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Comparing Selected Modern Methods of Teaching English to Young Learners

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Katarzyna Rokoszewska

The book presents the process of first and second language acquisition in children as well as the main principles of conventional and unconventional approaches and methods implemented in the general education as well as the language education of children. The long-term quantitative study described focused on the comparison of the results obtained by young learners taught English according to the Helen Doron Method in private courses and the results gained by young learners instructed according to the modern eclectic method at public primary school. The results were compared in such language areas and skills as vocabulary, grammar, language chunks, pronunciation, listening skill, speaking skill and a general level of language acquisition.

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Introduction 9

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9INTRODUCTION This monograph is based on the doctoral dissertation devoted to teaching foreign languages to young learners. This area of applied linguistics and methodology has received a substantial amount of attention in recent years. But in fact, the first large-scale initiatives aiming at foreign language learning in primary schools took place in Europe already in 1960s. These included UNESCO con- ferences in 1962 and 1966, the Council of Europe conferences at Reading in 1967, and Girard’s report on successful foreign language learning (FLL) at pri- mary schools presented in 1974. It is vital to add that the year 2001 was desig- nated the European Year of Languages, the main aims being to celebrate the di- versity of languages, to encourage lifelong learning, and to provide information about the teaching and learning of languages. At present, the policy of teaching English to Young Learners (EYL) is a part of a general policy for foreign lan- guage learning included in the document called European Language Portfolio (ELP). The ELP has the following aims: to encourage lifelong learning of dif- ferent languages, to improve one’s learning and the ability to evaluate one’s competence, to document language skills in an internationally comparable way, and to build cultural understanding within Europe. In order to introduce the pol- icy of teaching English to Young Learners (EYL), three conditions should be met. Firstly, the policy should be properly planned by specialists who have a clear idea about intended goals and outcomes. If possible, the policy should be...

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