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Derek's disappearing phr s s...

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I teach 5 to 12 year-olds in Korea. Two problems are consistent among my groups: unwillingness to speak, and a terrible tendency to leave the S off plurals. (These are in addition to the normal chaotic pronunciation problem.)

As a sort of trick to get the reticent to participate and to practices esses I often start my classes by writing a string of strange utterances on the board, for example:
"Monkeys eat bananas. I eat bananas. Am I a monkey?"

The game has two parts. First, I use the phrase in my roll call: I get each student to say the phrase before I mark him/her as present, making sure that the esses are pronounced. For some students this is an effort (but worthwhile, because all MUST speak.)

In the second part, I erase words randomly and choose individual students to repeat the phrase (including the deleted word). I reward correct repetition by letting them hit me in the elbow with my big plastic hammer (other rewards are possible of course). Repetition becomes more difficult as the phrase evaporates, but it gets more and more patchy ("... eat. ... . ... eat ... . Am ... ... Monkey?") you can see the concentration level ratchetting and students begin to ask for a turn. It's a hard case indeed that does not participate. It's also a great practice for memory!

Let me know how it works for you!

Derek djlactin@yahoo.ca

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