Published 18th June 2018
Learner training is an aspect of teaching which is often neglected but which is very important. This sounds very disciplinarian but it’s not as scary as it sounds. Learner training refers to developing your students’ awareness of how they learn. If our students are aware of how they learn best, they will be better learners. This is because they will be equipped to continue their learning journey independently, outside the classroom.
What is learner training?
Learner training aims to develop our learners into effective, independent learners. This is done by understanding learning styles and strategies. For teachers, it involves guiding our learners to take responsibility for their own learning. It means giving our learners the tools they need to learn effectively and independently.
Learner training and Young Learners
It may seem like a crazy idea to try to incorporate learner training into your lessons with Young Learners. After all, they are Young Learners. They don’t have the same capacity to consider their learning as older learners do. However, learner training has been found to be effective in learners as young as five years old. It is especially effective with teens. Introducing learner training to such young learners makes the process natural and automatic, which stands them in good stead for their learning journey.
How to incorporate learner training with Young Learners
There are a few different ways we can introduce learner training with our Young Learners.
- Set goals
Get your learners to set their own goals. These can be as simple as I will keep my vocabulary notebook neat or I will look up a new word in the dictionary every day. Or they can be much more complex, but this all depends on the learner.
- Discuss lesson aims
For each lesson, make sure your learners are aware of the lesson aims at the start of the lesson. Write the lesson aims on the board and identify the reasoning behind the aims too.
- Identify their learning styles
Help your learners figure out the best way they learn. They might learn best by taking notes, drawing pictures or singing songs.
Turn the classroom upside down by giving your students more responsibility at home. Let them tackle the challenging part of the lesson at home and use your lesson to deal with any difficulties.
- Keep track of learning
Help your learners keep track of their learning. Let them note down the mistakes they often make and what they have learnt. At the end of the week or the term, let them look back and see how much they can do that they couldn’t do before. With Young Learners this can be done easily with can do statements.
Learner training is an important part of the classroom. Teachers can use learner training strategies to equip their learners to be the best learners they can be.