Teaching English to Non-Native Primary Learners Through Picture Books


Over the past decades language learning as one of the tools to holistically develop students for the ever changing world, particularly with the emphasis on communication has been a key policy in East and Southeast Asia. Throughout the region, English is the major 'foreign' language taught and its inclusion in primary school's curricula is often at the expense of local languages (Coleman 2010; Hadisantosa 2010; Kirkpatrick and Liddicoat 2017). Although Japan is one of the few exceptions to worry the endangerment of the national language; in fact, Japanese has been strongly supported and it is English which is more at the expense. However, Japan is implementing English at primary school in 2020, and this presentation is going to suggest the use of picture books or literature in the newly implemented English classroom with the focus on two merits; concentration and perspective. Young learners have short span of concentration or dedication in doing things; the younger the more so. Aibara and Furuichi (2013) revealed that the average time that year 3 children can concentrate is 13 to 16 minutes depending on the content. In order to enhance their interest leading to learning, picture books fit the timespan. Carefully selected picture books can allure young learners to pay more attention to the contents, leading to the acquisition of not only language skills but also the cultural knowledge. The background culture of the target language will broaden the perspective of the learners, thus the adequacy of using the picture books.

Author Information
Keiko Yamauchi, Kobe Shoin Women's University, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: ACE2017
Stream: Teaching Experiences, Pedagogy, Practice & Praxis

This paper is part of the ACE2017 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon