November 2014 E-News from Elizabeth Claire
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Contents of this E-NEWS
Oxygen in the classroom
What? Tanks of oxygen? No, of course not...what's needed is oxygen in the blood vessels pumping up to the brain.
A sufficient supply of oxygen is the brain's essential need for remembering things.
I learned this when taking a course with Tony Robbins (undoubtedly the best teacher in the world for getting difficult ideas across. We learned with "whole body" attention.)
Tony had his audience of 2400 people stand up every hour, dance a conga line around to festive Latin music, waving our arms up in the air, and when back at our seats, chanting the lesson to get it firmed up. These four minutes of fun, laughing, and exercise each hour kept us awake and at attention for a twelve-hour straight course in neurolinguistic programming.
With his teaching techniques, not only were people able to do the impossible (yes, walk on hot coals) but remember how to use that power state to gather what it takes to do anything we've a mind to doing. So I advocate oxygen in the classroom.
James Ascher's Total Physical Response activities are a perfect vehicle in the language class. Not only are they great for getting the body moving to push oxygen around to the brain, but research shows that a person can remember 75 times more language when the whole body memory is tapped, and anxiety is removed.
Since TPR reduces anxiety by having group responses, with no one on display, and no speaking, just doing, and becuse it concentrates on the command forms, and concrete nouns, they are ideal for presenting and familiarizing students with new content and vocabulary that you can model.
( For 20 pages of sequenced TPR exercises, try ESL Teacher's Activities Kit.) You can write your own TPR. The trick is that you have to prepare, so you speak and model without having to pause to think what else to do. So write down the commands you will teach, and create sequences with repetition of the commands so students don't get mixed up.
Introduce one, then another command, while modeling the action...Then alternate those two commands, then speak the command but don't model it, and praise the students for following it without your demonstration. Add another command, model it, then alternate it with the first two. Use a pace that lowers anxiety (students are free to copy the more proficient students in acting out the command) and builds speed to create challenge. Build on the challenge by having volunteers act out the commands by themselves, or in pairs.
Each day, review the commands taught the day before, and add new ones in the same manner.
Students can make no embarrassing mistakes...when students do the wrong thing or are stumped, merely model the action for them... There is a lot of potential for laughter and enjoyment in the process...while they are also getting oxygen to the brain....
By not having students speak during this process, they are still learning to speak! At some point when the commands have been reviewed and repeated a certain number of times, students will be able to generate them themselves. Magic.
I have used Total Physical Response starting the first day, to teach basic classroom instructions and school rules. by day three, students can respond to commands to stand up, sit down, raise your hand, go to the board, go to the door, walk, run, don't run, take out your book, open your book, turn to page (5), close your book and so forth. Movements done as a group, standing in place, miming running, jumping, walking, a good supply of oxygen gets stirred around, and the rest of the lesson with students at their seats is more memorable as well.
Contents of Easy English NEWS for November 2014
Front page: Ebola in the U.S. News, signs, symptoms, precautions, cases, U.S. actions.
Life in the U.S.A. Who Makes the Laws Levels of government and the lawmaking process in Congress
Events in November covered in Easy English NEWS:
- All Saints' Day
- All Souls' Day
- Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)
- American Indian Heritage Month
- Return to Standard Time
- Veterans Day
- Thanksgiving (with a game)
Ask a Speech Coach: Pronouncing consonant clusters
America the Beautiful: Okefenokee Swamp
Heroes and History: Sitting Bull
Laws You Need to Know: Laws about Children
Plus our regular features:This Is Your Page (readers' stories), Funny Stuff, Idioms, the Crossword Puzzle, Let's Talk About It, and Word Help.
PLUS PLUS: FREE at my website: 16 pages of self-correcting tests for the current issue of Easy English NEWS.
If you didn't get your Teacher's Guide for November it's available at my website.
FREE 24-page generic "How to Use Easy English NEWS in Your ESL Classroom" with 9 reproducible graphic organizers. .
Catalog of Elizabeth Claire's ESL books
Order forms There are no changes in prices since January, 2014. These prices will be valid until June, 2015.
Books by Elizabeth Claire:
Classroom Teacher's ESL Survival Kits # 1 and # 2 (with Judie Haynes)
Kristina, 1904, the Greenhorn Girl
ESL Phonics for All Ages, Books 1 through 5 with CDs
ESL Teacher's Activities Kit
ESL Teacher's Holiday Activities Kit
Easy English Crossword Puzzles
Just-A-Minute! Speaking Game
Help Your Buddy Learn English
Your Health by Dr. Majid Ali An E-Book of 31 reproducible easy English articles with word help from past columns of Your Health by Dr. Ali, $10.
Treasure Chest 1 A potpourri of reproducible games, songs, and useful stuff is also $10. Check them out
The Constitution in Simple English
Hurricane Safety in Simple English
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Need other materials? My recommended readings are available from Amazon through my website.
Carry on your good work!
© Elizabeth Claire 2014.