Tips and tricks

If you are a classroom teacher who also teaches English, it is important to use a symbol (e.g. a puppet) so children know that you speak English throughout the English lesson.

If you use a puppet, introduce him/her in the first lesson by saying this is a friend who only speaks English, so from now on we only speak English when ... (the puppet) is present.

If you find it difficult to speak English all the time and if you see that the children do not understand you, try and minimize the amount of English you use and use extra body language and visuals to support your English. Using lots of home language instead of English, minimizes the amount of English the children hear.

If children still do not understand you, you can always ask 'Who can help?' Most probably there will be a child who can explain in your home language so you can confirm and repeat the information again in English.

Starting with English you will need extra time for preparation. Jameslessons will help you by giving you sample instructions in the lesson plans that you can use in you class.

Praise the children for every form of communication, if the children answer in their home language, you can repeat the answer in English. You can also encourage the children to speak by saying the first sound of the word e.g. What colour is it? Is it r...? (red)

Don't expect that children start speaking in English straight away. They need a lot of vocabulary and sample sentences before they can form their own language.

Give children lots of time to practise speaking English in pairs. Using cooperative learning structures is a great way to increase involvement and language production. Give children sample sentences they can use in their interaction.

Use differentiated questions. E.g. 'Is it red or blue?' or 'What colour is it?

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