thereby unleashing their creativity, hiding their shyness to speak English behind the characters of the cartoon.
Image credit: https://toontastic.withgoogle.com
Hi teachers and language students! Have you ever heard of TOONTASTIC?
Today I'm really excited to present to you TOONTASTIC, which I discovered very recently. It's an excellent app that you download on your phone. You then ask students to prepare, either spontaneously or with a script, a small sketch in which they take advantage of all the fun activities that are available on this to create a short story.
It's very exciting, very easy to use, can be used offline as well and I'd like to give you some examples of what some of my students created in the video below.
The very young students under age six need a lot of help with laying out the story and practising what to say before recording the one-minute scenes but older students are able to do it all by themselves. I also use this with some high school students and they can explain a scientific experiment, a historical event or represent a topic, as some 10-year olds did recently, by inventing a sketch on bullying which was very effective to convey an important message.
Image credit: https://toontastic.withgoogle.com
There are three possibilities: a 3-scene sketch called Short Story, a 5-part sketch called Classic Story or a 5-part Science Report. The students can use the characters proposed as they stand, customise them changing their colours, adding photos of the students' faces on them or drawing the characters themselves. For language learning purposes I ask them not to waste time on changing the characters because our objective is practising the English language.
There are various settings to ignite the students' imaginations and in each setting many exciting things happen such as the cannonball shooting out when ignited, the volcano exploding when touched, the cable-car starting and stopping, doors opening and closing, all activated by the students touching various parts of the settings. The characters themselves also have exciting surprises such a those whose parachute opens, those whose tongue licks out unexpectedly and so on.
As you can see, it's a very flexible app that can be used by all ages and what's exciting is that even shy students can speak because they hide behind the character and it really gets people talking. So the most interesting characteristic of this application is that we're getting students to finally speak and speak spontaneously. That's why I don't correct every mistake they make because it's better for them to become confident making a few mistakes than correcting every grammar point and then being shy to speak.
So I definitely recommend TOONTASTIC. Have fun with it, try it out and as you can see, at the end it really turns out like a real film: they also show who made it which makes it a little more fun and realistic - directed by... starring... etc.
Please write your experiences with the app in the comments below. It will be really interesting to hear all the different ways you use this app.
Hoping to have shared some useful information.
Your fluency teacher,
Images credit: https://toontastic.withgoogle.com
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My name is Susan Brodar, born in London into a multilingual family and brought up bilingual English / Italian.