Lesson 4-1 The First lesson - "Getting familiar with the word and verb: "like" : "I like apples!" ...

Jul 01 2009 0 Comments by The ENB

Here we are again for a new chapter or lesson as it is so called in the noto. Lesson 4 and the header says it plain and simple, I like apples! right on the top left corner of page 24. It seems by now that almost every kid in Japan must know the meaning of 'like' and such terms as 'Do you like___?' 'I like___.' and 'I don't like___.' But do they really know? I've been teaching for so many years now, that I know by now a little review does help. But kids are kids and they don't always remember everything they hear 100%. Either way, it really depends on what kind of English program kids in Japan have gotten (or will get since the program will start nationally in 2011) before the Eigo Noto. Some as little as zero to a couple lessons a year. The most numbers of lessons I've done per grade per year prior to teaching with the Eigo Note was about 15 lessons a year and in most cases a little review goes a long way.

Eigo Note Book 1 Page 24 Lesson 4 I like apples.

After the greetings and intro into the new unit, just by telling the kids we are now into Lesson 4, we didn't go straight into the dialogue between the ALT and HRT with the picture cards. We opted to introduce the vocabulary first one by one.

Here is a good chance also to explain to the kids why some words have an ~s after it and some don't. It takes about 5 minutes but we've studied this before and I think most kids at this age can understand the counting and container system for countable nouns and uncountable nouns. The container system being for ice-cream and juice to remind them that we say "two cones" of ice-cream or "two glasses" of juice if they argue you can still count ice-cream or juice on their own. What about sports names? It is just plainly like that; like Baseball and not baseballs. A lot of it is translated by the HRT, but I like to put it simply as we like things such as dogs "in general" so if you say 'I like banana' in the U.S. you will look like you're 3 years old. The kids are quick to pick up on that one. Anyways, I have that kind of relationship with the kids where they sometimes get it "straight from the horse's mouth" and they don't mind that kind of blunt explaination since they don't want to look bad either.

After the kids got accustomed to it, we introduced 'like', our theme for the chapter. Basically, this was mostly by translation method after asking the kids if they remembered from last year the meaning of like after a few examples. Well, not everyone put up their hand confidently so it was good to ask. Nobody wants to leave a kid hanging in confusion so after everyone understood point one on the board (my kids are excellent site readers and many have taken the Eiken STEP test so don't get surprised by all the English writing you see on the board) we did the dialogue about I like ... and I don't like ... (Remember to discuss this with your HRT about their cue when to say 'I don't like dogs." Otherwise, you won't get to the other point; point two on our blackboard.)

Now, point 2 is quite simple to point out. When the HRT says 'I don't like dogs," just get in their and ask the kids "What did sensei, say?" Point to yourself and say "I like dogs..." and say "Sensei...?" He or she should emphasise again "I don't like dogs." Ask the kids if they understood. The HRT can explain if the kids still don't understand. Then we would go through with the rest of the conversation. Well, I wanted to push the above since I don't see the whole point of pushing the whole dialogue first if the kids have no idea what it is about. So, just to put a little more clarity in it we did it this way. Then, you know the kids have gotten the gyst when you hear the oohs and aahs when an HRT says 'I don't like ice-cream' or 'I don't like swimming.' If you don't get any reaction out of the kids the first time, you lose out on the 'first impression factor' and I think that makes the lesson too informative and time consuming if you've got to do the skit again. (So, I believe the long-trusted yet somewhat out-dated translation method does have some good uses once in a while. We also used it to help explain "I don't like vs. I hate")


Now, to get to point three on the board is just blatantly simple. Get the kids attention, review the meaning of point 1 and 2 to check up on who isn't paying attention. (Yes, sometimes we're a little strict.) Put a question mark at the end of point 3 and ask what's this? (Sure, the kids can get that! It's a "question" mark isn't it? I really love teaching 'common sense' besides English.) And slowly write 'Do you like __?' and model it for them. And they can repeat it a few times just to get used to it. Next, I asked the HRT 'Do you like apples?' and most of the time the HRT will say 'Yes, I do,' or 'No, I don't like apples,' or some combination of the two. But just not to confuse the kids here and get through this portion quickly I will just tell the HRT or imply (by gesture) that just a 'Yes or No' is ok. The kids have just review the three points on 'like' and 'count and non-count' nouns so I think that's enough grammer for one day. So, we asked the kids one by one, and even after explaining that all you want as an answer is yes or no you will on the odd chance get a so-so out of one or two kids. (Cheeky monkeys... :)

That's still English but one of my HRT's reminded the kids to make up their minds. I think its safe to say that after teaching these kids for so long we are way passed that "waiting over a minute or two in silence" while all the other students are waiting for that one student to make up his or her mind for an answer. I think the kids understand now that also shyness might play a role but I've allowed kids in the past to just say "pass" if it was an issue and to avoid any "adolescent emotional breakdowns" in the classroom for a chance to "buck up" and get back at it later. (Give the kids a break once in a while, right?)

So, now we have an understanding that to stall is just a waste of time or just plainly a little bit rude to others to make them wait that long.

Well, once we get through all the kids (I'm glad that takes less than two minutes now) we did the quiz on page 24. Now everyone using the CD's knows how funny the voices are but it is still "do-able." The kids all got it well and there were no complaints there.

At this point, I took the liberty of introducing the chant by disguising it and telling the kids that we're going to practice point 3 as well as "let's practice "Yes, I do" and "No, I don't." After slyly practicing the lyrics with the kids by placing flashcards and sight words on the board, I then told them "ok, let's listen to the chant." But no surprises there, I guess they must be getting a little tired by now and we go through the songs 3 times in a jiffy.

So, just as I thought, better to save the best things for last. The trusty Keyword Game. Now, we're running this game a little thin but the kids don't seem to mind and as you can hear in the audio files they seem to enjoy it.

Basically, we played this in five stages. The first two just using the words and the last three using point 1 to 3. KIds were told to only say "I win" if they got the eraser 3 times out of the five games. Before then, just a 'I got it!' would be good enough and we finished off with a review of the lesson.

Teaching ESL to kids with the Eigo Note sure feels better ending the lesson with a game. The kids were cheerful and in good spirits. Hope your lessons are going the same way.

Eigo Note Book 1 Unit 4 Lesson 2 is now ready!


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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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