In this session participants will have the opportunity to learn about sites created for children learning English and implementing them in our ESL classes in the primary schools.

Traditional second or foreign language lessons for children in Europe focus mainly on language. Pupils use textbooks and the amount of time is often limited. Why not to use a tool that is already available at any time of the day and place in the world.

The kids learning videos are very encouraging and appealing to our younger learners, taking them on a journey with technology, colour, sound, towards learning new language, culture and subject skills. Sites can be used in class but also some tasks can be set as homework or given to students who were absent or simply wanted to do a little bit of revision at home, or simply wanting to do it for fun at home again.

In this session, I would like to share my experience and knowledge on using the learning videos for kids, by sharing the sites and ideas on using them with my audience.

This session will be 60 minutes long. It will be divided into three parts, an introductory part regarding the possibilities that learning videos for kids offer. Part two, also the longest, where we’re going to look a few examples of such learning videos and discuss their possibilities in terms of teaching an ESL class in the primary school. I would like to present my ideas and also listen to the ideas of the participants. The last part, the summary, would involve teachers in some discussion and sharing. All of the sites / links used in this session are available online, ready to be used immediately with children, so I believe that this will be of great value to those who come looking for some new ideas for their learners.

part one

Scientists of the RUB department for Neurophysiology have proven that we don’t need to actively explore new environments in order to learn but that passively watching new information on a computer screen leads to the same sustained changes in the strengths of nerve cell connections in the brain.

Prof. Dr. Denise Manahan-Vaughan points out that these findings are essential to understand how digital learning competes with learning in a physical environment, e.g. the classroom, in the brain of the students.

On the one hand, the research can be the basis for new strategies in the classroom, on the other hand, it also explains the observations of teachers that each new generation of school children seems to have increasingly shorter attention spans.

According to Manahan-Vaughan children are using an increasing amount of digital media throughout the day. If the findings in the experiment are correct, the information that children learn by playing games or watching videos is simply competing with the information they received and learned during class.

However, students need to bring up mental effort in order to learn, just passively watching the right information does not seem to work.

by Kirsten Winkler, 2011

The Kids' Learning Videos may be used:
- for a certain variety of language teaching and learning
- in class
- as homework
- for revision

- learners listen to different accents 
- watch interesting characters / people from different countries
- learn about other cultures
- learn about the world in an interesting and appealing to them way, where language input is provided in a supportive visual context
- classroom management problems are greatly reduced.
- the main advantage is that children don't even realize they are learning English and they enjoy it.

Possible drawbacks?
- children may watch various videos in L2 and understand what is happening yet be unable to reproduce the language they hear.
However, this use of video supports language acquisition.

What should be considered?
- is the material authentic?
- is the material didactic?
- is the content interesting?
- do the children have access to the video material?