I'm a retired primary teacher (early years mainly) now living in France and I am teaching as a volunteer two groups learning English. THe adults are following a course we have ordered and are really enjoying it, but I have failed to find something suitable for primary aged children, and have, for the last 9 months been constructing my own. Often i fond it hard to come up with new ideas, and some of the stuff I have found on the internet has been very American and not suitable. The children seem to do a lot of grammar at school and hardly any speaking activities. THey are really reluctant and struggling...please does anyone out there have courses that combine fun, speaking and listening and a construction covering all the aspects the children need! Today, we are going to mime sports as last week they had lots of pictures of sports which they had to sort into the ones they liked and disliked. They will also design football strip, and label the colours in English that they have chosen...I want to do the best for them, but as I am unpaid I need to find some support that will not cost as the adults course has..
Thanks for reading this, I look forward to some replies!
I recommend that you use plays and skits to work on speaking skills with the French kids.
Before you embark on a play though you need to teach all the key vocabulary and phrases using language games and game drills. That way the kids already know the bulk of the script before you come to it. If you take out a script and hand it out to the class that will lead to stilted reading and total boredom within a v. short space of time.
So with the kids you need a combination of games starting with listening games where they hear the new words repeatedly, then speaking games where the pupils have a chance to say the words, and finally spelling and reading games. Those games are basically DRILLS, disguised in a fun format.
When you have built up some basic vocabulary and sentences you can put them together in the form of short plays and skits, also songs with actions.
The problem with textbooks in primary school is that they contain a mass of language that is skimmed over during the lesson while the children sit passively and simply don't have a chance to say anything much in English. It's passive learning and it's not surprising that most kids only know colours and "my name is" after six years of English in school - and that's not even an exaggeration.
There are speaking games where the class have much more chance to say things than just going round the class one by one saying a phrase, or having a single child read out a paragraph while all the others listen.
Here's a link to one such game:
And aside from classroom games I highly recommend getting into doing plays and skits. By all means ask me any questions on this thread.
Shelley Ann Vernon
Teaching English Games