【Teaching Beginners #2】1月26日

Toady we’re going to look at “Choose Language Materials” more closely.

Language: the goal here is to give young children a good, happy start for the English education they will receive in the 3rd grade on. Get them to “enjoy and like” English. You have 14 weeks but you won’t have English in some weeks so planning 12 lessons should do. Don’t be too ambitious about how much language you can teach. Every child of this age group is very different from others in their cognitive development. Make every child a successful learner by offering the same language in multiple ways in plural lessons. Children of this age level love repetition. 

Take a look at the language materials of English Time Level 1.

Classroom Language (TPR chant)

The alphabet (song) 

Unit 1: Annie, Ted, Digger, girl, boy, dog

Unit 2: things in the meadow

Unit 3: farm animals

Unit 4: stationery

Unit 5: numbers (1~12)

Unit 6: feelings

Unit 7: food at a food court

Unit 8: fruits and vegetables in a grocery store

Unit 9: adjectives (feelings)

Unit 10: jobs (teacher, doctors, etc.)

Unit 11: verbs

Unit 12: verbs

Back when I joined the English Time team, we got together for a long week in Tokyo, with editors and other authors flying in from overseas, to kick off the project of creating a 6-level course for Asia. We cooped up in a meeting room all day every day. We listed up the vocabulary, adequate settings that naturally offer the language, functional dialogs, and grammatical sentences that use the vocabulary in substitution, trying to set grammar progression at a slow pace. We added a phonics page in each unit as well.

For our purpose today, I’d focus on the vocabulary and functional dialogs. Grammar and phonics can wait for when children have learned some English. I’d choose the alphabet, numbers, stationery, colors, animals, and jobs in this order.  I’d roughly plan two lessons around these six topics each. Here’s my plan. I will show you the actual lesson plans in later postings.

Lessons 1 & 2 The Alphabet

Lessons 3 & 4 Numbers

Lessons 5 & 6 School things

Lessons 7 & 8 Colors

Lessons 9 & 10 Animals

Lessons 11 & 12 Jobs

Let’s say one lesson is 45 minutes as in most elementary schools. It’s good to have a formula flow of one lesson: warm-up (5 minutes), activity 1 (10 mnts), activity 2 (15 mnts), activity 3 (15 mnts), and wrap-up (5 mnts). 

As to the resource book, I strongly recommend “English for Primary Teachers” by Mary Slattery and Jane Willis.


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