A fun and easy way to learn English words
by Ana Milkova
If you are a parent who always wants to be up-to-date with what their children study at school and monitor their progress in English, here are a few easy techniques to provoke curiosity and concentration. You need card, coloured /felt tip/ pens and Blue Tack reusable adhesive.
Make a list of the words that have to be memorized or revised. You can use your child’s vocabulary book or the word list at the end of their school book. Start with some word groups like colours, fruit, objects at home, clothes, school things, etc. Make flashcards with the words and ask the child to stick them on/next to/below/above the object in question, after which pronounce the word a few times with different intonation and facial expression /happy, sad, interesting, boring/.
- For a start label the rooms and things in the hall. Continue with the child’s favourite objects in their own room, electronic devices and school stuff. Then move to the kitchen and some appliances, food and drinks there. Little by little children get carried away and start to engage themselves in the activity.
- On the next day change the places of the cards to check how much the child remembers. Start with a few words from only one word group.
- Leave the words until the child starts losing interest. Don’t throw away the flashcards but ask the child to put them in alphabetic order – an exercise which is good for spelling practice /keep the alphabet close at hand/.
- When the child feels confident enough, cut the cards in two or three parts, shuffle them and ask the child to ‘reassemble’ the words.
- After this sequence of activities it is easier to ask the child to sit down and write the words a few times. They can do this on strips of coloured paper which can be displayed round the room or used as frames of objects to subtly prompt the child’s memory.
These ideas are suitable for children between 7 and 10 years of age who need a little support and stimulation with games and movement. In this way the usually tedious process of learning words turns into:
- an eagerly awaited activity
- a game connecting child and parent
- a confidence booster
- an independence builder
All at a very early stage of the foreign language learning process
Learn English with puppets
Make your own shadow puppet show
By Alice Turner
‘A cold, cold night.
A brown, brown owl
A grey, grey wolf.
A red, red howl…’
It’s easy and cheap to make your very own shadow puppet theatre, and it will keep children amused for hours, as they create and improvise stories with their puppets. It’s super creative, liberating and a great family bonding activity.
You can choose a well-known story, a poem, short conversations with favourite characters or invent your own characters together with the children.
The language benefits are:
· practising word families
· learning communicative language
· telling a story
· developing fluency
· Improving motor skills
· Basic presentation skills
· Opening up for more creative activities
· Creating a comfortable environment to experiment with language
When to do it
On a very cold or rainy day ☺
An indoor activity for parents to get children off the computer and encourage some family bonding, or a good way to end a party
What you need
A fairly large cardboard box
A pair of scissors
A marker pen
A sheet of white tissue paper to cover one of the sides of the box (see illustration)
A desk lamp
How to do it
Follow instructions below to create your very own shadow puppet stage.
Next create your own characters for your story
This can be done on a regular basis until it blends in naturally with your children’s learning process and learning happens in an organic way.