Young Learners Get Benefit of Computers [Archives:1998/30/Culture]

July 27 1998

In a ceremony held at the British Council on the morning of Wednesday, July 22, 87 young learners received their certificates after successfully completing a 5-week course of computer-assisted multi-media language learning. The children learned for 1 and a half hours everyday, 5 days a week. There will be another course in August.
Mrs. Heather Henderson, wife of the British Ambassador to Yemen, was at hand to give the delighted children their certificates. Students studied at 3 levels: Alphabet recognition and writing, primary, and secondary.
Ms. Coralyn Bradshaw, acting teaching center manager at the British Council, had this to say about the course and the students: “The Young Learners Center was opened in the Summer of 1996. For the first time, we have incorporated into the courses programs from the mass media center which was opened recently.
“The multi-media center comprises nine computers, so we have 2 students at a time at each computer. The necessary software was purchased, which is specially designed for teaching English for young learners, aged between 6-16. So this means anything from just learning the alphabet to those who are able to handle quite complex things.
“This is not a multi-media computer course, it is an additional feature which we use to motivate the young learners to learn. We know children love computer games, so the language programs are like games. Children learn while they’re enjoying the language games.
“We use all aspects of teaching; videos, language games, quizzes and puzzles. So we do not teach only through computers, because this would not be appropriate. This is an additional aid, but a very important feature of the British Council of which we’re very proud. I think that we’re the only school in Yemen to have such a good multi-media service.
“The children are generally very motivated and interested in these aspects. I believe it’s the way they are being taught. We use modern methodology, not traditional teaching methods. We involve the students actively.
“We will be constantly updating our computer software, which we get directly from the UK. Our teachers regularly go on training sessions in the area of teaching children which is very specialized, it is completely different from teaching adults.
“Our teachers here really enjoy teaching our young learners, and I think we have achieved an excellent result. One of our aims is to cultivate the love of learning English. That’s why we try to make it more enjoyable so that when they go back to school they take with them an enthusiasm to learn English in their normal school.”
Anwar Al-Sayyadi,
Yemen Times