Teaching English to Young Learners

Authored by: David Nunan

Handbook of Research in Second Language Teaching and Learning

Print publication date:  December  2016
Online publication date:  November  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138859814
eBook ISBN: 9781315716893
Adobe ISBN: 9781317508366


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The purpose of this chapter is to provide an overview of current theoretical approaches and empirical research into the teaching of English as a second or foreign language to young learners. The first challenge in addressing this topic is defining young learners. I do this in the first substantive section of the chapter following this introduction and overview before turning to an issue that has preoccupied researchers for many years, that of the relationship between chronological age and acquisition (Singleton, 1989). This is followed by a discussion of social contexts within which young learners acquire and use English as an additional language. Individual learner variables form the substance of the next section. In the final section, I review research that addresses issues of pedagogy.

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