Callan for Kids FAQs
Callan for Kids is aimed at children aged 7-10. This age range has been selected because children below this age are too dependent as learners, and also need a classroom more focussed on play, singing, games etc., with the learning happening ‘in the background’.
We know that children above the age of 10 can study with the main Callan Method very successfully, and, as such, our focus is not on older children at this point. 7-10 constitutes an age group that can enjoy the dynamic nature of the Callan Method, that can focus adequately in a classroom environment, and that knows and accepts what the lessons are for. At the same time, however, it is an age group that needs a dedicated product to suit their level of development and knowledge/world view.
Callan for Kids is designed to take complete beginners up to the end of CEFR level A1 and beyond into A2. It covers the grammatical and lexical syllabus of main Callan Stages 1, 2 and 3, but also contains some vocabulary and grammar (forms and structures) from Stage 4 and higher.
If a child finishes Callan for Kids Stage 4 and then moves on to main Callan, they should start in Stage 4 of main Callan. They will, however, already have covered certain grammatical forms taught in Stage 4 (e.g. irregular pasts and “going to”).
There are four stages. As with the main Callan stages, each Student’s Book contains one stage, and each Teacher’s Book contains 2 stages.
The stages of Callan for Kids do not equate to the stages of main Callan. The table below shows, in terms of grammatical content, a comparison between Callan for Kids stages and main Callan stages.
Callan for Kids
Main Callan equivalent
Stage (Lesson) – Stage (Lesson)
1 (1-14) 1 (1) – 1 (9) 2 (15-30) 2 (10) – 2 (20) 3 (31-47) 2 (21) – 3 (31) 4 (48-64) 3 (32) – 4 (41+)
Callan for Kids contains approximately 1380 separate lexical items, of which:
- about 900 are from Stage 1-3
- about 370 from Stages 4-12 (e.g. comb, naughty, cupboard)
- about 110 are unique to Callan for Kids (e.g. skateboard, kangaroo, snowman)
Primarily, the lexical content of Callan for Kids is designed to satisfy the requirements of A1-level general English tests for children (such as the Cambridge Young Learners “Movers” test).
Beyond this, the lexical content is based on the existing content of main Callan Stages 1-3, with just over 100 words having been removed either because they are not relevant to children (e.g. cigarette, wine), because they are ‘adult’ words by nature (e.g. however, precede), or because they are metalanguage items that might be unhelpful for some learners in this age range (e.g. auxiliary verb, gerund).
The grammatical content of Callan for Kids is designed to satisfy the requirements of A1-level general English tests for children (such as the Cambridge Young Learners “Movers” test). All the existing forms and structures in main Callan Stages 1-3 are included, but certain extra items are included from higher levels (e.g. basic relative clauses, irregular pasts, “going to” for the future etc.).
In comparison with the main Callan Method books, the use of grammatical terminology in the classroom is minimal, although some basic ideas (verb, noun etc.) are necessarily introduced.
A Callan for Kids course is primarily a Callan Method course, but there are differences:
- The questions and answers are specifically aimed at children, and take into account their knowledge of the world, cognitive development etc.
- The syllabus (both vocabulary and grammar) is different, as detailed elsewhere, with grammatical terminology kept to a minimum.
- There are stand-alone activities that last between 5 and 10 minutes each. Along with readings and dictations, these help to break up the question and answer content of the lesson. The activities are fun and engaging (quizzes, teams games, pair work etc.) and there is often a kinaesthetic focus, so the children move about. The activities practise and revise language already covered in the course. The Teacher’s Books contain detailed step-by-step information on how to conduct each activity.
- There are regular short revision exercises that can be done in class.
- The Student’s Books are larger, designed to appeal to children, and contain hundreds of colour illustrations.
Callan for Kids involves the use of Wall Charts (ten posters/charts in total over the four stages). As they are used often, these should be on display in the classroom (although not all at the same time).
Other than the Wall Charts and the normal Demonstration Chart, there is little need for any other materials. For teachers, one of the many benefits of the Callan Method is that it is possible to walk into a classroom with a Teacher’s Book and a Demonstration Chart knowing that you are fully equipped to teach a lesson. This is also the case with Callan for Kids, except that you will find it handy, and sometimes necessary, to make use of a pencil and paper (during activities, for example). If you happen to be teaching in a classroom where there is a whiteboard, you may sometimes prefer to use that instead. Your pupils should always come to their lesson with their Student’s Book, a pencil, and something to write in, such as a school exercise book.
We have plans to release a range of Callan for Kids products which will be available to buy at a later date. These are not, however, necessary for the teaching of a lesson.
Many factors can affect how quickly a class progresses – pupil age, level of English, mother tongue, frequency of attendance, number and length of study periods at each attendance, natural ability to acquire language, exposure to English outside the classroom, motivation and parental encouragement etc.
That said, it is reasonable to assume that an average class (attending one period of 50 minutes 5 times a week) could move forward at rate of around 2 or 3 pages of new work for each period. Based on this progress rate, a Callan for Kids course will take around 150 periods of 50 minutes to complete. This includes the time required to do thorough full stage revisions and stage exams.
As with any Callan Method course, the individual school or teacher must decide how quickly any given class progresses.
On completing Callan for Kids, pupils have covered all the grammatical content and all but approximately 100 items of vocabulary from the main Callan Stages 1-3. They have also covered certain grammatical content and around 370 items of vocabulary from higher-level Callan stages.
On finishing Callan for Kids, therefore, many children at the upper end of the Callan for Kids age range can move into Stage 4 of main Callan. Younger children, however, may find some of the content of main Callan a little too grown up. We will keep Accredited Schools abreast of plans to extend the Callan for Kids course to higher levels.
Accredited Schools can start to use Callan for Kids without the need for special training.
As mentioned elsewhere, a Callan for Kids course is primarily a Callan Method course. For the stand-alone activities, which are unique to Callan for Kids, the Teacher’s Books provide step-by-step walkthroughs, and trialling has shown these instructions to be thorough and easy to follow. The Teacher’s Books also contain a comprehensive Introduction section and a separate section dedicated to the activities. Therefore, with a sensible amount of preparation, you should be able to start using Callan for Kids without delay.
There are two important considerations, however:
- Whatever the method or approach used, teaching young learners can be a challenge. Children react very instinctively to adults, and certain teachers are able to engage with them and manage them better than others. Callan for Kids removes a lot of pressure from schools and teachers in terms of course design, lesson preparation, ensuring that recycling occurs etc., but it is still imperative that you select teachers carefully according to their suitability for a young learners classroom.
- Almost all countries have in place specific regulations and procedures relating to institutions and individuals involved with child education. For example, in the UK, any adult who works with children in any setting must first have their criminal history investigated. You should ensure that your school and teachers comply fully with your country’s regulations in this area.
Teacher’s Books (x2) – £27.50 Retail, £22.50 wholesale
Student Books (x4) – £12.50 Retail, £9.50 Wholesale
Demo chart booklet – £7.50 (booklet contains 20 charts)
Poster pack – £20.00 (for 10 wall charts: 6 x A2 and 4 x A1 )
We will be releasing some pre-marketing material on the CASA for Accredited Schools only to use.
We will notify customers by email when this is available.
August 2015. Stages 1 and 2 will be released first, with Stages 3 and 4 following shortly afterwards.