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    • Join Date: Oct 2010
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    Getting low level kids speaking lots and lots?

    Dear fellow English teachers,

    I have some lessons (1 or 2 students) with kids aged about 8, and as is normal in this part of the world their English is very limited, just basic vocab.

    I'm not saying I'm great with kids, but in general they like the lessons, we play games, I am nice but also insistant they use the language by repeating or whatever.

    I think the amount of speaking they do is pretty normal given the situation, however the mums comment to me "oh they weren't speaking much today" not as a direct criticism but still...

    Any ideas what activities I can do to get them speaking enough to satisfy the parents? (Who are overhearing from other rooms.) Apart from reading books, I can't think of anything realistic given they are so low-level, and not very confident.

    Any tricks greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  1. lauralie2's Avatar
    Senior Member
    Retired English Teacher
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      • English
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      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Dec 2009
    • Posts: 758

    Re: Getting low level kids speaking lots and lots?

    You could do rounders:

    Teacher: On my way to the Zoo, I saw a lion!
    Student 1: I saw a lion and a tiger.
    Student 2: I saw a lion, a tiger, and a bear.
    Teacher: At the store I bought an apple.
    Student1 : I bought an apple and a banana.
    You could do nursery rhymes (See here), and chants ( See here ). Most importantly, sing lots of songs.

  2. youandcorey's Avatar
    Junior Member
    English Teacher
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      • American English
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      • United States
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      • Japan

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
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    Re: Getting low level kids speaking lots and lots?

    Designing plans to include as much "Total Physical Response" as possible is the key to harnessing youthful energy. If you've had the young students sitting for more than ten minutes and you are starting to lose their attention, you got to get them on their feet.

    For example,

    Divide the class into two teams. From the back of the room line up a player from each team. When they hear your question they are to RUN to the blackboard and write the answer.

    Use questions from something you've just studied or...
    What's your name?
    What color are my shoes?
    How old are you?
    and so on...

    • Join Date: Nov 2009
    • Posts: 10

    Re: Getting low level kids speaking lots and lots?

    You could try lesson plans that provide a variety of activities to interact with and practice the target language. Get the students to repeat the target a lot but by using different methods to elicit the target language.

    For example:
    1) Introduce the new vocabulary using flash cards
    2) Drill the flash cards
    3) Play a game with the flash cards using vocabulary only
    4) Get them to write out the vocabulary
    5) Play a different game with the vocabulary

    Once they all know the vocabulary you can put it into some sentences.
    And use a similar technique as above.

    If you do that your students will be spending a lot of time talking and listening and a little time writing (you can always save the writing assignment for homework).

    You can find plenty of lesson plans, games and materials for students of this level here:

  3. Editor,
    English Teacher
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    Re: Getting low level kids speaking lots and lots?

    There are some sites for young learners here: Young Learners - ESL Web Directory -

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