The outline for MES-English's Speaking First Curriculum designed by Mark Cox.
Phase 1: I mentioned the countries set problem above in the notes. I use these as is and I like this set of cards because the flags are drawn on the actual map or country. It's hopefully clear that we are talking about the place and not the people or the flag. (I don't have a flag set, but if you do want to use flags for this or some other purpose, you can find flag images quite easily by doing an image search for flags.)
The Big Town cards and High Town cards have countries associated with each character. The Big Town cards are fairly simple and the countries are listed with image references, so your students don't need to be able to read the words. These are great for guessing games and practicing the question "where are you from?" See the Big Town page for more about the game and practicing using those cards.
I add in kitchen here to continue practice describing a room and objects in that room. It's useful everyday vocabulary and will also be helpful for building some general background vocabulary. You can also continue to practice "there is/are ..." with you asking questions like "Is there ... in your kitchen?" or Are there ... in your kitchen?
After students learn the kitchen vocabulary, I use some of the object to practice using "with" to describe using a tool to do something. "I eat spaghetti with a fork, but I eat donuts with my hands." I usually introduce the idea by some strange extreme sentence that students will know is wrong. "Do you eat soup with a knife?" All of the students will know that those 2 are wrong together and you can elicit the correct answer. Hopefully just this negotiation over and over again will get the meaning across. See the food flashcards if you need to.
Tools expand on the ideas above. You can just work with the vocabulary practicing older forms like, "Do you have a ... at your house, in your room." "We have ... at my house." to practice "we" referring to your family. Or, you can expand from the kitchen structure "with a hammer" to the grammar structure in the target list for phase one, use something to do something else: "I use a hammer to hit a nail." This could also be rolled into passive question (by the teacher) and answer. Then moved into the running content for unit 11.
Originally, I wanted to use the heart set to start talking about different kinds of things and using nouns as adjectives. For younger students "What kind of heart is this/do you have?" is a little difficult. If it's hard for the students, just work on the vocabulary and using the adjectives to describe different objects. You could even play games just asking "Is it fluffy?" or elicit other things, "What are some other things that are fluffy?" You can come back to the question "What kind of ..?" in phase 2.
Phase 2: I'll come back to phase 2 and phase 3 once I get all of phase 1 posted.
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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