Speaking First Curriculum: Unit 11

Topics and supporting resources:

noun group or review set

Choose a noun set of interest to your group or one of the holiday sets if the timing is right.

You could/should go back and review any difficult vocabulary set(s)

Running Content and Additional Supporting Materials


Whose (con't)

subject pronoun verb agreement with "be"

Eigomon comparative introduction

a boy that is ...ing

previous units target language and running content

Supporting materials:

Eigomon game cards

comparative worksheets more like this here

Supporting materials for present tense questions

He plays ... cards for practicing present tense questions with sports

Unit 11: Target Language (by phase)

phase 1

What's wrong? He has ... / I have ...

He plays ... Does he play ..? He doesn't play ...

Which one is ~er? This one/He is ~er.

Where do you live?

(Where are they?)

Phase 2

What's the matter?

I had (health problem)

describing introducing family or friends (He likes .../ plays .../ lives in ... City)

They are at the zoo, watching a dolphin show.

Role-play at the doctor's office

Phase 3

Giving advice: If you have (health problem), you should ...

substitute Health problems vocab for Health feelings vocab

When you have.../feel ..., you can/can't ...

Role-play in the doctor's office

the boy with the broken leg

the boy that plays football.

Mark's Notes:

Places 1 can be reviewed here using "they" and working on verb agreement with "be". If that's not really a problem for your group, move on to unit 12.

For supplementary worksheets, word searches, writing and reading practice worksheets, you can always make your own worksheets at Tools for Educators, which does have all of these images to use.

Phase 1: The health set is pretty straight forward. I teach the vocabulary words first, "a headache". Once we've gone through the set and the students are comfortable with the vocabulary I add in the whole sentence, "He has a headache." That doesn't usually take much getting used to, so maybe in the 2nd lesson, I'll introduce and start practicing the question "What's wrong?" You could choose to introduce the question "What's the matter?" instead. I just felt "What's wrong?" was better to start with and cover the other in phase 2.

Sports is a set that I placed near the back of the curriculum for 2 reasons. In general, younger kids aren't familiar with a lot of the sports in the set. Also, sports tend to generally be discussed in the present tense, "I play basketball. He plays basketball, too. Do you play basketball?" Since the curriculum approaches tenses in the order present progressive, past, future, present, I just moved sports to the back. (I actually did teach sports towards the beginning for a awhile and had the above problems.)

Anyway, I go through sports as is. I teach the vocabulary and then move to the "plays" cards referenced above. They have a boy or girl on the card and a picture representing the sport that they play. The idea is that via the cards, you can show that the boy or girl isn't playing the sport right now. It's a good way to differentiate between what someone "is doing" vs. what they "do".

Buildings are just another common noun set. I do use them to start asking about where students live. I generally start with something bizarre like "Do you live in an igloo? You house is an igloo, right?" (An igloo would be bizarre in Japan.) If you use something like "a stadium" or "a church" students might not understand the meaning, but an igloo is a dwelling and learning or guessing at the word "live" becomes much easier. "Do you live in a tee-pee?" would also work.

Later I extrapolate to the main objective "Do you live in (city name)?" At this point, they understand the what the word "live" means and combined with a familiar city name, they should be able to understand the meanings.

As stated in the notes, you can use any noun/vocabulary set as a buffer here or grab an old topic for review. The noun set will build vocabulary while you are strengthening speaking competence with the target language in this unit. I commonly go back to places 1 and review "they" with "be" and verb agreement. Prepositions are also good to review. Bringing back an old topic can really build confidence as well. It might be good to bring back a few just for fun and show the students how much they have learned.

Running content notes:

I'll start playing Go Fish with some of the verb cards and introduce relative clauses. Students play Go Fish in the normal way, but they ask "Do you have a boy?" Well, they have several boys in their hand. So we need more information. Which boy? "a boy that is eating cake." This is the easies type of relative clause in languages. The item "a boy" is the subject of the modifying sentence "he is eating cake". (It's good to start off with these and then move to direct objects, indirect objects and finally head nouns of prepositional phrases much later.)

If you want to introduce comparative structures to young children, I recommend using the insect set. You can have an insect battle by putting a single set of cards face down in front of a group. Two people from the group draw a card and leave the card face down in front of them. (They haven't looked at the card.) They play rock-paper-scissors and the winner gets to ask a question. I start with "Which one is bigger?" or "Which one is faster?" They turn over the cards and whichever is bigger or faster wins. They both say, "The beetle is bigger." for example.

If you are going to use the Eigomon set, just follow the directions on the game page.

Phase 2 and Phase 3: I'll come back to phase 2 and phase 3 once I get all of phase 1 posted.

With each phase I post a bit about some of the main things I do with my students to introduce and practice the language. Each group is different in size, age and level, so if you have questions about what might work best for your group or want to discuss how to modify an activity or share a successful activity you have, please join the forums and MES community. We'd love to discuss these things with you.

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