Posts Tagged ‘English Language Learning’

ABC English & Me - Teaching English to Children through MusicWant a child to speak more than one language fluently? Start early! Research shows that when children learn another language at a young age the more likely they are to understand it and speak like a native speaker. It’s never too early to begin learning another language. In fact, evidence indicates that babies have the ability to learn all the languages of the world but self-select to their native language as early as 9 months.

Our EFL Program, ABC English & Me, adopts the “Natural Approach” to support English language learning for very young learners. We emphasize language “acquisition” as opposed to language “processing.” In other words, children learn to speak and think in the second or foreign language.

Learning Another Language through Movement

Movement or Total Physical Control (TPR) coordinates meaning to physical movement. Language acquisition indicates that TPR allows children to internalize meaning and greatly influences fluency.

TPR can be closely related to drama and pretend play. Using drama techniques enhance the quality of TPR activities and prepare children for gross motor movement activities. Here are a three ways we use TPR in our EFL program.

3 Ideas for Using TPR with English Language Learners

  1. Freeze games can be done with children as young as 2. In addition to developing inhibitory control, freeze games promote improvisation skills and children’s ability to act spontaneously especially as they get older.

preschoolerFreeze Game Activity for the Classroom: Have the children spread around the room. Tell them that they can run around the room freely once you clap your hands, but when you shout, “Freeze,” they must stop in their current position. To begin, let the children run around for 30 seconds and then shout “Freeze!” Make sure children hold the position for at least 10-15 seconds before you let them run around again. When focusing on language learning, use simple linguistic phrases to describe what you see: “Andrea is standing up like a tree”or “Olivia is a stone.” Repeat several times.

  1. Miming is great to explore and develop physical skills (movement, actions, posture, gesture, facial expression, and body language). Create and perform mime sequences to develop imaginative skills and the TPR exploration of nouns.

Mime Activity for the Classroom: Use a theme like animals or Christmas presents. Ask children to draw a picture of a noun. Then, take turns miming their words while the rest of the children try to guess the answer.

  1. Fingerplays are ideal for younger children to develop body awareness through identification and labelling of the body parts as well as developing fine motor movement through muscular coordination. As children get older, fingerplays sharpen memory and linguistic skills and is the perfect TPR activity to perform with a lack of space for those big gross motor movements.

We like this fun twist on a classic fingerplay:

The games identified above develop physical movement but also the 4-Cs: confidence, communication, co-ordination and concentration, which are necessary for any child acquiring a new language!

Learn more about using movement and TPR with English Language Learners.

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Once upon a time, an educator who loved music moved from Milan, Italy, to bring the joy of learning English through music to children in a land faraway. Around the same time, an enchanting place called Monte Carlo Munchkins Club opened its doors to welcome children during their most formative years. As in any great fairytale, the two were destined to meet. On the
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Je suis. Tu es. Il est. Nous sommes. If you studied a second language in high school or college, you probably know all about conjugating verbs. As teenagers or adults, learning the grammar rules of another language often form the foundation for second-language learning. However, teaching a second language to children looks completely different. After all, children under the age of 7 can’t read
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Athletes employ the benefits of music to boost overall performance. Science shows that specific types of music can really get the blood pumping and focus the mind on the task at hand—like 1-minute planks or running those last few miles. However, a new study also shows that music can get the blood pumping for language development, too. Music and language development on the same
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Are you familiar with the old George and Ira Gershwin song, “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off”? They wrote it for the 1937 film Shall We Dance, starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Sing with us: “You like potato and I like potahto You like tomato and I like tomahto Potato, potahto, Tomato, tomahto. Let’s call the whole thing off.”   In the song, the
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We rock out in our early childhood music classes—literally and figuratively. From our classes for babies, toddlers, big kids or families to our early literacy and language program in preschools, Head Start programs, and daycares to our ELL curriculum, we use the benefits of music to engage children of all abilities in learning. And, we have a lot of fun in the process! In
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There was a fascinating article recently published in Forbes magazine about how one man is using music, and specifically a music school, to shape a new generation in Vietnam.  The title of the article says it all, “Music Awakens Education in Vietnam.”  Nguyen Hong Minh’s vision is to use music to broaden minds, expand opportunities, impact the current culture, and create future leaders –
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With educators in over 70 countries, you can imagine we speak a lot of languages when we get together! Thankfully, we do share one common language: music and learning. A group of  VYL ELL teachers in Italy recently experienced this common language at a one-day training session hosted by Kindermusik. Danny Berryman and Laura D’Abbondanza, Kindermusik project leaders and Teacher Trainers in Italy, brought
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The benefits of music can transform a child’s life. Music can also be a lifeline. In early childhood music classes around the world, music brings light and laughter and joy to children surrounded by poverty and crime and exploitation. Kindermusik educator, Nikol Hellebrandova shares ABC English & Me (an English Language Learning program) with young children in one such place. Early childhood music in
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The benefits of music can transform a child’s life. Music can also be a lifeline. In early childhood music classes around the world, music brings light and laughter and joy to children surrounded by poverty and crime and exploitation. Kindermusik educator, Nikol Hellebrandova shares ABC English & Me (an English Language Learning program) with young children in one such place. Early childhood music in
Learn more » Read more

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