Classroom Language Workshop 16th June 2011
Slide 1 – front page introduction
1. Introduction - Why should I use classroom English?
- Put two columns on the board. Elicit the advantages and disadvantages of using
English for instructions and write up their suggestions. 5mins
- Look at worksheet 'Why should I use classroom English? Ask teachers to read the
text, and in groups identify five reasons why using English is beneficial. 7mins
- Feedback - elicit answers and compare with the advantages written up earlier. Ask
participants for their opinions on the reasons given in the text for using English. Do
they have any others? (*Need handout) 7mins
Recognise reasons for using both English and L1 and reassure that today’s session is
about how we can use simple language in the classroom effectively to assist Ss with
English so that the T and the Ss feel confident. 2mins
Slides 2 & 3 – children & language acquisition
2. Reinforce message with information about children and language acquisition:
“When children repeat set phrases it does not necessarily mean language acquisition is
But they are:
- getting used to saying English sounds
- practising the intonation pattern
- gaining confidence, especially if you praise them or show them approval in
- When children are learning their first language they hear phrases and
understand the general meaning before they understand individual words.
- They hear connected sounds before they separate them into individual words.
- Only written language is divided into words and sentences
- Young learners who cannot read hear a flow of sound.
- They hear intonation patterns, and sounds or words that are stressed. These are
the sounds they will say first.”
(p.43 English for Primary Teachers)
Slides 4 & 5 – review information from the Classroom Management
3. This reinforces what was introduced in the CM workshop i.e. active learning,
routines (& repetition of language), the simplicity of instruction, modelling of
Conditions for learning:
positive teacher/student relationship
motivating learning materials
students actively participating
students productively engaged
Creating a positive environment:
Rules & routines
Getting and maintaining attention
Slide 6 – Functions & phrases
4. Functions and stock phrases
Give out the matching activity sheet on functions and language to do individually and
then compare their answers in pairs then small groups (*Handout). 7mins
Give each group a list of functions and ask them to list as many simple phrases for
each – in essence they are making their own phrasebook. After the activity give Ts the
handout with suggested language on (*Handout). 7mins
As a whole class look at the reasons that teachers may not use English in the
classroom (put up on slide). In small groups, give each a couple of the examples and
ask them to give some advice for a teacher in these situations. 12mins
- Lack of confidence.
Teacher’s confidence has a knock on effect on learners.
Activate English you already know. Once you make a start, it gets easier.
knowing the right words.
Remember you know more than your learners. Keep language simple.
Keep a phrase-book of useful language
_ Not having enough time – quicker to speak in L1.
Use everyday classroom situations which have regular repeated language,
e.g. taking the register, greeting learners, setting up tasks etc.
_ There are so many learners in the class it is easier to manage them in L1.
Train your learners in classroom language – get them to make wall posters
_ Fearof giving the wrong pronunciation.
Ask a colleague to listen to you (if possible). Build up a phrase book. Remember that repeated
use makes it come naturally.
_ Fear of making a mistake.
Write down the language and practice it before using with learners.
Keep a learning diary and reflect on your progress.
_ The learners may not understand.
Introduce language slowly, a bit at a time and only give learners what they are ready for.
Using classroom language promotes meaningful learning as you are using the language for real
Feedback from each group and make notes on the whiteboard – at the end, is there
anything anyone would like to add/comment/question? Are any of these possible
strategies that the teachers might want to use? 5mins
Something about using simple stock phrases that are normally easily given in L1
Create a phrase-book for different needs/functions
Practise these phrases regularly
Plan what you are going to say particularly for confusing or complex tasks.
Break 3 – 3.15pm
Slide 7 – Basic classroom language
Look at basic language that could be on the walls of the classroom (*Wall cards).
Slide 8 – review KISS re instructions
Finally, classroom instructions make up part of classroom language – review KISS
from previous workshop. 3mins
In order to introduce communicative activities Ss need to know how to get into groups
and follow instructions – it will work much better and the Ss will learn more English
if this all happens in English.
With the Ts in groups of 3s, have 1 T read the instruction, 1 show what actions might
be suitable and 1 check what is on the sheet – p64 Teaching Children English
Find an activity from each year group’s text/activity book and have the Ts work
together on how they would instruct these to the rest of the group – can they follow
(Speaking & listening skills come first in any language so what do we need to be very
aware of when instructing Ss to do activities in workbooks – Ss may not be able to
read and if they can they may not understand – need to ensure workbook activities are
thought out) 30mins
Slide 9 – Role models
Always remember you are the role model in the classroom – if you can show the Ss
that you are comfortable using English and BM and Chinese and Iban and Bidayuh,
etc then so will they be.
Be a model to the Ss that it is possible to speak many languages
Slide 10 – Thank you
Feedback form on style, content, etc but also have Ts order the activities for what was
the most informative/useful today.
-Gardner & Gardner text
-Functions with language handout
-‘Phrasebook’ language handout
-Basic word cards
-P64 Teaching Children English handout
-Individual activities from Yr1 – 3 text books
All positive change comes from being outside your comfort zone
Put everything you’ve got into everything you do
Don’t doubt yourself, believe in yourself
Pick a direction and go with everything you’ve got
Show your body tender, loving care
Take massive action on a daily basis
Sweat so much you fill a bucket
Control your temptations, don’t let them control you
Drink 2 litres of water – drink, flush and repeat
Set an example for generations to come
Set your bar higher – always improve and learn new things
Visualise the end result
When was the time you last felt confident?