With young learners and in the initial stages, you will need to do most of the work in L1. Learners will give examples in their L1 because they don’t have the necessary language yet. Repeat their contributions in very simple English. Ask the class to repeat key vocabulary and help them to gradually incorporate the words in sentences.
For example, have ‘Please and Thank You Week’. During this week (or month, depending on your schedule), suggest that everyone remember to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. In the classroom, they can do this in English. And they can do it in their native language outside the classroom in other classes and at home.
Ask the class to work in pairs and ask their partner to lend them something. How do they ask politely? How do they answer?
· Pre-teach the words ‘polite’ and ‘rude’. Give examples.
· Discuss the importance of being respectful to people in general, at home, in the street, at school. Elicit examples of polite behaviour.
· Show pictures that reflect polite and rude behaviours. You may use pictures in your books or from magazines or the Internet.
· Encourage pupils to describe each situation in L1. Ask them if these situations reflect polite behaviour or not.
· Encourage them to say, It’s polite./It’s rude.
· Make red and green cards and ask the children to show them as they say the corresponding word.
· Focus on ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’. Tell the class that they are magic words. Ask them why they are magic. Elicit some answers from the class, e.g. if you say them people will probably do what you ask them and they will be happy because you are polite.
Magic words poster
· Bring some sheets of card to the class. You may wish to cut them into halves.
· Write ‘PLEASE’ and ‘THANK YOU’ in large block letters. They need to be large enough to be seen from the back of the room.
· Give out one piece of card to every four pupils. Ask them to colour and decorate the poster.
· When they have finished, put the posters around the classroom.
· You may also ask the children to create ‘road signs’ with the target words.
Project: Make a ‘Respecting classmates and teachers’ poster
· Show pictures that represent respectful and disrespectful behaviours.
· Ask children to identify which is which. Ask. Is she /he respectful?
· You may also use the red and green cards here.
· You may introduce polite forms of asking for things: Can you lend me…? Can I borrow…? Can I go to the toilet?
· Divide the class into pairs and ask pupils to draw and colour a picture depicting respectful behavior towards teachers and classmates at school and another depicting disrespectful behaviour.
· When they have finished, the pairs stand up and say, eg This boy/girl/person is respectful/not respectful.
· Collect all the pictures and make a class poster. Draw a happy face and a sad face on top of the poster.
· Ask pupils to glue their pictures in the correct category. Display the poster in the classroom and remind the class that they have to be respectful to people.
For children, learning explicit values can be lots of fun. They enjoy helping each other remember the week’s value and really enjoy seeing me, the teacher, occasionally forget to use it. (We’re all learning together!) At the beginning of the next class, I can ask students if they used their polite words the previous day. Did they use them with other teachers, or friends or their families?
Encourage learners to speak about their abilities and talents and appreciate their potential.
Language: CAN + verbs
Pre teach: talent; I’m special; kind;
· Ask pupils, Are you a good boy/girl? Are you kind to others/polite/a good son/daughter? Do you help at home?
· Pupils answer and talk about different situations in order to support their answers. Allow them to use L1 at this stage.
· Pre-teach ‘I’m special’ and ‘talent’. Discuss the importance of appreciating our abilities and talents.
· Ask the class to think what their talent is, what they’re good at.
· Ask them to think about one thing they can do well. Elicit answers from the class. Introduce ‘I’m good at (drawing).’ Supply additional vocabulary as needed.
· Give each pupil a copy of a worksheet similar to the one in the picture below. Explain that they are going to draw, use pictures/photos and write about themselves. Model with a sample about yourself.
· Invite pupils to use any material available, such as photos of their family, crayons or coloured pencils, glossy paper or magazine cut-outs to make a collage, etc. Allow plenty of time for pupils to work. Circulate asking questions and helping as necessary.
· Have them write a few words to describe what they have done.
· Display the self-appreciation mini-posters pupils have made. Ask them to describe what they have put in them.
Write 5 things about yourself: I like….. I can …. I’m good at ….
· Give each pupil a sheet of paper.
· Write on the board the opening phrases: I like….. I can …. I’m good at ….
· Tell the class to write five things about themselves using those phrases. Then they draw a picture of themselves to illustrate the sentences. Alternatively, they may bring photos and stick them onto the mini poster.
· Supply additional vocabulary as necessary.
· Collect all the pictures and make a class poster. Give it a title, e.g. We’re special!
· Display the poster in the classroom and remind the class that they are special.
Do this gradually, in simple English. Pupils are likely to give examples in their L1. Repeat their contributions in English. Write key vocabulary on the board and ask the class to repeat the words. Help them to gradually incorporate the words in sentences.
When dealing with the topic of special or talented children, be ready to protect the weak or shy from being teased, highlighting the fact that, even those who do not respond to stimuli easily, should be rewarded for their positive efforts in the learning of a foreign language.