FOCUS on CHILDREN & TEENS: DESCRIBING PICTURES with CHANTS to PRACTISE FLUENCY and learn NATURAL LANGUAGE in CONTEXT
Many certifications, beginning with the Cambridge English: Young Learners STARTERS /MOVERS / FLYERS exams for primary school children, require students to describe pictures in varying detail depending on their level and to understand listening pieces in order to carry out tasks demonstrating their comprehension. Therefore practising these skills intensely together will give the students the confidence to face these exams from a very young age.
I have tried describing these pictures with chants where I sing a piece and they repeat it like an echo. To make it more fun I have them search for what we are singing and see if they can find it before their friends. This makes them not only practise fluency but also verify their comprehension.
Subsequently – when the chant has been repeated numerous times over a period of time (a few days) – students can be asked to describe the picture with their own words. Inevitably they will use the right collocations and vocabulary.
For older students one might try making a gap-fill with the text to see if they remember the right prepositions or collocations. For this purpose I am also adding the Word document to modify as you feel necessary.
Children could, in groups, describe one aspect of another picture and then all the class puts the various sentences together into a chant to sing together.
All the materials and audio are provided below for you to download.
If you have any other ideas of how one could exploit the materials please comment below.
Hope you have fun using them!
ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS: Try teaching and LEARNING GRAMMAR with fun repetitive songs - my experience is that even beginners can learn more complicated grammatical structures when they are used repetitively in a song. I added some prepositions and collocations to my originally simpler song. Try it out for yourselves - you'll be surprised!!
You can download the song below:
Have fun with it and learn!
LISTEN, REPEAT, MOVE: the DAILY ROUTINE SONG - repeating collocations, prepositions, phrasal verbs combined with movements in a song
Many language students tend to dedicate a long time studying rules and doing written exercises yet not many manage to apply them in spontaneous conversation. Despite exposure to texts and listening activities, unless they practise speaking intensively few are talented enough to be able to express themselves orally without sounding unnatural. For this reason I am trying to create useful songs and chants which incorporate repeating collocations, prepositions, phrasal verbs combined with movements to allow students to embed and practise their oral expression in a fun way and lasting manner without feeling bored or embarassed. I believe in 'learning by doing' and practising speaking can never be enough!
The following song is about a pupil's DAILY ROUTINE:
Download the VIDEO below to see the movements connected to the EXPRESSIONS in the simple song!
(Unfortunately I could not upload the Video with subtitles due to 34MB size - I will gladly email it to you on request.)
Try it out and have fun!
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My name is Susan Brodar, born in London into a multilingual family and brought up bilingual English / Italian.