by Gizem Öksüz
Copyright © 2023
Funny ways to teach English
1) Try online listening games
Listening is a key part of Cambridge English Qualifications. Our A2 level activity Work and jobs asks learners to listen out for simple information and choose an answer from pictures. With lively, bright pictures, these listening games inspire children to have fun whilst learning. We also have listening activities for pre-A1 level (At the beach) and A1 level (In the home).
2) Tell me what you can see
Practising speaking activities at home can help your child feel safe and build their confidence, as they won’t be afraid to make mistakes.
Some of our speaking activities, like our A2 level activity At the museum, ask your child to compare two pictures and speak about all the differences they see. Young learners may also like to draw a picture of their own. To help them practise their English, ask them to describe the things in their own picture and use a dictionary to look up new words.
3) Play teachers
Looking for ways to improve your child’s English spelling? Write a list of English words your child knows but change the spelling. Then, ask them to correct your work like a teacher. We also have an online spelling activity for Pre A1 Starters, The body, where learners must make words out of letters with the help of some bright, fun pictures!
4) Make a magic word box
Sometimes, there is more than one way to describe a person or object. These descriptive words are called adjectives. To help your child learn more descriptive words, why not create a magic word box?
Put new English words in the box and pick them out at random every day to help them learn new words. You can also get your child to try this online A2 level activity which asks learners to say whether or not the description is correct.
How we more effective teach English ?
Reading is the most effective long-term way to boost vocabulary. When learners spend their time on reading, they meet many of the words and lexical (word) patterns that are taught in their textbooks. They are exposed to them in different contexts and in different kinds of sentences, so they see them over and over again. Reading allows the learner to revise the vocabulary they learned, learn the formation of these words, and develop an awareness of collocations and thousands of lexical phrases. When I was teaching at primary school, we had a library in our class. There were different resources from story books to magazines to read on different subjects. My students’ favourite reading texts was from National Geographic Kids magazine. They have many kinds of reading texts supported by real pictures such as animals, oceans, and one of the favourites was the “Weird but True” series. This magazine not only encouraged them to revise the vocabulary taught in the class but allowed them to develop new vocabulary and studied several interesting topics like our world, as well. National Geographic magazines are also a decent source of higher-level reading.
HOW TEACH TO TALK ENGLİSH
It’s all a matter of bearing in mind what is really central in the communication process. What do you think is it the most important thing in developing speaking skills? To me, the most important thing is delivering a message. That is the true end game.
Delivering a message means communicating something meaningful to someone else in order to get feedback in return.
As a consequence, the priority in your teaching practice with beginners should always be creating tons of opportunities for delivering messages. This means creating the urgency and the need to pass on a message, regardless of the content.
Now, when you work with beginners and complete beginners, the core topics in the lessons are usually related to being able to talk about oneself: who are you? Where are you from? Your family? What do you like and dislike? And so on. Therefore, with beginners the priority will be to create as many opportunities as possible to talk about those topics.
By “as many opportunity as possible” I mean that you would be supposed to get the students into the conversation from the very first lesson, regardless of their previous knowledge of the target language. Remember: communicating in a foreign language means delivering a message by using any means. The means can be: words students already know, body language and gestures, pictures and drawings. Really, anything.
For example, in my suggestopedic Italian courses for beginners I do a specific activity called introduction. That is the very first part of the suggestopedic courses. There I have a conversation with my students, where I speak Italian right away and I constantly invite them to give me feedback, to answer, to talk, depending on the specific previous knowledge of each student. Also, I use a lot of props and visuals (pictures, objects) to show the things I’m talking about. So, for instance: if I’m talking about my family, I show them a picture of my family so that they can link the nouns belonging to that conversational topic to real pictures.