Demo lesson for Ready Steady Go skit

teacher and pupil playing game at table

For owners of Teach Your Child English

This demo lesson video is only for owners of my book Teach Your Child English. This video is private and only book owners have the password.

Below is a video demonstration of a private English lesson.  This video demonstrates how to teach a child English, and the topic is the present perfect: “I’ve forgotten my…” via a skit.

Access to this “How to teach a child English” demonstration video is available via the password included with your purchase of Teach Your Child English.

The Demo Lesson for Ready Steady Go skit

Demo lesson commentary

The video commentary for “How to teach a child English” is included in the book, and also on this page for easy reference.

Target Language

Present perfect: I’ve forgotten.
Possessive pronoun: my.
Nouns: hat, coat, gloves, keys, bag, sunglasses.
Phrases: Are you ready?
Yes. Are you sure?

I do recommend you read the commentary for the lesson with Anna before reading this as teaching tips mentioned there will not be repeated here so as not to become monotonous.

About the pupil

Julie is 12 and is learning English at school. She spent about six years at primary school learning colours over and over again and “my name is Julie”. In her first year at secondary school the pace has suddenly changed and at first Julie was lost, but two lessons with me and she’s top of the class. The language taught in this lesson is all new except for “sunglasses”, which she already knew.

1. Present the vocabulary: (0:00)

Because Julie is already 12 and is learning English in school I get her to say the words right away, unlike in the lesson with Anna where English sounds are pretty much totally new to her. We spend 22 seconds only on the words as Julie picks things up quickly and I think she’s ready to start the first game.

2. Rapid Reaction: (0:26)

This does work better with more people but it’s still an acceptable game with two. You may not be able to tell but actually I’m being deliberately slow at first, as the person speaking has such an advantage. Still I’m not going be slow every time as if Julie thinks I’m faking the game it’ll lose all interest for her. When we start alternating saying the words and awarding points to ourselves I tip the balance in Julie’s favour by picking words that are closer to her than they are to me.

3. Mystery Bag: (2:42)

This is a cross between Blindfold Guessing game and Mystery Bag. It just goes to show that from a base number of games you will soon be inventing an unlimited number of variants once you get started. This is a speaking game to give Julie more opportunity to say the new words. Notice how I give her the keys and the coat several times as she had trouble with those two words.

4. Which One’s Gone?: (4:07)

A fun game for more speaking which also gets those brain cells tingling as your pupil has to notice which item or picture is missing. See how I move several items but don’t necessarily take them out – that’s a decoy. You see Julie can hear the object being moved, whether it’s paper or keys, or a big item like a coat, she’ll hear the air moving. So I make a noise with the hat flashcard but actually take the gloves to make her think I took a card. You would not do that with a three year old, at least not the first time you play! Also with a three year old use far fewer items – I suggest starting with only three items, preferably real objects as opposed to pictures.

If this had been with Anna (who likes to run the show) she would have asked for a turn. I didn’t give Julie a turn because I wanted to show you different games, but in a real lesson I’d definitely ask her if she wanted a go at moving the items. This way you are really playing together rather than you just ordering them about the whole time.

5. Backwards Bullseye: (7:16)

Sorry the light is not very good but I was limited as to where I could stick the pictures. The idea of this game is for Julie to repeatedly hear the phrase “I’ve forgotten my”, and then have a turn at saying it. When Julie first says the phrase she says “I’ve forgot my bag”. I immediately correct her because she’s going to drill the phrase repeatedly and it must be done right, otherwise you are going to drill in an error. She keeps trying to say “I’ve forgot my…” for the first few goes. See the way I correct her, not by speaking but by indicating she’s made a mistake and letting her correct herself. It’s much more satisfying for her to correct herself and thus “get it right”, rather than be corrected by me and have “gotten it wrong”.

It goes without saying that if you don’t want to get into this ridiculous position just use a variant such as aiming over your shoulder, or find some kind of movement that is acceptable to you and your culture.

6. Name and Chase: (8:56)

I’m using this game for short dialogues. Before we play we rehearse the dialogue a couple of times and I make sure Julie is saying her part correctly. The “chase” card is the sunglasses in this game. Julie is much quicker the second time the sunglasses come up. In a real lesson I would have played this a few more times, and added in more “chase” cards to make the game more exciting. For example the sunglasses and the hat could be “chase” cards. Also I’d have let Julie take a turn turning the cards over.

7. Snap: (11:50)

This game is another speaking game to run through the nouns and, because it uses word flashcards instead of pictures, it also introduces the spelling of these words to Julie. One always plays several games with word flashcards before expecting the pupil to be able to write the word, either in a writing game or on a work sheet. Julie realises what game we are going to play, it’s called “Bataille” in French. She beats me fair and square, without me pretending to be slow!

8. Oranges: (13:55)

A daft game really, the idea being to take the fruit, which is sitting on a flashcard on the table and carry it over to a matching flashcard somewhere else in the room. Really at this point in the lesson I was just doing a demo of the game for you – it was not necessary from a language point of view. After you’ve put all the fruits on the matching picture or word card the pupil can name all the words and count up how many they got on target. A benefit of this game is that it involves movement to break up the sitting in between Snap and Noughts and Crosses.

9. Noughts and Crosses or Tic Tac Toe: (14:35)

We get ready by picking out five word cards each. Using word cards is another exposure to spelling. With younger children who are not learning reading and writing yet play the same game but with picture cards.

10. Putting an extended role-play together (16:35)

The language in the lesson has been leading up to putting on this role-play. This is called “Ready Steady Go” and it’s available along with 26 other plays in an ebook that is available separately as a compliment to these games. The role-plays are for age 4 and upwards as they are too ambitious for the average three year old who is beginning in English. Note that before we get to this role-play we have learned ALL the language in it from memory and gone over it in listening and speaking games, and we’ve even seen how some of the words are spelled. This fact means that it’s quite quick to put the role-play together – it only takes us about ten minutes. Afterwards we put it on to the mum, using a real car and the mum said “this is just what it’s like every day when we leave for school!”

First run-through

So the first run through I take Julie through the play as she does not know the plot/events. I feed her the lines. The two chairs are our bus/car, which I am driving and she’s the passenger. At the end of the first run through I explain to her that I’m the driver and I’ve forgotten my keys. See how she understands me when I talk at normal speed with the aid of the context and the actions.

Second run through

We run through it again and there’s a short cut when we move the props to outside the room. I left it all in so you can see the whole process. When Julie goes off to get her gloves during the second run through she spends ages putting them on. This is classic, and the younger the kids the worse it gets. The children get so involved in the props that they really make the dialogue drag. So when I go and get my chauffeur’s hat I tell her just to come in with the gloves as otherwise the play is boring for spectators and she quickly gets the point. With younger children I simplified the props, even removing them sometimes because otherwise things drag, which, I admit is more of a problem when you have a group of kids than in a one on one situation.

I’ve shown you all three run-throughs just so you have the full process. With younger children, or children who have not had a term of English at school already you’ll probably go slower. In that case I recommend putting the play together over several sessions. Certainly Julie and I can further rehearse and refine our little skit in future lessons for fun, or put it on to family members.

Show the skit to an audience

If you are a teacher do prepare things like this to show parents at the end of each term as the children love to show off and be the centre of attention while the parents are pleased to see some results and proof that some learning has been going on in the classes they are paying for. Plus it’s great fun for all concerned!

Customer service from Shelley

If you need help, or have any questions, please feel free to contact me. I’m here to help make your teaching a success.

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