Theoretical insight into the language acquisition of young children shows that young learners benefit most from
task-based/activity-based teaching methods.
If you examine Krashen’s Monitor theory, you will find that the “acquisition” mode is far more important than the “learning” mode for young children.
For example, pattern practice drills with groups of young children are likely to be irrelevent to acquiring English since it concentrates on linguistic form rather than meaningful communication.
When schools base their curriculum on language items and teachers progress according to such syllabuses, they may actually be making ‘illusory’ progress in assisting young learners’ acquisition of the language. Therefore, for children, learning a foreign language should allow them to experience a variety of interactions in which meaning can be negotiated because children concentrate on meaning rather than form.
Competitive games in the classroom that are tightly controlled by teachers in order to practice language items, or ones in which large groups speak in unison so they can win more STARS, etc than the other team, are NOT appropriate to meaningful negotiation because the individual responses of students are suppressed.
The students are all using the pattern a teacher has presented, but the nature of the interaction does not create acquisition conditions. This is known as an illusion of relevance, and if the kids have fun, becomes an illusion of success.
On the other hand, when children are involved in activities, or play games, in which their attention is focused on the game, rather than practicing language items, then this provides input to their language acquisition system,not just language learning.
For example, consider the kinds of games which children themselves play outside school, then you’ll find activities which are negotiable and communicative, and the focus of the activity is usually dependent on a non-linguistic outcome.
These could be divided into three types:
Making things (origami, clay modeling, basketweaving!, etc)
Music and drama games (puppet shows, squaredancing, playing dress up, etc)
Games to fill time (board games, tic tac toe, etc)
These sorts of activities can see language as central to the interaction and can be adapted to such language learning purposes.
For negotiation of a syllabus to include communication activities must be concerned with how the target language is presented to kids.
It is not always crucial (except in the Taiwanese mindset of learning English!) whether we mention grammar or functional items in our syllabuses, but it is important how we create circumstances in which those items are contextualised and become genuinely communicative to allow children to negotiate meaning in order to perform an activity.
In young children unable to monitor language well, then the successful completion of an activity should be the object of the teaching unit.
To sum up, an activity based method approach to a structural functional syllabus is the most applicable way to organise children’s language acquisition.
I recommend following this link.