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Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Teaching English as a foreign language to children

Tomorrow we are doing a lesson on English teaching. We will comment on two basic documents, the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages and the Primary English syllabus of the Balearic Islands.

But anyway, I would like to highlight some points that I always try to follow in my Primary English lessons. I strongly recommend the following pieces of advice:

  1. Start working oral skills. Example: I like fish. It is good for me,
  2. Sing - use songs to practise and learn vocabulary and grammar patterns
  3. Storytelling. Examples: Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan in Neverland
  4. Use pictures, gestures and body to explain meanings. Example: What's the weather like today?,
  5. Do not translate
  6. Use English as much as you can, especially at the lowest levels.
  7. Introduce L1 only in difficult learning activities for example, when children have to think about grammar or about the way language works.
  8. After having introduced oral skills, start with written skills
  9. Write and draw lists of vocabulary
  10. Check previous knowledge before introducing new contents. Example: Are there any computers in our school?
  11. Integrate vocabulary into the related grammar patterns. Example:Ibizan animals
  12. Use the language learned to communicate -although it is a simple and basic idea. Example: A tour around my town,
  13. Take advantage of the festivals during the school year: Halloween, All Saints Day, Christmas
  14. Introduce universal topics to meet CLIL standpoints: Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Children's Day
  15. Ask your students to do projects: specific final tasks in which students use all their language knowledge to achieve a goal -although it is a little goal. Examples: Introducing myself (oral project), My life (written project)
  16. Ask your students to pay attention to the Art part of their final assignment/project/task. Example: My monster
  17. Engage your students in doing their own Language Portfolio -electronic or not. Examples: Primary blogfolios
  18. Use ICT to support your constructivist methodology
  19. Work on children's attitude towards language learning and other important concepts: autonomous language learner, lifelong language learning, self-assessment. See the Portfolio web site to develop these standpoints.
  20. Be a blogger. Create a blog for your subject. Example: We like English!

1 comment:

Pixton said...

Interactive web comics are a great way to engage and motivate students to learn languages. If you're interested in creating comics online, check out Pixton.com.

You can design every aspect of your character, and move it into any pose you want. All you have to do is click-and-drag to change or reposition any part of it - the creative and artistic possibilities are endless!

Our remix feature makes a copy of the comic so you can change it or continue its storyline. Teachers can use this feature to have their students develop a visual essay, create storyboards, reinvent characters or reinterpret narratives.

Try it out and let us know what you think. Sign-up is free!

thanks,
Clive
Creator of Pixton - Interactive Web Comics