After the holidays I like to talk to the kids about what they did. It's good to talk about their life outside of the classroom and find out about what they have been doing. The kids love talking about their holidays. They were a bit nervous being on camera with their friends watching on, but it was good practice for them,
Here are some stories my students created. I gave them minimal help, just pointing out where to change have to has or to add a plural s. The kids did a great job with the stories and also the illustrations. They really enjoy this type of activity, rather than just doing worksheet after worksheet.
Yesterday I made a presentation at ETJ Fukuoka. I'd like to thank Eric Kane for inviting me to present for ELF Learning at the Expo.
It was a first for me, so I was nervous, but I learned from the experience.
Thanks to those who attended.
My talk was "Basics for Beginner - Building a core with Young Learners".
I spoke about the first important steps for young learners during the stage where they are just learning to communicate and learning to read and write through phonics.
I hope I was able to show;
1. A flexible flashcard based teaching system paired with a good phonics book and reader is an amazing way to teach young learners.
2. A rich vocabulary in the course is very important as it creates many opportunites to provide memorable lessons with real communcation.
One example I used in my presentation was with story 1 - "The Lunchbox" from TRW readers 2.
In the following video you can see two of my young learners reading the story. We hadn't practiced this story in class, but these guys were so excited to get this reader they went home and read the story together. (the video was shot by their mum)
In my presentation I showed some activities I will do with in my next class with these students to further improve their reading and fix up a few little issues.
A well written phonics story such as this allow you to do things such as;
- practice the target phonics
- assign students to play roles of narrator and characters
- after reading the story you can interview the characters and see how they feel. In this story of course they are hungry because they had no lunch. We then asked the characters what they wanted for lunch and with our magic lunch box gave them what they wanted. The characters then improvised and read the story again.
You can find links to these stories and also phonics chants by ELF Learning on my Kids Learning Page.
The next topic in our preparation for our trip to Australia is talking about and describing people. For this topic I introduce my students to Steve Irwin, "The Crocodile Hunter". We will then go onto learn about Australian animals and how to describe animals and their habitats. Steve Irwin is someone I admired very much.
When you meet someone for the first time of course you will introduce yourself, but then sometimes you don't know what to talk about next. A good "ice-breaker", a topic you can warm up with, if you are a Japanese person meeting a foreigner, is to talk about your name. You can explain how to write the kanji for the name and what it means, and talk about how you got your name. Japanese names are different to western names, so it can be an interesting topic. Have a look at this video where I explain the names of my family members.
Today's first activity was Doctor Doctor! Students sang the song and bandaged the injured parts of their classmates. The second song we did was Winter Clothes. They had a lot of fun. We will do some Christmas activities next week.
For homework, I asked my class to learn the Genki English - "I like vegetables" song. They were a little shy about being filmed for the first time, but they did a great job. Here they are, singing "I like vegetables", with American Sign Language. This was first take, no practice.
Late last year I attended a teaching seminar at Seinan University. A teacher named Ben Shearon gave a presentation about using online resources to practice English. One site he highly recommended was Elllo. I agree with him, it is a great site for students. You can listen to a range of people from all over the world talking about many different topics. There are also activities to go along with the audio. This is probably the best website I have found for students wanting to practice their listening skills. It is a lot of fun and it's very useful. If you use this site regularly I am sure your listening ability will improve.
If you plan to travel to a certain country or region of the world, why not use this website to practice listening to people from that region speaking English.
Follow this link ello.org to visit the website.
I have links to this and other websites on my Adults Learning Centre page.