Online English lessons and coding with YL (Part Three)

January 2021 – This is the last part of a three-post serie, giving suggestions on how to use Scratch codes in teaching English to Young Learners (above all in online lessons). In the first part, I describe simple animations to revise numbers and prepositions of place, while in the second post, mazes were proposed to practice giving directions and question-answer animations. This time, I invite you to adventure into the Scratch world of quizzes and stories.

Online English lessons and coding with YL (Part Two)

January 2021 – In my previous post, I suggested that teachers giving online lessons to YL try out some alternative tasks using the programming language Scratch. This coding program was customized for elementary school students to introduce them to the universe of algorithms, sequencing, variables and others. So the main aim of the Scratch project is to teach coding to pupils. However, Scratch could come in really handy when giving online English lessons to Young Learners. In Part One, you can read about how to practise numbers and prepositions of places with Scratch animations. In this post, I’d like to propose ways to practise giving directions and asking vs. answering questions – hidden in coding.

Online English lessons and coding with YL (Part One)

January 2021 – As many of my colleagues, I ended up teaching completely online nearly a year ago. With teen and adult classes, the switch to online lessons was surprisingly smooth. However, things were not as easy with Young Learners (YL). Mainly, because parents – among them myself – were worried about how much time their children spent in front of different screens and secondly, because my students were used to lessons full of movement and games. We desperately needed inspiration. It came from one of the many Future Learn courses.

LESSON PLAN – Regular and irregular verbs in simple past

December 2020 – This lesson plan revises regular and irregular verbs in simple past form. It can be used at A2 level, but there are extra materials proposed for irregular verbs at B1 level. The worksheet offers tasks to an animated short film ‘Paperman’ (as a visual input, since the film is voiceless) and to a song (River Deep – Mountain High by Celine Dion). The main focus is on questions: the grammar analysis provides a useful list of all question forms students should be familiar with at A2-B1 level.

LESSON PLAN – Regular verbs in simple past

December 2020 – This lesson plan introduces or revises regular verb forms in simple past. It’s target level is A1-A2. The exercises also revise vocabulary linked to ‘restaurants’, a lexical field students are often exposed to even at lower levels while traveling. The short video to watch is the end scene of the animated Disney/Pixar film ‘Ratatouille’. There are also materials included to practice pronunciation of the -ed ending and spelling.

LESSON PLAN – Irregular verbs in simple past

December 2020 – This lesson plan can be adapted to YL lessons, but also adults might find the videos engaging. The aim of this lesson is to introduce or revise irregular verb forms in simple past. The lesson plan works on two short videos: an animated short film (Snack Attack) and a scene from Kung-Fu Panda 2. Students are also offered interactive exercises to memorize irregular verbs at A1-A2 level.

FREE TEST-BANK: TEST-ENGLISH

December 2020 – When I started teaching online I kept going back to one website to test my students’ grammar knowledge in test-teach-test approach. At the beginning, it was a simple blog, however, it has grown up to a prodigious test bank. Today, I invite you to visit the TEST-ENGLISH website.

WUP: TWO THINGS WE HAVE IN COMMON

December 2020 – THIS IS a Warm-up/Lead-in exercise you can print and use in your next grammar/conversation lesson. The task is to complete the questionnaire (by giving two answers to different questions) and then mingling around in the classroom to find someone who has these two things in common (which is not as easy as it seems).

GRAMMAR: SIMPLE PAST (ONLINE LESSON)

November 2020 – This is a lesson plan teaching and revising regular and irregular verbs in simple past. Students need to be at high A1-A2 level, but you can also use this lesson for a revision lesson at B1 level. The lesson plan is written for an online lesson.

SPICE UP YOUR LESSON WITH A SONG – Grammar & Vocabulary through Listening

November 2020 – Songs are an evergreen possibility to lead into a new topic or introduce a new grammatical structure, they can be an excellent exercise to wind down a lesson and even in between two exercises, they are good for making students relax and prepare for the next task. In this post, I would like to show you some interactive worksheets to do while listening to some great classics and also some newer hits – with embedded YouTube videos.

ONLINE REVIEW: MAKE UP YOUR MIND!

When we think about reading, we picture books, newspapers or magazines. However, your students probably read daily texts that are shorter, more about consumption and not (only) about entertainment or current affairs, and are more packed with information. Let me give you a simple example how to train them to find and read this type of texts in real life and some tasks to customize for your lesson, with the aim to improve reading for details.

FILM QUIZ – A2/B1: THE HOLIDAY

Films offer a wide range of benefits to students: even if they have already seen the film in their first language, by watching it in another language will teach them how to listen and catch first words, then phrases, finally complete sentences. With subtitles, they teach vocabulary and pronunciation patterns, however, it becomes more a reading task. With a quiz, it can be even done in self-study mode. This time a romantic comedy for Christmas: The Holiday.

Project-based teaching: Fashion Show & Masterchef Junior

After more than 10 years of classroom teaching (mostly to adults, but also young learners, YL), I was pretty fed up with coursebooks. As I mentioned in my last post series about Mini Heroes, I started teaching English to kids at home, in the room I use for my home nursery in the mornings. In addition to my two boy groups, I managed to set up a mini-group with 8-9 year old girls and could start with a very exciting course: a course based on projects. Let me explain to you what it means.

GRAMMAR: HAVE GOT – HOW TO PRESENT AND PRACTISE IT WITH YL

BULLETPOINTS: Level: A1 (Movers); Age: 7-10; Group size: any; Aim: – to present and structure different forms of have got (positive, negative, question form and short answers); – to enable students to actively use the target language; Skill: speaking; Grammar: have got; Vocabulary: animals and their body parts (or any other A1 vocabulary field); Length: 30 min+; Preparation time: 10 min; Material: presentation and downloadable flashcard (external link).

SPEAKING: Asking for and Giving Personal Information

BULLETPOINTS: Level: A1-A2 (Elementary); Age: adults; Group size: any; Aim: to practice question formations – to ask questions about personal information; – to give information about personal details; Skill: speaking; Grammar: questions, to be, have got; Vocabulary: personal details; Length: 90 min; Preparation time: 5 min (print and cut student’s worksheet); Material: student’s worksheet (one sheet per two students), whiteboard + marker.

YL FLYERS: FUTURE TRACING MEMO-GAME

BULLETPOINTS: Level: Flyers (A2); Age: 7-12; Group size: any; Aim: to activate previously learnt future forms; Skill: writing (tracing) and speaking; Grammar: going to and present continuous for the future; Vocabulary: birthday; Length: 30 min; Preparation time: none; Material: worksheet attached.