Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Show 758 Monday 9 June

Watch today’s show at YouTube or BlipTV.

Hi, I’m Sarah. Welcome to The Daily English Show.

I have some great news today. We have some CDs to give away. We have three to give away. They’re called Super Simple Songs by Knock Knock English. I came across these songs on the internet through their videos on YouTube and they have a great website with some really interesting blogs with some excellent teaching ideas. And I love the songs, so I got in touch with them and I asked them if they’d be interested in sending me some CDS to give away on the show. And they said yes which is awesome, and they also sent me some CDs to use.

I taught English to children for years – first when I was in Aichi and then in Tokyo ... and I started again recently and I really enjoy it. I’ve got three kids classes a week at the moment. It’s challenging at times, but kids are so interesting and it’s such a good feeling when it all somehow comes together and you can see that they’re actually learning something. And they’re also very cute too, most of the time. It’s so funny how you’ll be in the middle of an activity and all of a sudden one of the kids will start telling a random story about what they had for dinner last night or something.

Anyway, I want to tell you a bit about these CDs. If you’ve ever taught children and you’ve looked for materials, you may have had trouble finding good materials. I know I did anyway. If you work at a big school that produces their own materials – like I used to work at ECC - then you have to use those materials, but if you’re teaching independently, then it can be hard to find good stuff. When I was teaching in Tokyo I had trouble finding good songs for kids’ classes. I bought quite a few CDs and on most of them I only found a couple of songs that I liked, or that worked, and I never used the rest.

But these are great. They have all the elements that I look for in kids’ songs anyway: they’re catchy songs which are fun and that kids love listening to, they’re easy to make actions to, and the lyrics have English that is actually useful.

For example this song:

Are you hungry? Are you hungry? Yes, I am. Yes, I am. Mmmm a banana. Yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, yum ...

That is so catchy. And so useful too. Once kids know that structure, you can ask them many things.

Are you thirsty?
Are you hot?
Are you cold?
Are you tired?

And this song is one of my favourites too.

Make a circle up, up, up, down, down, down, up, up, up.
Make a circle down, down, down, now sit down.

I’ve been doing that song with two of my classes and they love it. And they now know the words up and down too, easy.

And I’ve only been using the songs for a couple of weeks and I can already hear the kids singing the songs before and after class. Make a circle, up, up, up.

By the way, if you’re someone that is thinking about teaching kids, and you’ve never done it before and you’re worried because you’re a bad singer - don’t worry about it. It doesn’t matter at all. I think the most important thing is just that you really get into it and smile, make a few funny faces and they’ll love you.

So we have three CDs to give away over the next three months - once a month in July, August and September. And you can find out more at thedailyenglishshow.com/members


Kia Ora, in Stick News today students at a school the United States had their high school diplomas reprinted after officials misspelt education.

Last week students from Westlake High School in Ohio received their diplomas.
On the certificates education was spelt like this: educaiton.
The Associated Press reported it's been the subject of mockery on local radio.
The principal says he sent back the diplomas once to correct another error. And when the diplomas came back, no one bothered to check things they thought were right the first time.
The publisher has now reprinted the diplomas a second time and sent them to the students.

And that was Stick News for Monday the 9th of June.
Kia Ora.

Word of the Day

Today’s word is shenanigans.
Secret or dishonest activities that people find interesting or amusing.

Wikipedia says: It should be noted that the word itself is considered humorous, because of its unique sound.

conversations with sarah
#464 Is teaching kids hard?

Step 1: Repeat Brian’s lines.
Step 2: Read Brian’s lines and talk to Sarah.

Brian Is teaching kids hard?

Sarah Yeah, sometimes. The logistics can be hard.

Brian What do you mean by logistics?

Sarah Um, I don’t know if that’s the right word. But, I mean classroom management or organising the kids.

Brian Like, getting them to focus on the task?

Sarah Yeah, stuff like that. And getting them to be nice to each other. For example, when I read them a book and get them to sit in a semi-circle, they love books and they get so excited that they wriggle forward to try and get as close to the book as possible and in the process they cut other kids off so they can’t see. And then those kids will be like: “I can’t see! I can’t see!”

Brian So how do you manage that?

Sarah Hmm, I don’t have a great strategy for dealing with that one. But I usually just stop reading and give them a serious look. Or say: hey, move back so that this person can see. And I say it in English, but they can understand from my gestures or from the context because they totally understand the philosophy of fairness and the concept of sitting in such a way that other people can see, so they usually cooperate.

Brian And it’s not like they’re doing it on purpose. They’re just getting carried away, aren’t they?

Sarah Yeah, totally. Although, every now and again there will be a kid who is so doing it on purpose. They’re like obviously pushing in front of the other kid to cause trouble. And that’s when I have to get serious and be like, hey, look, there’ll be none of those shenanigans in my classroom, thank you very much.


show start
artist: BrunoXe
album: aprendiendo desde 2004
track: Mandrake
from: Jerez, Spain
album at Jamendo
artist at Jamendo
artist site

WOD start
artist: DJ iPep's
album: Home Mix 2007
track: Game Toy
from: EVREUX, France
album at Jamendo
artist at Jamendo
artist site

cws start
artist: San Sebastian
track: Happy Sad
artist site

qa start
artist: ioeo
album: triptracks
track: triptrack4
from: Saint Raphael, France
album at Jamendo
artist at Jamendo
artist site

other music
artist: Paul D. Miller aka Dj Spooky
album: Dj Spooky's contribution for the 'One Laptop Per Child Project'
track: Moon rain
from: New York, United States
album at Jamendo
artist at Jamendo
artist site

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