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Get up! Get out! Get speaking!

Viajes para jóvenes
Viajes configurados para sacar el mayor aprovechamiento de tu tiempo.
Viajes para adultos
Un proyecto en desarrollo. El objetivo principal es que sea para todos los bolsillos.
Lots of complete exercises. Time to practise!
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Letter and sound recognition trays."

I have repeatedly seen this type of exercise on pinterest. I had never seen the tray in gold until just now! My choice of gold and copper were so that I could introduce the colours in the ESL classroom. I am anti princes and princesses - I think they give such a false idea of reality and I still have to come across one of them who is actually worthwhile...

AlanSpeak. Letter and sound formation and recognition trays.

Practice your "to be" contractions"

There is a link to a high resolution image under this one. Just download it, print it off and have some fun. Who said learning was boring?

Hay un enlace a una imágen de alta resolución debajo de ésta. Descárgala, imprímela, y ¡diviértete! ¿Quién dijo que aprender cosas era aburrido?

AlanSpeak. To be. ESL. EFL. Active learning.

High resolution photo. Imágen en alta resolución.

Please, Feed the ducks!

Pick a counter. Say the sound. If you get it right, you can feed your team's duck. If you get it wrong, we need to work some more on that sound.

AlanSpeak. Ducks. ESL. EFL. Phonics.

Bowling for Vocabulary

Roll the dice to get a vowel sound. Bowl some, but not all the pins, over. Try to make words with the sounds facing upwards on the fallen pins and the vowel sound you got from the dice!

AlanSpeak. Bowling vocabulary exercise. ESL. EFL. Phonics.

Phonics Flower Garden

A little garden based on windmills or pin wheels, whichever you prefer!

AlanSpeak. Windmill/Pin Wheel Phonics Garden.

Sponge Bob Square Pants Phonics Feed Me Box

I'm going to use this to reinforce words with the vowel names. The 3D Bob I bought for €5.50 and used an old cardboard biscuit box I covered in EVA foam to catch the words the feed into Sponge Bob's waiting mouth!

AlanSpeak. Sponge Bob Square Pants Phonics Feeder.

Answering Spoons.

Kids suffer when you ask them a question. With this little "magic wand" in their hands they are more eager to listen and get things right!

AlanSpeak. Answering Spoons. For Yes-No questions.

Exploring for sounds.

This is a game I thought of while in the supermarket. I came across a bag of tiny pasta letters (69 Euro cents) and thought that a couple of magnifying glasses (€3.50 each) and some enthusiastic students would be a perfect mix for my phonics classes.

UPDATE: It goes down a treat with the little ones. They have such fun with this short warmer upper. They will soon be playing without any prompting from me. One tells the other which sound to look for, and I watch to make sure the magnifying glass is near the letters and not stuck up their noses!

Me vino la idea de este juego en el super. Encontré la bolsa de letras de pasta (69 céntimos) y pensé que con unas lupas (3,5€/cada una) y el entusiasmo de mis peques había encontrado el juego perfecto!

ACTUALIZACIÓN: ¡A los peques les encanta! Se lo pasan en grande con este corto ejercicio para arrancar la clase. Pronto podrán jugar sin que yo les guie. El uno le dice al otro qué sonido tiene que buscar y mientras yo les vigilo para asegurarme que la lupa esté cerca de las letras ¡y no metida por la nariz!

AlanSpeak. Sound hunting. Pasta letters and magnifying glass. Phonics. ESL. EFL .

 The NUMBERS game.

I find it a huge challenge to correct children's pronunciation of the numbers. They mostly start off in class saying "guan, chew, free, forrr, fie, sis, sebeng, eij, nie, chen" at light speed.

Hopefully these colourful numbers, bought in a Chinese shop (€2.50), will inspire them to be more careful. The idea is simple: if you can pronounce the number correctly you can keep it. However, if your pronunciation is not right, it goes back into the black bag. The first student to collect all ten numbers, from 0 to 9, is the winner.

UPDATE: We're working on this one slowly but surely. The change over to phonics was definitely a good choice.

Cuando los peques llegan a sus primeras clases con pocos años, suelen saber algunas cosas de inglés. Entre ellas, los números. Los dicen a una velocidad de mareo y acaban diciendo cosas como "guan, chiu, frii, forrr, fai, sis, sebeng, eij, nai, chen".

Espero con estos números coloridos conseguir frenar las prisas y que se concentren mejor en la pronunciación. La idea del juego es simple: Sacas un número. Si sabes decirlo bien, te lo quedas, si no se vuelve al saco negro. La primera persona que consiga los diez números (del 0 al 9), gana el juego.

ACTUALIZACIÓN: Vamos poco a poco con este tema. El cambio que hice hacia las "phonics" fue un acierto.

AlanSpeak. Learning how to count. Numbers. Phonics. Pronunciation. Game. Playing. ESL. EFL.



I came across this in the market. A 100-piece puzzle with heat sensitive areas that hide interesting bits of information about landmarks and places all over the world. This will be very useful for comparatives and superlatives.

Encontré este puzzle en el Rastro de Fuengirola. Tiene un montón de información de diferentes sitios y monumentos, muchas cosas están escondidas debajo de unas tiras negras sensibles al calor. Muy útil para enseñar los comparativos y superlativos.  A ver qué tipo de redacción consigo sacar.

AlanSpeak. ESL. EFL. Comparatives and superlatives. Heat sensitive puzzle. Jigsaw.


Minion Word Eater

This Minion eats words that kids can sound out, blend and in my case translate into English.

UPDATE: He now has a place of honour at the entrance for the kids who arrive early. They work instead of being bored trying to keep quiet.

Este Minion se come las palabras que los alumnos pueden: desmenuzar en sus sonidos básicos, combinar los sonidos para la correcta pronunciación, y traducir al inglés.

ACTUALIZACIÓN: Ahora ocupa un lugar de honor en la entrada para la gente que llega pronto. Ahora trabajan en vez de aburrirse intentando no meter ruido.

AlanSpeak. Minion. Word eater. Phonics. Pronunciation. Game. Playing. ESL. EFL.

Mini Cup Cake Word Families!

My students will soon be taking home mini cupcake wrappers to study their word families... Must look for a decent box to keep them in! (100 wrappers 90 Euro cents in the Chinese shop)

Pronto los alumnos se llevarán estos envoltorios de mini cupcakes para estudiar las familias de palabras. Tengo que buscar una cajita para que las vayan guardando. (Cien envoltorios 90 céntimos de euro en la tienda de los chinos)

AlanSpeak. Mini Cupcake mould. Word families. Phonics. Pronunciation. Game. Playing. ESL. EFL.

 Here's a little counting game to reinforce numbers at home.

The students have to do one line of numbers per day for five days.

AlanSpeak. Counting. Numbers. Exercise. Homework.  Phonics. Pronunciation.

Sound Swatters

A piece of white plastic table cloth (1 x 1·5 metres) that cost €7.50. Some new markers and the fly swatters cost 60 cents each. This will definitely give me lots of phonics fun in the classroom with both kids and older students. I know this because I tried it out with my teenagers today, having first warned them that it was not a competition to beat each other nor to destroy my new fly swatters! They had a laugh and they also discovered that when the adrenalin starts to flow their ears are not always up to the mark. It was definitely a good investment.

AlanSpeak. Sound swatters. Phonics. Classroom games. ESL. EFL.

Dolch words for the ESL/EFL classroom.

I have been tempted to bring this into my class activities given the, what I consider, brutal take on bilingualism that is happening in Spain. Over twenty years I have struggled with kids who almost never have to use personal pronouns in their own language to try to make them understand the need to use them in English. Now, in Science they read sentences with all the grammar bits from First Certificate, without understanding personal pronouns! I think some sticks with a subtle message like "You stink!" causing a student to have to return their pile of sticks to the jar should be enough to make the game exciting!

Dolch words. Hopefully familiarity with start to breed just that... familiarity!

AlanSpeak. Dolch words. Vocabulary. Advanced for kids. Game. Play in the ESL EFL classroom.

 I call it "Lolly" phonics!

This will become a learning centre in my classroom just as soon as the little ones learn how to use it. I'll also teach them "You stink!" Let's face it, there is always someone out there willing to rain on your parade. I do not believe in teaching about the pursuit of happiness. I do believe you need to teach kids that sometimes, even when you are doing really well, through no fault of your own, bad luck, they call it, you lose! Yes, I am definitely putting in a "You stink!" or two. Glass jar is not a good idea. Must root out a tin!

AlanSpeak. Lolly phonics. Lollipop sticks. ESL. EFL. Classroom games.

Shapes, colours, prepositions of place, and transport.

Seriously I am becoming addicted to, what they call in Spain, Chinese shops. Even in a large town like León they are one of the few places where you can get reasonably priced bits and pieces. I have already mentioned on my Facebook page that I feel like starting up a webpage called http://IwenttoachineseshopagainandthisiswhatIboughtthistime.com 

In fact, in the mega-sized shop I discovered today they have similar foam animals and other things I did not have enough time to look at. I'll be back! I'll be back!

These will definitely captivate the smaller ones with their bright colours and shapes. Preposition practice to boot!

AlanSpeak. Prepositions. Shapes. Colours. Methods of transportation. ESL. EFL.

Who needs followers on Twitter? Make your own. Follow the letters and the sounds with these little friends. They help you to keep an eye on things!

A lollipop stick. A goofy eye. And all your concentration in one place!

AlanSpeak. Concentration tool. Classroom. Children. ESL. EFL.


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