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(2009-12-03 10:21:12)






(1)NR: How long have you been involved in the teaching of English to children?

HP: Well, I started to teach English to lower secondary school children in Austria in the early 70's, so it's 30 years or so.

(2)NR: That's right, you're Austrian, of course. So, when did you start to learn English?

HP: Oh! That's quite some time ago! I learned English as a child at school.
哦!那是很长时间以前的事了。 我很小的时候就在学校开始学英语了。

(3)NR: So what do you think have been the major changes since then?

HP: It's changed a lot, fortunately! At that time it was basically grammar and vocabulary. The standard exercises were just devoid of any meaning, basically. These days the focus of teaching in a good young learners classroom is on meaning. It's stories, activities based on information gaps, so children learn from the very beginning to communicate in the language they're learning.
值得庆幸的是现在已经发生了很大的变化。 那时候主要是语法和词汇。那些标准练习并没有任何意义。现在针对低龄学习者的比较好的教学方式是建立在"有意义"的基础上的。主要是故事和建立在信息间距基础上的活动等, 所以儿童从小就学习用他们正在学习的语言进行交流。

(4)NR: What are some of the key principles which promote effective and enjoyable learning in young children?

HP: Well, for young learners one principle is definitely fun. Young learners learn the language indirectly. They are interested in stories and if the story is good, they want to understand it and in this way they're training their receptive skills. If you're doing a song with them, and they love songs, they will be singing and chanting along enthusiastically and obviously training their pronunciation. The teacher does a guessing game with them, has given them a certain structure which they use over and over again and they want to find out the solution to the game. That's why both the content of what they're learning and the process of how the teacher is teaching them are so important.
对低龄学习者来说,一个最重要的原则当然是"快乐"。 低龄学习者是间接来学习语言的。 他们对故事很感兴趣,如果一个故事非常有趣,那么他们就试图理解它,这样就训练了他们的理解能力。如果你教他们唱歌,他们也很喜欢唱歌,那么他们就会非常有激情地一起唱,很显然这就训练了他们的发音。教师和他们玩猜谜游戏并给他们一个特定的结构让他们不断地运用, 那么他们就很想找出猜谜游戏的答案。这就是为什么他们所学的内容和教师所教的过程都是很重要的。

(5)NR: How can teachers motivate children in the classroom?

HP: I think the challenge with children is not so much how you initially motivate them, because children have a high level of motivation in everything that is new. The real challenge is how to sustain that motivation and make more out of it. Motivation, seen from a psychological point of view, has to do with beliefs, with the children gradually developing an understanding of why they're doing things and what's in it for them, and developing an awareness of what they're able to do in the foreign language.

(6)NR: Do children learn English more effectively if the language learning takes place as part of their overall development, that is intellectual, social, and emotional?如果语言学习成为孩子们全面发展的一部分,即智力,社会性及情感,那么他们是否能够很有效地学习英语呢?
HP: Yes, they do and I strongly believe that it is possible to help develop the child's cognitive skills at the same time they are learning a foreign language. This is very much based on Howard Gardner's concept of Multiple Intelligences. Gardner and his team claim that intelligence is not one unitary kind of skill. It's a wide range of different cognitive capabilities, eight or nine different intelligences. What he convincingly states is that it's not that we are born with a certain IQ which decides our success or failure in life. We can actually develop our intelligences and as teachers of young learners we have a responsibility to help them to develop their cognitive skills.
是的。 我非常相信在孩子们学习外语的同时也能够培养他们的认知技能。这是基于霍华德 加德纳的多元智力理念。加德纳和他的研究小组成员强调智力不仅仅是一种单一的技能,而是一系列不同的认知能力,有八到九种智力。加德纳令人信服地说明,我们不是生来就具有某种智商以决定我们一生的成功或失败。实际上我们是能够发展我们的智力的,作为低龄学习者的教师,我们有责任帮助他们发展他们的认知技能。

(7)NR: What does that mean then in practical terms in the classroom?

HP: Well, a teacher might say, "I've always used songs in my classroom to foster musical intelligence, pictures for visual intelligence etc." What I mean is something a bit different here. First of all, you might think you have children in the class who are not very intelligent and in fact they might be very intelligent in other intelligence areas. So by using exercises that motivate different intelligences, not only the linguistic intelligence, but also the visual, interpersonal, intrapersonal, kinaesthetic, musical etc., the chances are those learners will feel more addressed, more motivated and will learn better because they see a way into the foreign language.
The other thing is that I believe there are certain activities we can use in each of the different intelligence areas that can actually be used to help learners to develop skills that maybe are not that well developed yet. So, for example, the visual skill. One sub-skill is the ability to be able to focus on pictures. If we give learners discovery pictures that you can use for all kinds of language purposes, and at the same time focus their attention and concentration, this is important for two reasons. First of all there are studies that show that children's concentration span seems to be becoming shorter - this has a lot to do with the fact that our children live in a world of visual overload and fast-moving pictures have a certain effect on their concentration span. So, if you give them an activity like a picture with a number of animals hidden and half hidden and ask, "How many lions, snakes etc. are there?", from the language teaching point of view it's plural nouns plus revision of animal vocabulary and numbers. From the point of view of developing their visual intelligence, it's all about helping them to focus their attention, which is a cognitive skill that forms the foundation for a number of other more sophisticated cognitive skills.
另外,我认为我们在每一种智力领域中运用的一些活动能够帮助一些学习者发展他们可能还没有得到很好发展的智力。拿视觉智力来说,一种亚技能就是能够将注意力集中在图画上。如果我们让学习者做找图画的活动,这个学习语言活动可以达到多种目的, 同时集中他们的注意力。 这是非常重要的,原因有两点,首先,有研究表明孩子们的注意力变得越来越短了,这在很大程度上是因为我们的孩子生活在一个视觉超载的世界中,快速变化的图画对他们的注意力有一定的影响。所以,如果你让他们做一个活动,如在一幅图画中有一些隐藏或半隐藏的动物,你问,"有多少只狮子,多少条蛇",等等。从语言教学的角度来讲,这个活动包括了复数名词及动物和数字的复习。 从发展视觉智力的角度来讲,这个活动就是帮助学习者集中他们的注意力,这是一种能够为其他一些辨析性的认知技能打下基础的认知技能。

(8)NR: In what ways should the classroom for children be different? How can the teacher make it a "magic" place for kids and stimulate creativity?
怎样才能使孩子们的教室与众不同? 教师怎样才能使孩子们的教室成为一个"魔术舞台"并刺激他们的创造性?

HP: The child lives in a world where the line between make-believe and reality is a very blurred line, which is great, because we can get them to completely identify with what they're doing. So when you use a puppet, a glove puppet, they know it's a puppet and yet at the same time for them it's alive! We can do all sorts of role-play activities where learners really identify with the foreign language and almost develop a kind of foreign language identity. Something we have done with the new course Playway to English , from Cambridge University Press, for example, is musical plays, acted out by children in England on stage, so students can just watch it on video, or they can, of course, do a project themselves and act it out, which is the idea, and which is extremely motivating. They can produce a real project with costumes, props, and teachers using this say it's fascinating how enthusiastic children become and how well they learn the language.
孩子们生活在一个现实与虚幻界限很模糊的世界中,这很好, 因为我们能够使他们和他们所做的完全融为一体。所以当你使用手指偶时,他们知道那是个木偶,但同时对他们来说那也是有生命的!我们可以做很多种角色表演的活动,在活动中孩子们真正地融入到外语中了。例如,我们在教剑桥大学出版社最新出版的教材PLAYWAY TO ENGLISH时,我们教音乐剧,这些音乐剧是由英国儿童在舞台上表演的,所以学生可以观看录象或者他们自己排练然后表演,这更能发挥他们的能动性。 他们也可以利用服装,道具等来表演。教过音乐剧的教师们都说孩子们变得更有热情了,他们的语言学得更好了。

(9)NR: You travel all over the world training teachers. What kinds of cultural differences and the influence of these on teachers, have you observed?

HP: Well, if you go to the Southern Hemisphere you don't need to worry about teachers not being ready to try things out. Teachers in Brazil, for example, are very spontaneous and open. They want to try things out, and if they believe something is good, they're willing to change what they're doing. This is not the case everywhere in the world. There are some countries where teachers tend to be more reserved and would not act as readily and spontaneously in a workshop as teachers here in Brazil.
如果你去南半球,你不必担心教师们不会尝试新的事物。 例如,巴西的教师就非常有自主性和开放性。 他们很想尝试新鲜事物,如果他们认为是好的,那么他们就很愿意去改变正在做的。 这在世界各地是不同的。在有些国家,教师们更倾向于保守并不愿意象巴西的教师一样表现得更加开放和自主。

(10)NR: Are there any cultural disadvantages in the Southern Hemisphere?在南半球有没有文化的不利之处?
HP: I don't think so. I love coming here and working with Brazilian teachers!
我不这么认为。 我很喜欢来到这里并和巴西的教师一起工作!

(11)NR: What advice would you give to teachers who are new to teaching children?

HP: Well, go into second position with your children. Feel what it's like for a child learning a foreign language and then look for good materials that give you the guidelines you will need in order to make the best out of this situation for the children and for yourself.

(12)NR: What advice would you give to teachers who have been teaching children for a long time?1236报告0对于已经教过一段时间小孩的老师你有什么建议?
HP: You're probably doing lots of things with excellence in your class. Share these things with as many other teachers as possible and where you think there is room to improve, look at some of the latest developments, for example in the areas of Multiple Intelligences, and look at materials that actually transform these very important findings in the area of cognitive psychology to the foreign language classroom.

(13)NR: What advice would you suggest teachers give to the children?

HP: Children do not ask the teacher for advice, that's what I find difficult. I think rather than give them advice, teachers should show the learners that they are enjoying the class themselves. This is the best advice they can give them because it will give the learners a model, open up their minds and form a basis of interaction in the class that draws on mutual motivation and offers the learner and the teacher fun!
孩子不提问题,我发现这是很难的 我的建议是老师们应该示范给学生上课是很快乐的这是给他们的最好的建议,因为这样会给学生一个榜样,打开他们的思路,形成一种在课上交流的基础,使学生互相熟悉,使课堂有活力,让学生老师觉得很愉快。

(14)NR: Finally, could you gaze into your crystal ball and tell me what major changes you foresee for the future.
HP: I think brain research is going to come up with further interesting insights into the workings of the human brain and somehow this will further influence what will be going on in the classroom. The last decade has already come up with a number of very interesting influences from areas like brain research.Possibly more and more foreign language classes will have computer systems available and will be using very good software and CD-ROMs. Obviously not each and every classroom has good computer facilities but this certainly will be one important point for the future.
(15)NR: I can also see into your crystal ball, Herbert, and I can see a brilliant future for you!

HP: (Laughing) Thank you very much.
(16)NR: I thank you very much!


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