Lesson 2-3 The Third lesson - Positive communication with facial expressions...

May 29 2009 0 Comments by The ENB

After going through our usual greetings I was glad most of the kids remembered what we had done last week. It was that act of checking again mentioned in Japanese as 'kakuninsuru.' Good for those kids. The ones who forgot got a quick reminder anyway. Then we started out this lesson again with another review of the "Hello song." We quickly breezed through it twice as usual and soon jumped ahead a bit and got into the lesson's Let's Listen portion on page 14 by telling the students to open their books to the appropriate page.

Eigo Note Book 1 Page 14 - Let's Listen (at the top)

We do all this in English by the way most of the time, so the kids can try to figure out the page numbers on their own. Also, just to keep things running smoothly we usually let the kids say the instructions together in Japanese from the green or blue boxes just beside the headers. This brings the students back into focus and keeps the 'chatterboxes' in check since they will be drowned out by the other voices.

Going through the quiz, we played the CD once over to let the kids absorb the language. We didn't play it twice as usual since the students never requested for another go at the CD. While checking the answers you may find that they will all get a perfect score. Then, I ask a few questions and review the answers like this to see if they fully understood what the two conversations were about. We asked the students what the difference was between the two skits. (The teacher's book asks us to let the student's express what they felt about the two skits and what their differences are.)

It's a simple way to just ask the kids, 'What's different?' and 'Why?' and 'What language did they use?' Or you can try to build up the dialogue in accordance to their answers.

Some of the first answers I usually got included 'Because it is Ken in the second picture...,' and... 'The girl in the second picture does not look Japanese' and so on. So, we then built upon that by asking 'What if we didn't know who Ken was' or 'What if she is Japanese,' so... 'How would we know they're different?' The next answer from the kids were like 'Well, the first dialogue feels like they are shaking hands and in the second dialogue it feels like they are waving.' Good, the kids are starting to use their intuition instead of giving up on the quiz. After telling the kids that it may be a good point, we tell them that I want them to know how to be certain. So, we then asked the kids what kind of key language they had heard. (Now this may be quite tough for 5th or 6th graders to handle, but I haven't seen or heard anybody complain in all of my classes. They did mention it was tough at first but not something so tough as to give up on.)

We played the CD again and had the kids listen to the two conversations once more, and then asked again, 'What is different?' You'll get a few hands up depending on the class level, but most answers will be in Japanese. The kids will usually say that in the first conversation, the two people are meeting for the first time and that in the second conversation the two people know each other. Good, we tell the kids we are stepping in the right direction and I give the students who made that point a sticker for the back of the book. It gives the other students more incentive for the next question. 'What did the first two people say that made you know or feel that they don't know each other?' At this point, you will get the right answers, and if not, like in some of my classes, we usually just play the CD again. But there are three answers I'm looking for. One is 'Nice to meet you.' The second is 'My name is ...' And the third is 'I'm ...' These may be tough to coax out of them, but if the kids are listening carefully they will pick them up. More stickers are handed out as well as a prize for each answer. I'm lucky they're ''lovin' it.''

Just to be careful, it was also explained that it would sound strange if you greeted an English speaking friend with 'Hi, my name is ...How are you?'

Some students seemed a bit tired at this point so I wanted to do something to pick them up a little. A game perhaps... an activity... not really. It was just a simple challenge. I wanted the kids to perfect the first conversation in the quiz (and also bring in some 'verbal shadowing' practice along the way.) (What is the point anyway of meeting foreign people if you can't tell them your own name and ask 'How are you?' at the same time.)

With the HRT's support they quickly obliged for the former item. The latter item of shadowing would be brought in unknowingly for the kids to eventually flow into and catch the rhythm without having to explain the whole process.

We then had the students listen to Conversation 1 again while I wrote the conversation on the board. It took another round of listening to finish the writing but by this time a few of the students were actually shadowing from the top.

Good, it had started on its own. It was just a matter of giving a cue to whoever was managing the CD player to play it again and gesture the kids to join in and 'shadow' the conversation as best as they could. Another verbal cue from the HRT to try again and coaxing the students to speed up and we were on our way.

After this we had the students practicing in pairs and since they know it is a prelude to 'picking up' a random student they practiced earnestly. Written cues on the board may be bad for memorizing and most of the students were looking at the board instead of their partner.

To check on their progress I moved to the back of the class for a round of practice with me so that the class could not see the board while speaking with me. The students remembered the whole skit so we then proceeded to do the lesson's assigned activity on page 13.

Eigo Note Book 1 Page 13 - The Circle Game The first time I tried this Activity, the "Circle Game" on page 13, it had almost bombed. The children could not just get themselves organized enough, and could not stay in order for rotation. What I was looking for the next class' lesson around was for the same type of activity with the same criteria, including a lot of speaking time, with the least amount of preparation, and well organized enough to get the kids moving around in an orderly fashion. So... it was decided to keep the students in their respective two rows of four or five and have them rotate into the next seat clockwise after doing the skit with their first partner. That would be about four paired rows of eight to ten students with the odd student's desk or spot being utilized as a break-time spot. Now, to avoid having the same students speaking to each other twice all you need to do is keep one student in each group who will not change his/her position and act as a center. All students can then successfully rotate one full round without interviewing the same person twice. Everyone in the group can move clockwise once everyone has completed the skit. In real practice for the first time, many students had done very well. After seeing a demonstration from your best group, other students will eventually understand the whole process.

One of the main guidelines however, was that the students could mix up the dialogue as long as they used the key target language of 'nice to meet you,' 'my name is ...' and 'I'm ...' Plus, the finish with 'how are you?' 'I'm ...and you?'

We gave the students plenty of time here and stressed that the point was not speed today, but that of fluency. So, they could help each other, start the skit over if needed and so on. But time gets by and we had only a few minutes left for the last activity.

So, we needed something quick and fun since the students looked like they needed another pick up. Well, how about a little run around and a quick game of 'Fruits Basket'. No need to move any chairs and desks around the classroom to set this up. Have you ever tried playing this game by just moving to another person's desk. For the upper grades I think this game is safe enough to try and after the students are told not to run they usually don't. But for the lower grades it can get get quite dangerous since they will probably start running around the classroom. But with grade 5ers or 6ers you can do any kind of conversation related to the day's Target Language and then add in a special rule of how many students to greet and do the T.L. (at least 2 or 3 people) then sit down in a different spot/desk when finished. Don't be afraid to ask the students to slow things down a bit so no one gets hurt. If the ALT and the HRT join in that leaves two students who will be left out with no more seats to sit down on. So, those two students will have to perform the skit in front of the class as a little penalty "bats" game. You can get in 5-10 rounds depending on your time-frame.

Time soon goes by and to finish it off we recapped the lesson points and answered any questions accordingly after the game. Hope you have time to read the next blog post coming soon:

Eigo Note Book 1 Unit 2 Lesson 4...

Please be sure to check out my Eigo Note Blog for Grade 6 and my experience in teaching English with the Eigo Note 2 Textbook.


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The ENB writes for eigonoteblog.com whenever possible. The ENB's favorite school lunch is curry and rice. ( Short and spicy since we don't want to annoy anyone ;D )

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