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Chapter 21     Extracurricular Language
                        Activities
 
 
 

Young children have many opportunities to learn English outside the classroom.  You can take advantage of these by including them in your lessons, and by taking your class outside.

Bringing the outside in:

Unless you are teaching in a very small mountain village, there are very few places in the world these days where you will not see a McDonalds or KFC sign.  These companies market very successfully to young children; witness the every changing and always current array of toys that are available with 践appy Meals・

Lesson ideas

1. You can bring food promotional advertisements and posters into your class for discussion of letters, simple words, colours and ideas.
2. You may even be able to get Ronald McDonald to visit your class
3. Who else would your students like to see visit their class?  Ask them!  A local celebrity?  Policeman? Fireman? Artist? Storyteller? Craftsman? Clown?   Your school may have a list of people who visit schools.
4. Have a party!  Children are always ready to party.  Birthday cake and ice cream are essential ingredients
5. Have a 'funny hat' party on Fridays. Stick funny or interesting English words on the hats. You can come up with many variations.
 

Taking the class on Field trips

Extracurricular activities are an important part of any young learner's syllabus.  These activities provide additional enhancements to the language acquisition process.

They also provide meaningful opportunities for real life experiences.  Field trips offer good opportunities for casual interaction and better understanding between students and teachers.  . Trips outside the school are events all students look forward to.  They represent a good chance for teachers to reinforce their lessons in real and fun situations.

Lesson ideas

1. If your McDonald痴 effort in-class is successful, you might suggest a school party at the local McDonald痴 or other venue.  Don稚 make it a student痴 birthday because every student will then expect the same treatment on their birthday・ut you can choose an auspicious day to celebrate・uch as the last day of a school term.  Tell everyone that they have to order in English.

2. Take your class for a walk around the school.  See who can find something that begins with different letters. Take a clipboard with you so you can record what the children discover.  Encourage them to look around. If they get stuck, point out some things and ask what letter the word starts with:

Tree begins with a ・T
Leaf begins with an ・L
Stone begins with an ・
Car begins with a ・, etc.  You get the idea!

A good follow-up exercise is to have the children draw pictures of all of the items they saw (or as they see them), putting the name underneath.

A variation is to take everyone on a school bus and do the same thing.

3. The game 的 Spy・is an old standby for such outings. Of course it can be played in class but it is much more fun in a park.  Parks and the Zoo are other great places to take your class for outside English lessons.

4. Visit the Elderly

What about taking your young class to a nursing home?  Older people often do not get many visitors and would enjoy a visit from a class of enthusiastic youngsters. Think about how you might turn that into a language learning opportunity.

5. Visit a science museum

Science museums are great places for children to spend a half day. Most major centres have such museums and they are great fun.  Schools make good use of them in the learning process.  If you have a science museum nearby, you should visit it yourself before you take your class. That way, you can see what is interesting in the museum and plan a lesson around it.  Older children should take notebooks and pencils so they can make notes.  Maybe the museum can supply an English-speaking guide.

6. Other ideas:

Visit a National Park

A Picnic by the Sea (or elsewhere)

Visit a farm. Ride ponies.

Go to a craft centre where the students can watch artisans create crafts.

Go to a movie (in English)

Is there an IMAX near you? See a film in 3-D

Before, during and after any of these events there are great opportunities for discussions, writing, show and tell, and other language activities.
 

Planning and Preparation

What things do you need to take into consideration during your planning, to ensure that your field trip is a safe, enjoyable experience for all concerned, and that it contributes in a direct and meaningful way to your students language learning?

1: Logistics ・the practical aspects of planning.  Newsletter to parents, permission slips, school guidelines, student:staff ratio, helpers, transport, safety, food, drinks, risk management, contingency plans, neccessity of advance visit to familiarize teacher with surroundings, toilet stops (and starts!), timing, traffic, etc etc...

2:  Language planning.  Identify the vocabulary and language structures relevant and useful to the planned activity.

3:  Supporting activities.
- before; to preteach language and set the scene for an enhanced learning experience.
- during; how will the students be actively involved in using the language to make the trip a meaningful learning activity?
- after; to sum up, reflect on and consolidate the learning, and to exchange feedback.
 

Chapter 22
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