research question: To what extent is age a factor in ELT in terms of language teaching methodology? To find an answer to the research question, I selected the first semester (September-December) of the academic year 2013-2014. I made various alterations in the English curriculum so that I could address the targeted teenage characteristics (i.e. cognitive, emotional, social and moral) maximally. I planned various activities to promote development in all these four areas such as the detection of literal or figurative meanings in written and visual materials, discussion activities, activities require group-work, social responsibility projects, and activities to promote sense of identity. I observed the students during this period and at the end of the research period I conducted an interview. The results of the interview showed that the students enjoyed and benefited the new curriculum.
Keywords: Critical age, Teenage learner, Age-related potential of the learner.