ESL for Primary School/What's your name?

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Welcome to ESL for Primary School which is part of the Topic:ESL.
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Students learn how to introduce themselves, ask for a partner's name and give their own name in English.

Lesson[edit | edit source]

Students: 20 ESL learners, 8-10 years old. Students have zero, one, or two years of English.

Introduction[edit | edit source]

1)Big smile
2)Sit down
3)Big smile again
4)Repeat "Hello" until students repeat it back to you
5)Ask for quiet (USE GESTURES)

Warm-up game[edit | edit source]

Issue commands to the class. Use this activity at the beginning of every class to establish a habit. In the beginning, use gestures along with the commands. As students get to know the commands, stop using the gestures, and add more commands. This is very useful to repeat vocabulary from previous lessons, practice pronunciation, test previous knowledge, and introduce topics. You can adopt this activity in many ways to your purposes. I like to start with "Stand up" - "Sit down" - "Stand up" - "Sit down" - "Stand up" - "Sit down" very quickly to get them interested and paying attention, and they love it. Other good commands are "Turn around", "Clap", "Jump", "Shake". A very useful command is "Repeat". Students repeat "Repeat", then whatever you say after. It's great for pronunciation, and you can use it throughout the lesson to get them to repeat something. (This way it's clear when you want them to repeat something and when you want them to do something, because they always repeat "Repeat" first, and you can say "Stop" after.) Try combining commands to make it more difficult ("Turn around and shake" is a lot of fun), or making new combinations to get them to think (from "Show me your hands", try moving on to "Show me something red"). With enough gestures and minimal translation, they can pick up almost anything. Later in the year you can evolve the activity into Simon Says. For the first class, limit the warm-up game to several easy commands, with gestures. Also use the "Repeat" command to get them to practice "Hello" and other easy vocab. I like to have them repeat nonsense combinations of "hello", "hi", and "goodbye" to relax them, to practice pronunciation, and to get them used to hearing themselves speak English.

Introduce yourself[edit | edit source]

•Here, you can quickly introduce yourself and your country quickly in their language, if you speak it.

To the class: "Hello, my name is [_____]." "What is your name?"

To students individually: 1) "Hello."

2) "Hello, my name is [_____]." "What is your name?"

3) "Hello, my name is [_____]." "What is your name?" "Nice to meet you" (With handshake)

4) "Hello, my name is [_____]." "What is your name?" "Nice to meet you" (With handshake) Goodbye

Dialogue game[edit | edit source]

Have the students stand in 2 lines facing each other so that each student has a partner. Write the first two lines of the dialogue on the board, and tell one half of the class they are A, and the other half that they are B. Tell them that when you say "CHANGE" they will each move one person to the right, and one person will move to the other end of the line (you may have to say this in their language, if you can).

Start with the first 2 lines, then add 2 lines at a time. Halfway through switch A and B.

A: Hello!

B: Hi, how are you?

A: Fine thank you, and you?

B: I’m fine.

A: I’m ______. What is your name?

B: Nice to meet you. My name is ______.

A: Nice to meet you too.

B: Where are you from?

A: I’m from Canada. Where are you from?

B: I’m from France.

A: Goodbye!

B: See you later!

(Make this dialogue easier as needed, this is a fairly difficult one. Sometimes you might only do Hello, Hello. Goodbye, Goodbye. More likely is Hello, Hello. What is your name? My name is ____. Goodbye, Goodbye.)

Introduce a small stuffed animal (I use a beaver with a Canadian flag on his belly, his name is "Chucky"). Have the students repeat the animal's name and the kind of animal he is (Chucky the beaver).

Then use the stuffed animal to continue the dialogue. You can play it by ear when to introduce the animal. For shy classes, or if they have a lot of difficulty with English, introduce him very early, even with "hello".

Ball circle game[edit | edit source]

Get the Ss into a circle (or Ss can stay in their seat) and then throw a ball around.

"I'm John. What's your name?"

To make it more difficult, add more balls.

If you don't have space in the classroom to make a cirle, or if students get too excited, try the modified version, which works very well too:

Modified ball circle game

Go through the dialogue with one student using the stuffed animal. Tell the student to pick another student and act out the dialogue with them. Each student takes a turn speaking 'for' the stuffed animal, and gets to choose someone to do the activity with. This works very well because students pay attention, and shy students are glad to speak through the stuffed animal.

Extension[edit | edit source]

Finally, get two students at a time to present the dialogue in front of the class. One student talks through the stuffed animal.

Written Copy/Evaluation[edit | edit source]

Have the dialogue written out, preferably with a picture of the stuffed animal. Leave out several words that the Ss have to fill in. (See Meet Chucky) For the older classes you can use this as a test.