In this week’s Industry Voices, Neslihan Yavuzbalkan, an English teacher of young learners, tells us why it’s important for children at this critical age to learn not only English, but other languages too, so they can communicate with people all around the world.
My name is Neslihan Yavuzbalkan and I’m from Manisa in Turkey. I’m an English teacher and also head of department. I teach primary school children between the ages of 7 and 10. We try to teach English with games, songs, videos. The students really enjoy watching the videos and playing games – they get really involved. They like English very much and they can learn better this way I think.
The importance of teaching young people English
When [students] are very young, they have a perfect ability to learn. Because it’s a critical age I think, so it’s really important. They can take in so much. They aren’t afraid of making mistakes. They are honest, they are brave – that’s why I think they like it. [For me], if I’m involved in playing games, of course I enjoy teaching! I love teaching kids. Their learning process is amazing!
Of course [it’s important for their future], what with globalisation. Now it’s just like reading and writing. If my young students can speak English, they can communicate all around the world. In Turkey at the moment English is a really important language, but we also try to give children more languages, for example German, Spanish, Italian, Russian… From kindergarten we try to teach two foreign languages. For the future it will really help them to find a job.
Neslihan chatted with IHWO at the IATEFL conference in Brighton, UK in April 2018.