Saturday, December 29, 2012

Transition from Primary to Secondary Schools for Young Learners of English

How often do you realized that there is a big gap between Primary and Secondary ESL curriculum? 

This so called "transition" is not easy for both students and teachers, and frequently depend on the goodwill of all. 
www.omnium.cat

It is important to institutionally address transition between stages of primary and secondary education in order to provide continuity and consistency to ESl curriculum. In addition, there are many difficulties at the primary and secondary schools to coordinate and host transition programs, and lots of problems appear in students and families. Finally, it summarizes the set of objectives and actions should include preventive programs such as the experience gained by the authors in their respective institutes.

The School of Languages and Social Sciences, Aston University, UK, in conjunction with the British Council is carrying out survey of teachers’ experiences of teaching English to children between the ages of approximately 9 and 14 as they move from their initial level of compulsory schooling (usually primary/elementary school, Level 1) to the next level of the school curriculum (Level 2).

If you teach English to "transition" students at Level 1 or Level 2, may you interested in participating in this 20 minutes survey, with the aim develop a preventive program and to make recommendations for improving the experience of this transition period for children and teachers and to offer practical suggestions for making the transition easier.

Link to the survey Transition in ELT.

The survey is anonymous. However, if you are willing to be contacted by a follow-up discussion or would like to receive a copy of the outcomes, you can give your contact details at the end of the survey.

The study is lead by Professor Anne Burns (a.c.burns@aston.ac.uk) and Dr Muna Morris-Adams (m.m.adams@aston.ac.uk). This study will take a first step towards addressing key factors in transition by looking at international policy and practices, in order to answer the following questions:

  • How do ELT curriculum/policy documents inform transition from primary to secondary levels? 
  • What are the main teaching and learning issues that primary and secondary teachers perceive about transition? 
  • What are ELT teachers’ perceptions of their roles and responsibilities in relation to transition and what challenges do they face? 
  • What similarities and differences in transition issues can be identified across different international contexts?

The answer to these questions will contribute towards answering two further questions:

  • What local solutions to transition issues have the potential for international relevance? 
  • How can these solutions be used to inform teacher education and training for transition?
This is a "tough cookie" and any help will be very appreciated!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Pretend Play in Teaching ESL to VYL


Pretend play (or symbolic play) is a vital experience of childhood that allows transform and create other worlds, other lives to live, play at being other, learn to think and to feel as others and, ultimately, know that there are ways of thinking and feeling different from their own.


It is a free and autonomous play, with few conditions, but it is enriched if the space, objects and dedication are propitious. It does not need the intervention of adults, although sometimes a little help may push children into play. It does not need to be taught (the true experts in symbolic play are children themselves).


Pretend play can be played solo and in non-school contexts, but as social play is essential do with other children and their educational purpose is so interesting that it should not be relegated or excluded by other educational proposals, currently more valued. So, it would be important to have more presence in educational planning stage 0-6-8.



  • Pretend play affects positively the development of language, because it involves the representation of an object, person or animal by other: a toy, doll or a teddy. So, it is great to develop vocabulary.
  • It is encouraging and prepares to learning. The child dominates reality, recreating, and distorting it to fit their desires
  • It empowers imagination and creativity. It is the way children use to internalize their learning and exercise them. It increases their knowledge of the world, expands vocabulary and creates semantic categories that enrich their expressive language.
  • It promotes inner speech. Pretend play enhances the babbling, improves the prerequisites of language (attention, imitation and following instructions) and awakens the need to communicate.
  • Children learn to understand and absorb the surroundings.
  • It develops roles and it explores relationships between children and between child/adult.
  • Pretend play makes social and personal experiences of the child external and visible.


A picture is worth a thousand words. Here there are few examples:

1. One short project my friend Imma Piquer (an excellent English language teacher to very young learners - Year 6) proposes from a real and a everyday life activity: going shopping with real money (dollars). Children will practice some vocabulary, as well as useful expressions. The role-play activity proposed will provide every child with the opportunity to play both roles, costumer and shop assistant, and improve communicative skills. In order to give more realism, as well as cultural awareness to our proposal, we encourage English teachers to use American toy money to go shopping.




2. Another Imma’s Piquer activity: going to a restaurant, a performing role-play to practice vocabulary, as well as useful expressions.  It will provide every child with the opportunity to play three roles: costumer, waiter and cook and improve communicative skills. In order to give more realism, as well as cultural awareness to our proposal, we encourage English teachers to use: toy food, toy drinks, dinner sets, menus and so on to perform the role-play in English.



3.  I told the story " The Lion is coming" (Bugs 1 by Heinemann)  to my pupils of Year 1, and we did different activities around it. One was to make a diorama. I recorded children voices and I took some photos. You can see the video in one of my previous posts: The Lion is coming!
But the think that surprised me was when two girls where playing freely with the photocopied animals of the story. Just have a look!





To learn more about symbolic play and symbolic thought: 


This is a link to chapter 12 of the book: Early Childhood Development: A Multicultural Perspective . Pearson publishing. (Very interesting!)


Nature of Child's Play. This digest discusses children's pretend play and its relationship to developmental growth from infancy to middle childhood. The digest also suggests ways in which educators and other adults can support children's play.


As children develop the ability to represent experience symbolically, pretend play becomes a prominent activity. In this complex type of play, children carry out action plans, take on roles, and transform objects as they express their ideas and feelings about the social world” (Garvey, 1984).

Thursday, December 20, 2012

IGGY, for gifted young people

Site of the week



IGGY is a social network designed to help gifted young people realise their full potential, exchange ideas, debate, learn and explore, in a safe environement.

It was created and launched by the University of Warwick in October 2012.  It is addressed to teachers, parents and students from around the world.

It provides stretching, interactive content in core subjects of Maths, English, Science, History and Politics in the form of debates, real world challenges, tasks and articles aiming to encourage independent learning and critical thinking as well as getting students to work collaboratively.

IGGY members can create their own profiles, make friends and collaborate with other gifted students around the world and encourages them to have an international perspective and understand the impact of globalization, utilizing social media and tools to advance their education.

"As a teacher you want students to think for themselves and widen their horizons.  IGGY  is providing great resources and a website that encourages students to collaborate and explore the wider world."
Sam Tarling, Head of History at Southam College in Leamington Spa (an IGGY pilot school)

IGGY explained by some of their members...

Friday, December 14, 2012

Resources for High School ESL teaching

Site of the week!


George Chilton and Neil McMillan, both English teachers and teachers trainers based in Barcelona, are the authors of this inspiring ELT resources web. 

The site is addressed to high school English teachers at the levels of Pre-intermediate, Intermediate, FCE (Cambridge First Certificate in English), Upper-Intermediate, Advanced and CAE (Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English)

You can find very interesting proposals aimed "to engage and promote conversation in a semi-controlled way" and "to elicit natural language in order to create a dialogic relationship between the teacher and the learner"

The resources and lesson plans are really well structured in stages, timing and follow up activities. You can also find examples that illustrate the process. 

Do not miss one of the newest proposals: DJs Complaining. It is an introduction to authentic complaint language in context, providing practice using it.

Designer Lessons give ideas to create a "decent-enough framework and help to create an energetic, spontaneous environment in which to teach".

Just an example: 

The Time Traveller’s Class
adults, intermediate, teens, upper-intermediate
BBC, opinion, past modals, second conditional, Tribe, Video lesson

Banksy’s Caveman by Lord Jim (Flickr)
It is worth to have a look at this lesson plan!



Monday, December 10, 2012

Foldables and Notebooking


I’ve been using foldables almost for everything in my English language classes. I work with them vocabulary, grammar, sentences, the four skills, fine motor skills... But the most important thing is that it brings lots of interaction to the class, that it is probably the core of the language skills in Primary ESL education.

“Foldables” are basically 3 D graphic organizers or 3 D mind maps. They are great tools to help English Language Learners (and all students) categorize content in a way to make it more visible and accessible to them.  ”One-dimensional” graphic organizers are equally useful, but foldables generally provide space for more content and are better mind organizers.

There is one very easy foldable that I use in Year 4 classes to work the topic “House” and the instructional language. Once students know how to fold and cut the paper, they work in pairs and explain how to do a paper house. They can take photos or make drawings to illustrate the clear instructions they have written. At the end some make a little booklet, some others make a display or a poster and, the “techy” ones make a PowerPoint.


There are lots of resources pages in the net about foldables and you can find the one that exactly fits to your needs. I would like to suggest you some.

These are my favourites:


  • ELL Classroom has several blog posts describing their use of foldables with English Language Learners.
  • Making Books.com by Susan Kapusinsky. It has some great foldable instructions  


Suggestions and feedback, as always, are welcome.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Language shouldn't be negotiable


I'm not used to talking about politics in this blog, but I'm fed up with this game.

If there is a matter with which politicians should not play is education: from it depends the future of a country.

Catalans have no problem with two languages​​,
 nor the people who have come to live in Catalonia from abroad. 
Reform announced by Spanish Minister Jose Ignacio Wert does not contain elements to hope for a substantial improvement in the quality of teaching, but the germ of an unnecessary conflict whose only motivation is to protect party interests. The text includes an unprecedented attack on the current language immersion system in Catalonia since regaining self-government and important concessions to retrograde approaches of the Catholic Church in education.

Starting from the premise that we must ensure compliance with the last June Supreme Court judgment in which it states  that Castilian is also common language, the future Reform stipulates that "in all stages of compulsory education co-official languages ​​should be offered in different subjects in balanced proportions”.This violates autonomous competences and it is a torpedo to the Catalan linguistic immersion educational system, in which the common language is Catalan. Different evaluation tests demonstrate that at the end of compulsory education, pupils know both Catalan and Castilian and, in any case, his command of Castilian is not lower than other students schooled in that language.

The minister spoke one day of “españolizar Catalan children”, and it is hard to believe that he is acting with no other motivation than to create problems where none exist and feed the sense of grievance in Catalonia to get political revenues in the rest of Spain.

Equally serious are the religious concessions. The reform entails ideological regression designed to meet demands of the most vehement of the ecclesial dome: the subject of Education for Citizenship disappears, while religion, currently optional, become an evaluable subject.

This is what the school minister Wert wants to recover 
With the new system we go back to a dark past, in which it is given the privilege to only one confession, of offering moral and civic education under their particular ideological prism.

This plan is an assault on Catalan cultural identity: language is non-negotiable. Partido Popular party is totally ignorant of Catalonia, it is acting from bad faith, and it demonstrating that the EU is not as united as it seems, as it is letting one of their members to goes back in time and returns to ideologies pre-Second World War.

I hope it will backfire!

Friday, December 07, 2012

Minimally Invasive Education


Site of the week

Hole in the wall is a site that point from the idea that "children need not only basic education, but also the ability to deal with an increasingly complex and connected world. The school need to create inclusive educational solutions that address all sections of society and help transform them". 

"Minimally Invasive Education™ is one such solution – a solution that uses the power of collaboration and the natural curiosity of children to catalyze learning".

Minimally Invasive Education is defined as a pedagogic method that uses the learning environment to generate an adequate level of motivation to induce learning in groups of children, with minimal, or no, intervention by a teacher.

The idea is not completely new, but it has been crystallized over a period of time based on observations and educational experiments conducted at NIIT.


Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Writing Prompts

Learning English as a Second Language benefit greatly from interactive writing activities. Writing provides ESL students a way to combine their speaking, listening and reading experiences into a creative expression of learning English. Beginner students, especially elementary students, need constant encouragement and guidance to improve their writing.

The problem is, where to find good prompts and ideas to encourage children to write.

Here you are some links may help you.

124 Free Creative Writing Prompts Worksheets like this one about The Gruffalo's child.


 Some good proposals for guided composition, writing practice and reading. 


 Story starter worksheets that can can be used both in class or as weekly homework assignments. Funny proposals like this one...

I also love the following Ten ideas for to keep children writing. They come from an old paper originally published as a booklet for the 2002 NWP (National Writing Project) Annual Meeting. They helped me a lot to confront the challenge of motivating my students to want to write.

  • Writing need not begin and end at the classroom door
  • Writing can connect children to their communities.
  • Children like to write to other children.
  • Students write best about what concerns them most.
  • Students are motivated to write when good writing is recognized.
  • Young writers need to do real writing.
  • Children benefit when parents are part of the literacy loop.
  • If a school recognizes the importance of writing, so will the students.
  • A published student writer is a motivated student writer.
  • With student writing, to celebrate is to motivate.

And just one more thing: Use short, incremental daily writing lessons to help ESL students learn English through writing activities. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

The importance of promoting diversity in the esl classroom

Primary classrooms are becoming more and more diverse. 

Many teachers lack a cultural awareness that allow them to recognize some cultural subtleties that may affect students’ learning. Some ESL pupils can feel embarrassed speaking in class. Others can make them extremely difficult to keep eye contact. Personal space may be another important issue: how close can you get to children without making them uncomfortable? Do the rest of your pupils demonstrate tolerance of others who are different than they are?

Then, how to manage all these variables?

I like to suggest you to follow this link
http://www.collegesuccess1.com/DiversityM.htm 
and discover some games and activities that may help you appreciating diversity. Although it is high school oriented some of the activities are easily adaptable into primary.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

100 Formas de Animar Grupos: Juegos para Usar en Talleres, Reuniones y la Comunidad

This is a resource material (published only in Spanish!) that has been developed to encourage participation in practice.

It is a compilation of animation techniques, icebreakers and games that can be used by anyone who is working with a group of people, either in a workshop, in a training group, in a meeting or in the community.

From http://www.dsr.wa.gov.au/1617
Teachers and facilitators must use games for several different reasons, including to help children to know each other, increasing energy levels and enthusiasm, encouraging the development of co-operation or children think about a particular problem.

The games that help children to know each other and help to relax are called icebreakers.

When they look sleepy or tired, animation techniques can be used to get them moving and to give them more enthusiasm (stirrers).

Other games can be used to help children think about problems and can help solve problems that people may face when they work together.

Games can also help children to think creatively and laterally.

Although this is a material developed for adult groups, most of the games can be easily adapted to primary or secondary levels.

Friday, November 16, 2012

The power of music when Teaching English to Very Young Learners


How can ELT be made enjoyable and effective in Kindergarten?

One feasible pedagogical application is to integrate English songs into ELT.

Song, a combination of music and lyrics, possesses many intrinsic merits, such as a kaleidoscope of culture,
expressiveness, recitability and therapeutic functions, which render it an invaluable source for language teaching.

In this post I would like to offer five readings that may you interest as a Kindergarten English teacher who believes in music and singing songs as a way to develop Very Young Learners literacy.

1. It has been recognized that there are several levels of phonemic awareness in which children may need explicit instruction before they can begin decoding words on a page. In the next paper you will find practical suggestions for using Mother Goose nursery rhymes to develop phonemic awareness in young learners.

 


2. Singing allows the children to be actively involved in their learning from a very young age. Singing as an activity can also address the whole child and not just the language learner, as songs often draw on their common experiences outside the language classroom. There are songs for almost every theme or occasion. Not only can we practise common language topics such as numbers, colours, animals, food, actions etc; but we can also explore a range of emotions and situations that are part of the child’s everyday life


3. Songs are an example of expression and performance. They are a medium through which children can develop confidence, develop microskills and learn language.


4. Action songs are very popular among children in the school and, it is not necessary to say that they are always ready to sing a new song or to repeat and old one in a new version. As teachers we have to take advantage of this because they can be used in many contexts with different aims...



5. "Learning to be literate is founded in early activities that may not be immediately related to the task in hand, for example, activ ities such as listening to music, singing songs, learning chants, reciting rhymes and playing musical instruments are known to be linked with success n more formal learning activities such as learning to read and to write.  Listening to music helps children to build the skills of  auditory perception and discrimination.  These will help later with the learning of sound-letter relationships and the connection between spoken and written forms of language. This awareness of the sounds and form of language is frequently referred to as metalinguistic awareness".
Educação & Comunicação, 7, 47-61. ELT in Nursery and Kindergarten: an experiential approach Linda Thompson

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Oxfam's Cool Planet



Oxfam's Cool Planet is a website that teaches children about some of Oxfam's recipient countries, including food from around the world, children's stories from around the world, and the "Mapping Our World" teaching product.

I have developed some projects using this page as a resource for planning activities in which children are involved, not only in learning English but also in learning values.

It is designed to support educators everywhere in the world along with their students and make it as simple as possible for teachers to bring the global dimension into their classrooms.

Using the concept of "global citizenship", it aims to assist teachers in bringing the global dimension into their classrooms. The resources are designed to inform and empower young people to work for a more just, secure and sustainable world.

Many of the resources are organised by theme:
  • Recipies from around the world. Get cooking with some fabulous Fair Trade recipes.
  • Food. What do you think about when you go shopping? The look? A fair deal on the price? What about the people who produce the things you buy… should they get a fair deal too?
  • Mapping our World. This is Oxfam's free interactive whiteboard resource forteaching about maps, perspectives, and geography.
  • Milking. It is an interactive resource about small farmers and international trade designed to facilitate teaching 13- to 16-year-olds about fair trade.
  • Take action. Here are some ideas about how children can work with Oxfam to change the world. There are some really simple things they can do to help, or they can get together with their friends and plan something BIG! Whatever they want to do – it all helps to make the world a fairer and better place.
  • Around the world. Oxfam works in over 70 countries around the world. A guide about few of the countries it works in.
  • Children’s stories. Explore the lives of children from different countries around the world through our exciting photo stories!
  • What is Oxfam. Oxfam's aim, examples of Oxfam’s work, campaigns, and things we can do.
I think Cool Planet kidsweb is a very valuable resource, and we can get some very interesting ideas to develop projects in which Content, Communication, Cognition and Culture are all of them under the umbrella of Social Values.  

http://www.oxfam.org.uk/coolplanet/kidsweb/

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Blogging with young children


Site of the week!

KidBlog.org

Kidblog is designed for elementary and middle-school teachers who want to provide each student with an individual blog.

The use of Kidblog is very simple and uncluttered. The homepage is easy to follow and provides only the essentials. The site’s theme is playful and the students wouldn’t feel intimidated about using it. 

From Day's Class Notes
A very important issue of Kidblog is that it is a safe and simple blogging platform suitable for students. The site allows teachers to monitor all publishing activity within the classroom blogging community. Because student privacy is paramount when it comes to working online, KidBlog provides several tools for protection. Teachers have administrative control over all student blogs and student accounts. Students' blogs are private by default, which means they are only viewable by classmates and the teacher.

And what's more, it is completely free of advertising.

You can use Kidblog to:

  • create classroom discussions 
  • learn digital citizenship 
  • practicing writing skills 
  • create an e-portfolio 
  • reflect on learning 
  • formatively assess writing

But it is better to have a look at an example:

From Blogging in a second grade classroom/

Monday, November 05, 2012

Blogs or wikis to work English language in the school?

This is an old post in need of being updated, but I have been requested to put it back online... And here it is.

If you are interested in blogging with young students, do not miss my next post!
-----------------------------

Does it really matter? Well, it depends on what we would like to use them for and what level we will use them. 

Blogs are a great source for concrete information and tend to be chronologically oriented. They provide good tools for public attribution of contribution.

Blogs are used to post interesting finds or questions for students to comment on or to respond to. They probably are more of an opinionated tool, so if you're trying to encourage your students to express their different viewpoints, then a blog would be a good tool.

Blogging is also a good option because students can share their work, ideas and thoughts with different people in the world.  They also learn about different cultures and they communicate to see different opinions from teenagers like them.

In a Blog students can post images or videos that are related and tell their opinion of what they felt was important in the lesson they have just covered. They can also post research they have found useful in their learning such as online articles or websites that support what the students have learned.

Our school (Ruiz Amado) in the neighbourhood.
I think a blog would be the best tool to work with older students to show their learning, opinions and critical points of view. In this way it can be used as a portfolio and as an evaluation tool. 

Wikis tend to be more content oriented and have less capability for public acknowledgment of contribution.

Wikis allow a constant update of information, a continuing work ethic, while giving the teacher and other students the possibility to add anything they think is missing. You can get a lot feedback from the students work.

In a Wiki students can collaborate with the discussion tabs. The best thing for a teacher is the history tab so that you can see who did what and when, who changed what and when.

Wikis allow the students to go in and edit other people's work in the same wiki page, so if you're trying to get the students a truly interaction, that would probably be the best tool to collaborate and share ideas.

Working in the English classroom (School Ruiz Amado)
But if you are considering using a Blog or a Wiki as a final product of a project or a task, I think it is important to think about  the age of the students. You can let older students to choose the medium by which to demonstrate what they've learned. This gives them the freedom to show their creativity. For the youngest, maybe Wikis are easier for them: it can be used for quick edits and for directed exercises or assignments.

Cooperation, collaboration, interaction... these are tags than can be addressed to the use of wikis. 

Points of view, ideas, reflection, giving opinions... then, maybe, blogs are the best choice.

Better to see an example of “Best teaching” English with a Wiki. It has been made by a terrific primary English teacher, Rosamaria Felip Falcó, in the school Ruiz Amado in Castelló d’Empúries (Costa Brava - Girona). It is worth having a look: http://ruizamadoenglish.wikispaces.com/


You can also have a sight for the Blog made by another great English teacher in the school Splai in Barcelona: Oscar del Estal Martínez. He uses the blog as a bank of resources and, above all for assignments and homework: http://blocs.xtec.cat/anglesceipsplai/


References: 

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Kindergarten and Mooneyisms

Site of the week!

Kindergarten and Mooneyisms is a blog full of interesting teaching ideas for kindergarten. You will find a lot of music related songs and chants, tips and tricks, arts and crafts, and many other useful activities for very young learners.

You can not miss the long list of favourite kinder blogs (I promise you long hours of interesting research!) and neat teacher stuff links.

Writing sentences with newspapers
Definetely, this is one of my "musts" reference sites when I have to design ESL activities for my youngest pupils.

Eating Healthy (So a Child Can Understand It)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Improving English Language Skills Through Music


Some days ago, one of my Year 6 students brought to class the lyrics of the song “Call me Maybe” sung by the singer Carly Rae Jepsen. As she was really interested in the lyrics and she spread the rest of the class with the idea to sing it all together, I had to admit to do something.

I prepared a filling the gaps activity, choosing the right level of difficulty for my students, hiding some vocabulary, re-typing the lyrics, photocopying the worksheet...

But to my surprise I discovered a new online tool to do these kind of activities.


With LyricsTraining you just choose one of the hundreds of available music videos and select one of three mastery levels: beginner, intermediate or expert. As the video begins to play, the lyrics appear underneath with several words missing. The goal is to fill in the missing words as they are sung, with the help of the keyboard.

If students get stuck, the video stops playing until they type the correct word, but the clock continues to run! In this way students can compete against each other, who is the one who fills all words with less time. Click on "Give Up!" button to see the words that fill the blanks.

It is a great tool for practicing listening and recognition of phonemes in different English dialects and registers, improving writing and spelling vocabulary, and enhancing reading and writing speed.

And not only English! The site offers videos in six languages (English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, and Dutch). It is free to use and does not require registration, but if you set up an account, you can save the results of their efforts.

My students are delighted with this new web music tool. Needless to say, the fun is guaranteed!

Lyrics Training


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Physical Break Chants


As we are having overloaded classrooms, with small space, and mixed ability groups, learning English as a second or third language can become an extra boring task which keeps our pupils away from their friends, computers and other “more interesting” subjects in the school.

During the hour long sessions, the concentration span of even the most diligent pupils drops considerably and those who are tired or without motivation, often distract me, away from my teaching and on to their behaviour.

Masterfile
My pupils need a rest and so I stop teaching midway through the lesson and gave them 4 or 5 minutes in which to do some physical exercises.

They have called this break time as a “five-silly-minutes” and it is an opportunity to “go wild” a little.

The success of this break time depends to a large extent on the general dynamics of the group and the mood of the day; but I found that if I set clear limits –now it’s time to work, now it’s time for “fivesillyminutes”- The children generally accepts it and responds well.

By now “fivesillyminutes” has become a valuable routine to encourage and maintain my pupils’ participation in class.

The idea is not to take the pupils’ minds completely off English. So we “compose” our own Physical Break Chants (or use some very good published chants) as a way to use English without straining children powers of concentration too much.

First, they memorised the Physical Break Chant with the help of the IWB and some illustrations for support. Then I give them a combination of the chant’s rhythm and rhyme pattern, the pictures and appropriate physical actions, made it easy for them to learn it. After my pupils have said and performed the chant, I usually give 2 or 3 minutes free.

Children like a certain ritual element to their language learning and these chants provide just that. And with them (unlike many nursery rhymes) the language needn’t to be too childish.

An important step would be the use of these few guidelines to help you compose a Physical Break Chant and make it memorable and effective (at a later stage you can let your pupils make them up!)
  • Use the rhyme.
  • Devise mime gestures to go with the words.
  • Alternate stretching and contracting, immobility and movement.
  • Include touches of humour.
  • Illustrate it with cartoon pictures.

As a result, you will have children’s positive reaction and a decrease of “some” negative feelings about having to learn English.
-------

This just an example of a Grade 3 (8 year olds) chant, composed by the pupils, (with a little help from the teacher, of course!).

One, two, three, four

This is a hat, this is a hat,
What do you wear on your head?
A hat!




These are two gloves, these are two gloves,
What do you wear on your hands?
Two gloves!





Look at these shoes, look at these shoes,
What do you wear on your feet?
Brown shoes!





New ideas are welcomed!


Here you are some stuff it may help in your way of using Physical Break Chants:
  • GRAHAM, C (2006) Creating chants and songs. Oxford: OUP
  • WILL, S and REED, S (2010) Primary Music Box. Cambridge: CUP
  • PHILLIPS, S (2010) Young learners. Oxford: OUP
  • REILLY, V and WARD, S (1997) Very young learners. Oxford: OUP
  • GRAHAM, C (2001) Jazz chants old and new. Oxford: OUP
  • GRAHAM, C (1993) More jazz chants. Oxford: OUP (American English)
  • GERNGROSS, G and PUCHTA H (2001) Do and understand. Longman.