by Elaine Gallagher Sometimes we wonder what our students need to know, asking ourselves, as I frequently advise you, […]
Sometimes we wonder what our students need to know, asking ourselves, as I frequently advise you, “Of all the things that COULD be taught, what MUST be taught?”
In English, survival is important…. oral survival ….What can your students say, spontaneously? How can they handle themselves when they need to speak? Listening and repeating is crucial….Oral production comes after recognition….so you’ll have to make sure that your students RECOGNIZE these words and phrases, and know how and when and why to use them.
With more and more listening and repeating, in casual, non-pressured atmosphere, your students will begin to speak spontaneously.
HOW SOON? Obviously, the more time they have English class, and the more they listen the sooner they will recognize, and later speak spontaneously. Usually, in a school with ½ day of English, about 15 hours a week of English, students will get to A-1 level of the European Framework of Reference for Languages at the end of 2nd grade of primary. Adults, of course, usually get to A-1 sooner.
If you’re not sure of the six levels of the CEFR, look in the BE Teacher Guide where the scale is explained.
Now. Let’s look at “SURVIVAL ENGLISH”. When it mentions “Words to Know”…this means that the student can first repeat it, then recognize it from a picture, a flashcard, or the real object, and finally, the student can spontaneously use the word in a sentence or in oral conversation.
Each section gets gradually harder. Don’t move on until the kids are ready and comfortable. This is not a race.
- VOCABULARY: A-1 when mastered
Students should be able to discuss and answer questions
- What’s your name?
- How many children are there? (1-20)
- this is / these are
- What’s this? It’s ……..
- The body
- What color is it?
- My clothes
- WORDS TO KNOW: bicycle(s), bird(s), boys, cats, children, dogs, flags, girls, trees, basketball, football, rugby, volleyball, team
- MORE: bedroom, bathroom, dining room, kitchen, living room, bed, books, cards, computer, cupboard, rabbit, shelf, table
- MORE: arms, feet, fingers, hands, head, legs, tall, short, fat, thin, big, small, long. ears, eyes, hair, mouth, nose, dark, fair
- MORE: blue, brown, green, orange, pink, purple, red, yellow, black, white, box, crayons, paper, pen, ruler, scissors
- MORE: belt, blouse, dress, hat, jacket, shirt, skirt, socks, suit, tie, trousers, T-shirt
- What do you see in this picture? Student should be able to describe the picture, using some of the above-listed words.
- VOCABULARY: A-1 when mastered
- all colors covered in first list plus: grey; pets, bird, cage, rabbit, fish, beak, behind, in, on, under, tank, wall, flowers
- Do you have a computer?
- WORDS: camera, comics, computer, pictures, rings, toys, video game, violin, behind, between, in, on , next to, in front of, under
- Days of the week
- WORDS / PHRASES: in the morning / afternoon, the weekend, go swimming, play tennis, visit grandparents, have a music lesson, paints, cleans, watches, does, goes, visits, plays, cooks
- Where do you live?
- WORDS: a flat, an apartment, cottage, house, city, town, village, garden, upstairs, downstairs, on the ground floor
- FAMILY: pretty, sister, brother, mother, father, twin sister / brother, grandmother, grandfather
- What time do you get up?
- WORDS / PHRASES: get up, go to bed, have lunch, do homework, watch TV, go to school, have breakfast, o’clock, half past, quarter past / to, in the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening.
- FRIENDS: bike, film, pizza, cinema, restaurant, swimming pool, tennis club, She plays hockey.
- MONTHS OF THE YEAR: all 12 months, Christmas, birthday, Easter, Mother’s Day,
- Ordinal numbers for dates:
1st – 31st
3 . VOCABULARY_____A-2 when mastered
What’s the weather like?
warm, sunny, cloudy, absolutely, rainy
What do you study?
art, biology, chemistry, multiplication
music, homework, go out, play video games
Tell me about your town or city.
I live in…… historic city, crowded, quiet
What are they doing?
He’s …..brushing his teeth.
watching TV. washing up, reading, eating
short, blonde, friendly, straight, wear, strong
What does your father do? He’s a lawyer.
Where’s your classroom?
It’s down the hall. go along, turn left / right
- VOCABULARY___ A-2 when mastered
using the future wit “going to”, describing people, possessives
frequency, time expressions, every day, six o’clock
holidays, present / future, when, where, why, who
likes and dislikes, present continuous, questions
food, cooking, talking about a meal
Future with going to
Nice work :
jobs, work, quickly, well, occupations
describing ways of shopping, sequencing: first, next, after, finally
talking about the past, comparison / superlative
the best, the most difficult, easiest
- VOCABULARY__________B-1 when mastered
frequency, giving reasons, recently, a few days ago
probability, could, cheaper, faster, more popular
Cover to cover
books and films, narrating an event, describing a character, the funniest, the most enjoyable
A big bang
festivals & special occasions, during, dates: 4th of July, 31st of December, 19th of March,
16th of September, the 7th of September, etc.
expressing opinions, I prefer
Going for gold
recent and indefinite past, for, since, ever, never
The world tomorrow
possibly, probably, is certain to, certainly, definitely not
describing events, sequencing, for my birthday, in December, on the 3rd, for Christmas
- VOCABULARY B-1 when mastered
On the ball
badly, fast, hard, regularly, have to, must, need
in the winter, colder, the wettest, sunbathing, swimming, because, giving reasons
describing past events, how much? how many? Frequency
money, ability, skills; If I’m successful, I’ll be rich.
good at + —ing: He is good at swimming.
What on Earth….?
opinions, describing, have to, must, need; If we ban cars, the air would be cleaner.
In great shape
health, have to, don’t have to, need, don’t need
describing animals, asking open-ended questions, much, many, more, less, few, little, less
Followers of fashion
describing what people wear, shopping, expressing frequency, never, occasionally, often, unusually, always, conditionals
Now a student is ready to expand vocabulary, to build fluency, to read with comprehension, to understand others, and to speak English smoothly.