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parents articles practical tips english

alt : parents-articles-practical-tips-english.pdf learning together is fun! Helping your child to learn\s English \f practical tips English sessions Young children learn English differently fro\f \fost adults. Most have an innate a\bility to pick up English while taking part in activities, \by \faking sense of what they are doing and picking up the adult’s language that acco\fpanies the activity. You can find out more in the British Council \fooklet ‘Ho\b young children learn English as another language’, availa\fle on the parents pages of the LearnEnglish Kids \be\fsite. Planned English sessions You can plan regular sessions which will usually take place: • a t ho\fe • o n regular days • f or a\bout ten to twenty \finutes adjusted to fit your child’s i ncreasing English a\bility and a\bility to concentrate • a s a planned progra\f\fe that reviews and \builds on known a ctivities and introduces new ones. Short English sessions These are \fore infor\fal and can take place: • a ny place – in the car, at \bathti\fe, in a super\farket queue • a ny ti\fe • i n response to a \food or special experience. As your child’s English a\bility increases, short English sessions tend to occur \fore frequently. Once your child understands \fore English, you \fay include an English phrase in a ho\fe language conversation. 23 Planning English sessions Progra\f\fes should follow the sa\fe structure each ti\fe, as knowing what to expect lightens stress and ena\bles children to concentrate their efforts on picking up English. Basic programme • Warm up – rhy\fes, counting or singing to get used to h earing English and \faking the different sounds. • N e\b language presentation – re-present and add onto p revious language and then introduce new language. • A ctivities – ga\fe, craft, fa\fily activity. • E nding – sharing picture \books. • F ollo\b-up – such as adding a drawing to the English corner. • I nvolving the family – showing work, singing a new song, s aying a new rhy\fe or playing a ga\fe together, if there is t i\fe. Introducing new \faterials or ga\fes Effectiveness of \faterials depends on how you \bring the\f to life. Adapt the\f and personalise the\f to \fatch your child’s needs and interests, which \fakes it easier for your child to a\bsor\b the new language. Ho\fe-\fade or custo\fised \faterials are often \fore effective as they fit language needs \better, especially in the early stages of learning. Making \faterials together at ho\fe adds so\fething special, including a feeling of achieve\fent. Records Keep a written record of your sessions together, as it helps you to see what you have done, what you can plan for the next one and evaluate what you have done over a period of ti\fe. Keeping it going If your child says ‘it’s too difficult, I don’t want to do it’, don’t give in and don’t switch into ho\fe language. Quietly change to an easy-to-play ga\fe you know they have enjoyed. Have fun and if possi\ble \fake sure your child wins. It is i\fportant that the English session ends with your child ‘feeling good’ a\bout hi\f or herself and learning English. Later, it \fay \be good to discuss with your child why they found it difficult. Consider what you could change next ti\fe, such as the a\fount of new \faterial or how it was presented. In the \feanti\fe, go \back to using easier \faterials for several sessions to help the\f regain their confidence. English corner or English ta\ble An English corner (or ta\ble) provides a focus for anything related to English sessions. It is the display and storage place for: • g a\fes • a \fini-li\brary of picture \books • d isplays of English culture such as pictures, flags, etc. • d isplays of drawings, ho\fe-\fade \books or craft work. 5\b Ideas for activities Craft activities tend to \be \best when they have a purpose. • C ele\frating family \firthdays and festivals Making \birthday cards is a fun activity. Birthdays and fa\fily festivals are good occasions to give s\fall shows and to play ga\fes with fa\fily and friends who also speak English. • C ollage pictures Cut out photos relating to the\fes such as ‘five \blue things’, ‘where I want to go on holiday’ or ‘what I would like for \fy \birthday’, sport, and weather. You can personalise these pictures \by getting your child to add a drawing of hi\f or herself or the fa\fily hidden in the picture. • S imple puppets Speaking through a puppet helps if your child is a little shy speaking English. Make si\fple puppets fro\f an oval-shaped piece of card and a stick secured \by tape. Make the puppet co\fe alive: ‘My na\fe is ...I a\f six’. This can lead on to \faking puppet shows with invitations, progra\f\fes and tickets. Fa\fily activities Switching to use English for fa\fily activities works well if your child feels there is a reason to use English - packing a \bag for a holiday or \faking a typical English dish copying a recipe fro\f an English cook\book. Try decorating so\fe \biscuits with different faces. Rhy\fes and songs Rhy\fes exist in \fost cultures and fro\f a very young age \fost children see\f to \be a\ble to pick the\f up and enjoy saying the\f aloud, especially when they are supported and encouraged. You can find out more in the British Council \fooklet ‘Learning English through sharing rhymes’, availa\fle on the parents pages of the LearnEnglish Kids \be\fsite. You \bill also find a selection of rhymes to listen to. You can use rhy\fes within your English sessions: • w ar\f up \by saying one or two rhy\fes your child k nows • i ntroduce a new rhy\fe, once you feel your child has w ar\fed up – explain it and then repeat it • a t the next English session say the new rhy\fe and l et your child, if they see\f ready, join in with the a ctions or say so\fe words or phrases • o ver the next few sessions \build up your child’s confidence, s tep-\by-step, to say the rhy\fe the\fselves \by e ncouraging the\f to add: • the final word to a line • t hen the final phrase • t hen a line • t hen another line until they can say a co\fplete si\fple r hy\fe with a little pro\fpting fro\f you. • e nd every rhy\fe session \by saying a well-known f avourite rhy\fe. 76 Rhyme cards In the early stages of learning it is fun to \fake rhy\fe cards of rhy\fes your child knows. Write out or print out the rhy\fe on a card and let your child decorate it. Store it in the English corner so that, in their own ti\fe, they can take it out and look at it as they say the rhy\fe aloud to the\fselves. Rhyme \fooks When you have \fade five or six rhy\fe cards, photocopy the\f to \fake a \book of rhy\fes for your child. A \book is easy to carry around and they \fay want to take it in the car, to school, to \bed or to show it to others. Songs Introduce new songs in English sessions. You can gradually \build up a selection of songs you can sing together, along with a CD or MP3 player. You can find a selection of songs on the LearnEnglish Kids \be\fsite. Many traditional songs can \be adapted to fit different activities and circu\fstances. Adapting is fairly easy to do once children know the tune. For exa\fple, ‘if you’re happy and you know it’ can \be changed to ‘if you’re hungry and you know it, eat an apple’ or ‘if you’re dirty and you know it, wash your hands’. Adaptations like these can add fun to daily ho\fe routines. You can also use actions or props to help \bring a song to life. Alpha\fet Song [to the tune of T\binkle, T\binkle Little Star] 1. M ake cards for the 26 capital letters and 26 s\fall letters. 2. B efore you sing, put the s\fall letter cards, writing face-up, o n the ta\ble. 3. S ing the song once and the second ti\fe, as you all sing a l etter, each person in turn picks up the \fatching card. 4. L ater do the sa\fe for the \big letters and finally pick up two c ards each ti\fe, the \big and s\fall letters. Sharing \books When selecting picture \books to share with your child, focus on those with li\fited, clear text that are engaging and fun to read. You can find out more in the British Council \fooklet ‘Learning English through sharing picture \fooks’, availa\fle on the parents pages of the LearnEnglish Kids \be\fsite. Selecting \fooks When you are selecting \books ask yourself: • I s the text short – a\bout five or six dou\ble pages? If \fore, y ou need to introduce the story over a nu\f\ber of E nglish sessions. • I s the print clear? • A re the illustrations interesting and easy to understand? • D oes the \book have so\fe interaction in the text (e.g. a r efrain) or novelty interaction through flaps, etc? • D o you like it and can you transfer your enjoy\fent to y our child? Look out for DVDs of story\book characters. They can \be useful, \but are \fost effective if you watch the\f together at first, \faking the experience interactive. 98 Reading aloud • Practise reading the picture \book aloud and decide how you a re going to \bring the story to life. • I ntroduce so\fe of the new words \before reading the \book. • T he first ti\fe you introduce a new \book, \be ready to whisper a translation of any word that your child does not already k now or cannot work out fro\f the pictures. • A s you read, point to each word in turn so your child \begins t o get used to looking at the shape of the words. • T ry to read \books in the sa\fe way each ti\fe, as this will \fake p icking up the English easier. • T ry not to introduce a \book you don’t like. Your child will soon d etect how you feel and reflect your attitudes. • W hen your child \beco\fes fa\filiar with a story, encourage t he\f to join in \by pausing to let the\f finish off phrases or s entences. • T ry to avoid asking too \fany questions; you \fight spoil the \f agic of the \book. Making your o\bn story \fooks After your child has shared \fany \books with you, they \fight like to \fake their own story \book: 1. S taple together so\fe paper to \fake a short \blank \book. 2. D iscuss the possi\ble content – the\fe, characters, location, e tc, \but ensure that the \book is created fro\f their ideas. 3. A sk the\f to draw so\fe pictures and tell you the story and y ou can then write the text if they are not confident doing this. 4. A dd their \book to your collection and read and enjoy it t ogether. Playing ga\fes Playing ga\fes adds excite\fent and fun to learning English and supports children’s holistic learning and develop\fent. Playing ga\fes \fay even change the attitudes of so\fe children who find learning English difficult as it gives the\f a chance to win. In playing ga\fes, unlike in \fany other activities in English, success is not only \feasured \by how well you can speak English. Types of games Ga\fes can \be loosely grouped into: • s tarting games – quick ga\fes used to select one person f or a leader or chaser • p hysical games that involve \fove\fent and space • c ard games • \f oard games Starting games These are quick to organise and get a result. They \fay need no equip\fent and can \be played al\fost anywhere. Rhy\fe ga\fes help with saying sounds and gaining fluency. Rhyme starting games Counting \between two people or around the circle. One count to each word. The last person counted wins. Red, white and \flue. All out \fut Y\bU! 1110 Counting out around the circle using one count to each word. The last child counted is out and it \begins again fro\f the next person. The re\faining person wins. Acker \facker soda cracker Acker \facker \foo! Acker \facker soda cracker \but goes you! Alpha\fet starting games Counting \between two people or around the circle. One count to each word. The last person counted wins. A E I \b U You! A B C D E F G H I J K L M N \b P Q R S T U You are it. Physical games Simon says Make sure your child knows the na\fes of parts of the face and later the parts of the \body. You are Si\fon and give instructions. Your child has to listen and do exactly what ‘Si\fon says’. 1. I f you say ‘Si\fon says touch your nose’, your child touches their nose. 2. I f you say ‘Si\fon says don’t touch your \fouth’, your child freezes w here they are and does not touch their \fouth. 3. I f your child \fakes a \fistake and touches their \fouth, they lose one o f their three points. 4. W hen they have lost all three points, they are out and the ga\fe finishes. Where’s the \fear? Introduce a soft toy like a teddy \bear or si\filar. Make sure your child knows ‘on’, ‘in’, ‘\behind’ and the na\fes of so\fe furniture. 1. W hile your child shuts their eyes and you \both count to five or t en, you hide the \bear under a chair. 2. A fter counting, say ‘Open your eyes. Where’s the \bear?’ 3. Y ou can then talk to your child as they look for the \bear using w ords such as ‘on’, ‘under’ and ‘\behind’ and na\fe furniture in t he roo\f. 4. W hen the \bear is found, you can swap roles. Outdoor games Farmer, farmer, can I cross the \bater? 1. P layers ask this question while standing on a pretend river \b ank, wanting to cross the river to the other side. 2. T he far\fer replies ‘Yes, if you have got so\fething yellow.’ 3. A nyone with so\fething yellow replies ‘Yes, I have got s o\fething yellow’ and walks across the river. 4. A nyone who has not got so\fething of the right colour, races a cross trying not to \be caught. 5. A nyone caught has to drop out and wait until the far\fer has c aught everyone. 6. T he ga\fe restarts and each ti\fe the far\fer selects another c olour. 7. W hen everyone has \been caught the far\fer then selects t he next far\fer and the ga\fe restarts. 1312 What’s the time Mr Wolf? 1. M r Wolf stands in his house in a \farked corner. 2. T he players, who are sheep, approach Mr Wolf and ask hi\f ‘ What’s the ti\fe Mr Wolf?’ 3. M r Wolf replies ‘One o’clock.’ 4. T he sheep get a little closer to Mr Wolf’s house and ask a gain ‘What’s the ti\fe Mr Wolf?’ 5. M r Wolf replies ‘Two o’clock.’ 6. T he ga\fe continues until the sheep are quite close and t hen Mr Wolf replies ‘dinner ti\fe,’ and chases the sheep. 7. A ny sheep caught stay in Mr Wolf’s house for one turn. Card games You can make cards for these games or you can do\bnload picture cards from the LearnEnglish Kids \be\fsite. I \bent on safari Make 12 cards featuring ani\fals you \fight see on safari – or any other ani\fals. 1. E ach person, in turn, has to say ‘I went on Safari and I s aw [they turn over a card and say what is on the card] an e lephant.’ 2. T hey put the card, picture down, on another pile. 3. T he next player says ‘I went on Safari and I saw an elephant a nd [turns a card and adds the na\fe of the ani\fal] a parrot.’ 4. E ach player, in turn, adds the na\fe of an ani\fal. 5. I f they forget any of the ani\fals in the list, they are out of t he ga\fe. 6. I f the list grows to \fore than 12 ani\fals, the ga\fe \begins a gain and anyone, who is already out, can re-join. Memory game Make 12 pairs of identical picture cards of the sa\fe ite\fs and place the\f face-down on a flat surface. 1. T he first player turns over a card and says ‘a \bus’, then t urns a second card. 2. I f it is the sa\fe they say and ‘a \bus, two \buses’ and keeps t he two cards. 3. I f the card is different they replace \both cards fro\f w here they took the\f. 4. T he ai\f is to find two cards (a pair) with the sa\fe picture. 5. W hen no \fore cards are left, count the pairs. 6. A dd \fore ite\fs to these cards, once your child knows t he na\fes and plurals of the first 12 cards. 7. L ater change the the\fe of the cards; for exa\fple, to c lothing (a pair of socks, a red T-shirt, etc.). Board games Board ga\fes such as snakes and ladders or ludo are easy to \fake and provide lots of opportunities for sharing English together. You can \fake the\f to \fatch your child’s a\bility and needs. We hope you found the tips in this \fooklet useful and that you and your child continue to have fun \bhile learning English together. 151\b One of a series of booklets commissioned by the \fritish Council to support parents\b ■ How children learn English as another language ■ \fpeaking English with your child ■ \bearning English through sharing picture books ■ \bearning English through sharing rhymes ■ Helping your child to learn English – practical tips Practical tips from this booklet are also available on a DVD from the \fritish Council Written by Opal Dunn, author and educational consultant from the UK Designed and produced by The \furst Proof \fubble Limited, Manchester © British Council 2010 The United Kingdom’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. A registered charity\b 209131 (England and Wales) SC037733 (Scotland). To download the pdf, simply point your cursor to the pdf above: 1) wait for the download button to show up at the top. 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