I used to rather dislike teaching Listening & Speaking. For one, my first experience of teaching KSSR involved 2 Delima and boy what a time I had! From what I understand, in a L&S class you focus on teaching your children how to actually use the language in spoken form. This was not the easiest thing to achieve with 2D as they were more interested in copying (if they were interested in the lesson at all) and creating hoavoc in the class rather than actually sit down to listen and speak in English. Don't get me wrong, I learned a lot of things from teaching them but it was NOT easy.
This year I was given the responsibility to teach one of the Year 3 classes, 3 Zamrud. At first it was not that easy either- they were much brighter and rather more disciplined (I say rather because there are quite a handful of monkeys there too! Naughty things!) and I was still unsure of how I was supposed to conduct a good listening and speaking lesson. For one, would they be interested in doing activities which does not involve any writing at all in one class? Of course you can include some written activities in an L&S class but they should not be the main focus.
How was I to teach them to speak the language and understand it? These are kampung children, mind you. Even the children whose parents are teachers watch Spongebob in Malay. (Rolls eyes in desperation). Seriously, watch Upin and Ipin in Malay as much as you like but cartoons with English audio should be viewed as so! Haiya how on earth are you going to improve your English ah! The only thing they keep saying is "Oh My English!" every time I speak more than a few sentences in English.
Then, as Emily of Newmoon would say, I got The Flash. A flash of inspiration. A simple but practical idea. My children love love love games and they are rather used to starting a class with a simple game. Every morning when I walk into class that's all they think about. "What game are we playing today? So came the The Flash.
The idea of this game (if you can call it a game) is to get children to partner up randomly and talk to each other using the dialogue or sentence structure given. Follow the steps below:
The Match-up Numbering Game
1. Teach the children a set of sentence structures according to you topic. For example:
Unit 10: A Ride in the Safari Park
Question: What animal is this?
Answer: This is a _______________.
Question: Where can you find it?
Answer: You can find it _______________.
2. Give each child one number.
Let's say there are 28 children in your class. Start a child off to say '1' and the others should follow suit.
3. Write the numbers on the board.
If there are 28 children, write 1,2,3,4 and so on up to 28.
4. Explain the rules.
The teacher will call out two numbers. The first number will ask the questions and the second number will provide the answers.
5. Have a try-out round. Call out two numbers so that the children can see how the game is played. The first number to be called will ask the questions and the second number will provide the answers.
6. Always cross out the numbers you have called out. Make sure you call out random numbers so that it will be more interesting. My children found this part fun because they could not expect the person they would be partnered up with.
And that's it! Super easy and when I think about it, not that brilliant. But it helps to keep my children in focus and they love it. At first it was awkward for some of them and I got so frustrated because one or two just would not open their mouths. But now they're used to it and we have a lot of fun in our L&S lesson. I need to get more Flashes so that we don't get bored of this game. Haha.
To my Muslim friends and readers, I hope you are spending your Ramadhan productively, in syaa Allah. Take care!
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