Give me 5 and make me feel ALIVE!

Five principles in foreign language education with young learners


  • Claudia Mewald Pädagogische Hochschule Niederösterreich


This article states five principles teachers of young foreign language learners can pursue if they wish to make their language classrooms ALIVE: authenticity, lexical priming, integration, variation and engagement. Each of the five principles is fleshed out in the light of the current literature and research. Additionally, the principles are supplemented with practical teaching ideas and authentic learning examples produced by young learners of 6 – 12 years of age in primary and lower secondary school classrooms. Although the examples originate from English as foreign language classrooms, the principles can be applied in the teaching and learning of any foreign language.


Claudia Mewald, Pädagogische Hochschule Niederösterreich

Claudia Mewald is a lecturer at the University College of Teacher Education in Lower Austria. She specializes in early FL education, learner autonomy, testing and assessment. She has researched the input and output in CLIL classes and portfolio assessment in teacher education. Since 2004 she has been involved in the development of educational standards and standardised testing at lower secondary level. Her current research interest is the washback of testing on teaching and learning.







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