Something that I haven’t really mentioned is the work I’ve been doing with children here in France. I definitely have a lot more time on my hands here, or so I keep saying! I don’t work full time but I always seem to be busy! I wanted to use my time here wisely, to get creating again and hopefully one day soon my making will turn into a business!
Finding a job over here proved difficult with such a language barrier. I discovered that any French that I thought I might be able to remember from school was completely useless! I find learning another language quite difficult so I spend 3 mornings a week attending French classes. In the meantime I help French kids with their English conversation in the evenings. I title my role as ‘English Conversation’ because I’m not qualified as a teacher. Parents of the children I work with are fully aware of this and are just grateful for their children to be immersed in the English language. The work I do is based on my previous experience in education and very relaxed but most importantly, fun! In the UK I built up 6 + years experience of varied work with children and young people most of which was gained as the role of a teaching assistant. There are so many games and techniques that I have used with the younger children in English primary schools that can easily be adapted to teaching English!
My Mum has a wealth of knowledge from her years of being a reception/primary school teacher in the UK, so I love to give her a nudge now and again for some professional tips! I’ll let her introduce herself…
“I have taught Spanish to young children in primary schools for many years and found that being active and using mnemonics such as actions and sounds really helps with retention and application of the language. Rhiannon understands this well and is always looking for new ideas to enthuse and motivate her young students. She is intuitive when teaching and knows how to develop their learning to ensure they make good progress in a fun way!”
Gee, thanks Mum! 🙂 Below are examples of games and activities that can be used when teaching English to beginners but are also great for your little ones when learning through play at home. I also believe that the use of physical resources rather than a computer or tablet makes it much more easier for the brain to consume and retain information so get playing those games! 🙂
1. Guess Who – This game is great for practising describing words about people’s features and getting used to saying he and she in different ways. It’s a little more advanced than beginner but there are so many different people to describe it can be played many times.
2. Snakes and Ladders – Perfect for counting! For young children you can concentrate on counting up to 6 with the dice and for the older ones just print off a board with the number on the finish square at an appropriate level. Another simple but really effective number game is Bingo! (or Loto in France) I
3. Matching pairs – Having flash cards with matching words to the image is a great way to practice reading basic vocabulary. You could play snap or lay them all face down until they find each matching pair. Play along and read each card out for them on the first few goes. They won’t even realise the words are sinking in! This is also a good opportunity to keep repeating the words ‘is it the same or is it different?’.
4. Where is? – ‘Where’s The Monkey?’ is a video on Youtube but you could use a favourite cuddly toy and position it in all sorts of places around the house e.g. on the shelf, under the bed, next to the TV, in the drawer. This is a great activity for learning prepositions. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idJYhjGyWTU
I’m learning new tips and games to play all the time. Each week I research different activities for the children. Do you have any games you’d like to share?