Children Learning English

Jayne Moon (Series: Macmillan Books for Teachers – Macmillan 2005)
ISBN: 978-1-4050-8002-6

This is a guidebook covering the theory and practice of teaching English to children. It is designed to be of use to those already teaching English to children, to primary school teachers moving into English teaching, or to teachers of secondary/adult learners who will soon be teaching children.

The book is just short of 200 pages, most of which are text-heavy, though balanced somewhat by charts, drawings and pictures of materials. The information is broken up by mini-tasks for the reader, where she is asked to evaluate activities, reflect on her own teaching practice, or come up with ideas for a stage of a lesson.

My reason for taking an interest in this book stems from my first job as a teacher, working with children in Cambodia. I had had no training or guidance on teaching young learners, but did my best and enjoyed the experience. However, looking back, I know that many of my lessons could have been made far more appropriate with the aid of a book like this.
This is a good book for what it does, and for anyone in one of the aforementioned teaching contexts looking for guidance, it provides a wealth of information on how to adapt your approach. If your current teaching context does not involve children, then it may be difficult to find the motivation to read very much of this: it is a little too heavy-going for casual reading.

I hope that one day I have another opportunity to work with young learners, when it will be time to take this book down from the shelf again.
Danny Levis
English for Everyone, Aberdeen