” I want a banana! ” asking for things in English is so important. If you listen to young native speakers, they are often asking for things. In this fun video we are learning the basics of how to ask for something in English. Watch, and give it a try in your classes!
Target Phrases: What do you want to eat? I want a banana. Target vocabulary: sandwich, salad, hot dog, hamburger, banana, taco, broccoli cake, onion ice cream
Give the song a try in your classes, and then practice with different food vocabulary. You can even make a shopping game. Happy teaching!
With so many songs, videos, flashcards, games, where does one begin teaching English to young learners? It can be overwhelming! My answer: get back to basics. In this post, and more going forward, I will cover some basic and simple ideas for teaching English. Remember, teaching English is easy! Present the material in a fun and interesting way, and children will do the rest with their magnificent minds. More below the video:
Basic # 1: Teaching Numbers
We might think that most young learners already know numbers. I meet a lot of new students who have a basic idea of how to say numbers in English, but maybe have never done so in front of people. Numbers are a fun and simple way to boost young learners confidence in the English classroom.
Practice, practice, practice
Numbers are not only great on their own, but they contain many sounds of the English language. I start many classes by simply counting 1 to 10 using flashcards. If the students are older we might count to 100, or 1,000 or higher! It depends on the level, and kids get a kick out of saying really high numbers. You can make flashcards, write numbers on a white board, or even count objects. Be creative!
I have recorded a few numbers songs over the years, but the still number one favorite is Let’s Count 1 to 10. Simple, and always fun with the actions. Here is a list of the Numbers Songs I use most in my classes. Click on the link to go to the page or video with the song.
You can do many things with numbers. Ask students, “how old are you?” and they answer, ” I am five”, etc. You can use numbers in a shopping game and use the vocabulary, “How much is it?” “It’s 25 dollars.”
You can play a shopping game, restaurant game, or many other fun games with numbers. Below are links to my favorite number games to use in class:
Toss a ball to students and count. (not a game, but a fun activity)
Numbers Wrap up
As a teacher I like to keep things as simple as possible. To teach numbers, practice sayingnumbers with your students, sing a numbers song, then play a numbers game. Simple and effective. Keep it light and fun, and your students will be counting to a billion in no time! Happy Teaching!
I am always looking for new ways to make the young English learners (ESL, EFL) classes fun. Kids love to play Hide and Seek. It is such a fun and simple game. Children hide, and one friend tries to find them. You can play it anywhere, at home, in a park, or even in a classroom. Teaching tips below the video:
Where are you? Where is Bell? Where is Tunes? Where is Matt? There she is. There he is.
Very useful vocabulary for the young learner. We often ask where someone is. We also often say, “There he/she is.”
After showing this video you can play the real hide and seek game if you have space in your classroom, or outdoors. You can also play using some flashcards, and paper cut outs of characters.
Materials: 3-5 flashcards of your choice. It could be park vocabulary (tree, slide, bush, etc.) or transportation (car, truck, airplane).
Paper cut out of a character, or even animal.
How to play: Place the flashcards on the floor and say, “Let’s play hide and seek.” Identify the flashcards, teaching the students the vocabulary on the card. For example, “tree, bush, slide.” Show the paper cut out and say, “Now Tune is going to hide.” Ask the students to close their eyes and count to 5, 10, or how long you need. Place the character under one of the cards, and ask the students to open their eyes. Next say, “Where is Tunes?” Depending on the level of the students they can just say the flashcard vocabulary like “Tree” or they could say “under the tree,” or even “behind the tree.” It is up to you to decide what vocabulary suits your students level best.
I hope this give you some ideas. Be creative, have fun, and your students will learn a lot!
Hi, Friends! A few months ago I began the Dream English Teaching Tips Podcast. I’m hoping this podcast will help teachers to have even better classes. Maybe you missed some of the podcasts over the summer, so here is a quick summary of the episodes. The podcast is also available on iTunes. All free, so please have a listen! Click on the link to go to the podcast on the PodBean.com site.
In this episode I talk about a favorite subject of mine, teaching English with songs! I talk about how I teach songs in the classes to young learners. I also talk about different kinds of songs like action songs, finger play songs, and more!
In this episode I talk about my Top 5 Classroom Games for teaching English to young learners. You only need a few good games that you can use over and over again with differnet vocabulary. Have a listen for some of my students favorites.
I hope to do a bunch of Lesson Plans Podcasts to help everyone with planning their lessons. The first episode in this series is Colors! Colors are a basic part of English for your young learners class, and can be lots of fun. In this episode I talk about introducing colors, color songs, and color games.
Today on the podcast we will listen to a conversation I had with Mark from MES English about our basic philosophy in teaching very young learners English. We talk about how to relax in class, what to expect from the students, and how watching Sesame Street can help you with class ideas.
I hope you get some useful ideas from these podcast episodes. Happy Teaching! – Matt
Hi, Friends! I want to share a fun and simple game with you that I use often in my classes. If you follow the Dream English Kids YouTube channel, you may have noticed that I am making videos on the theme of Zoo animals. This has been a lot of fun, and I hope useful in your classes.
The Animal Guessing Game uses animal vocabulary, animal sounds, and a bit of fun acting. This is how you play: Introduce some animals using flashcards. For example, a lion, tiger, elephant, and zebra. After introducing the vocabulary, show each card and act like the animal with sounds and actions. Asks the students to follow along.
Next, ask the students to guess which animal you are imitating. After you have done this a few times, let the students take turns. When one student is acting like an animal, ask the other students to guess the animal. Make sure every students gets a chance to act like an animal!
I hope you find this fun and useful. Happy Teaching!
Games are a great way to use vocabulary with students in a fun way. Children naturally love playing games, and it can be fun for the teacher, too! I used to think you need to have new games all of the time. Now I realize that a few great games can be played over and over in class. Simply switch out the vocabulary when you are teaching a new topic.
The Tower Game is one of my favorite games to use in small and big classes. I recommend this one from ages four and up. Here is how to play:
This is a really simple game that you can use with any flash card set. You do need a set of paper cups to play this. After teaching a set of flash card vocabulary, simply use the flash cards and cups to build a tower with the students.
You will need to use laminated flash cards for this to work. Place a cup on the table and ask the student’s a question, “What’s this?” When they answer correctly, they can place the flash card on the cup. Put another cup on top of that flash card, and repeat with the next student until you run out of flash cards, or the tower falls over.
You can use a lot of good phrases here like, “be careful” and “Oh, no!”.
What’s your favorite game to play with students? Check out my Dream English Tips Podcast to learn about some more games!
Hi! In this episode I talk about my Top 5 Classroom Games for teaching English to young learners. You only need a few good games that you can use over and over again with differnet vocabulary. Have a listen for some of my students favorites. Visit the Kids Games Page for more fun game ideas!
I love using songs to teach English. Students love it, too. It makes the class fun, dynamic, and uplifting. I recorded an Episode of the Dream English Teaching Kids Tips Podcast on Teaching Songs. Have a listen here. It is also now available on iTunes. Thanks for listening!
Hi! I’m super excited about the new Animal Names call and response song. This song works really well with young learners of English. It is simple, and also a lot of fun! I’m also excited to introduce the new Matt Show! Have a look and more below the video:
Animal Names Song
The idea of this song is simple. Let’s say some animal names, and repeat. This song can be a lot of fun with young students in small, and large class sizes. I would recommend this song from 3 years and up. It can be a bit of a challenge to say, “L, L, L, L, L, L, Lion!”
The Matt Show
The idea of the Matt show is simple, to reinforce the vocabulary and concepts in the song at the beginning of each video. After all, in a class we wouldn’t just sing a song, and then that is the end of the class. We would play games, and practice the vocabulary in different ways.
Different Ways to Learn
In the first episode of the Matt Show we have the following segments:
Spelling Game: Let’s learn how to spell Lion. If you make a mistake, watch out for the dinosaur!
Ask Tunes: Let’s ask Tunes a question. In this episode I ask Tunes, “What’s your favorite animal?”
Quiz Time: What animals do you see?
What did we learn today? A review of the things we learned in the song and video.
I hope you and your students find the new song and show ideas fun and helpful. Remember, teaching English is easy, if you make sure to be clear with what you are presenting, kids will just get it! Happy Teaching!
Food, Glorious, Food! A line from the great musical Oliver. Teaching young ESL and EFL learners about Food is a fun topic. We all have our favorite food, for me it is pizza, not to mention favorite fruit, and ice cream flavors. In the new Food Family Finger video, we learn the names of five popular food items, and how to ask for them in English. More below the video:
Top 10 Teaching Food Vocabulary Ideas
Use flash cards, toy food, or draw pictures to teach children food names in English. MES English has some great flash cards here.
Personalize the class! Ask the students, “What is your favorite food?” Beginners can answer with just the name of the food, and more advanced students can answer in a sentence like, “ I like pizza.”
Use flash cards, or food props, and have a “restaurant”. Lay out the food on a table, and have the students take turns asking for food by using phrases like, “I want a salad.” Make sure they say “Thank you” after the teacher gives the student the pretend food. Watch the video above to practice this vocabulary.
Craft Time: Have students draw pictures of their favorite meal! Including dessert and drink. If the students do not know the name in English, be sure to teach them. Have the students share in English about their meal to the class.
Play a Shopping game. Similar to the Restaurant game (see # 3), but this time students gather, or ask for items, and use pretend money to buy the items. A teacher can be the cashier and say things like, “That will be three dollars.” Or have the students take turns. You can easily make pretend money and food for the game out of paper. Put the food items around the room like a real supermarket.
Read books about food. Some of my favorites are: The Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, and I Like Apples from my other site KidsEnglishBooks.com
Ask students what they ate for lunch. Again, if they do not know the vocabulary in English be sure to teach them. Use the phrase, “What did you eat for lunch today?” You could also ask about breakfast if your class is in the morning.
If you are a teacher that eats lunch or snacks with your students, be sure to talk about and ask questions about the food they are eating. For example, “What are you eating? Is it yummy? What color is your apple?”
I hope these ideas help you get off to a great start teaching about Food to young learners of English. I am sure you have many ideas of your own that are great as well. Happy teaching!