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Attention Span between children and Adults

 
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Madeline



Joined: 26 Oct 2011
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 9:03 pm    Post subject: Attention Span between children and Adults Reply with quote

I would always think that children have less attention span then adults. This is not really true. My little 5 year old is in K and the teacher always tells me his attention span is not there yet because he is younger then the others, his B-day is in July so he is the last one to turn 6. I don't think that is the case because when I put on his favorite t.v show and favorite video games his attention span is excellent. When teaching ESL children Vs adults what do you think I could do to get their attention so that they may become interested in my lesson. I have a student that with every lesson he seems like he is in space but when it comes to using the computer or when he has other specials he seems to have an attention span. How would you deal with adults in the same situation?
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Sally Olsen



Joined: 08 Apr 2004
Posts: 1306
Location: Canada,France, Brazil, Japan, Mongolia, Greenland, Canada, Mongolia, Ethiopia next

PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think that his attention span is that long unless he is some kind of genius. A video game changes every second although it does have a repeating pattern that he must learn over time. He can change video games every few minutes too if the boys in our neighbourhood are any example. As soon as they reach the top level, they are on to the next game. Their parents are buying them new games every few months. The same with TV shows. Time how long they spend on one subject - three minutes? There is constant action, colour, movement, and visual effects.

You can teach this way and it is not hard because you have other children in the class to provide the variety. When you see them flag, change to something else or another way of teaching the same thing. It is not as exhausting as it seems because you can do the same as video games and get them to learn the patterns. First we do the opening song with children's names, then the weather, then the colours, then transportation, then a song and so on. You established the pattern gradually and each section gets quicker as they come to know the words and actions and you can add more.

End with something that will want them coming back for more like the TV programs do - a mystery, a hint of what it is to come, even the question, what will happen next? I used to read a story chapter by chapter, one each day and that always got them interested. You can do that with picture books as well. You don't always have to read everything to the end. If they start to flag, change the activity and repeat and continue it another day.
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Madeline



Joined: 26 Oct 2011
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 5:01 pm    Post subject: Attention Span between children and Adults Reply with quote

Thank you so much for your response!! I can see your point. I guess we can also compare it to us. For example, I am a student as well and as a adult learner I like for the teacher to differenciate on his lessons. For example, he will have group assignments, individual assignment, short videos, etc. This grabs my attention. I would fall asleep if he did not implement this. I will definitely think about your response when I am in a jam with a ESL student that has a short attention span. Thank you.
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