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!
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My name is Susan Brodar, born in London into a multilingual family and brought up bilingual English / Italian.