The outline for MES-English's Speaking First Curriculum designed by Mark Cox.
With chores, I teach and solidify the vocabulary. I introduce the idea of "have to" as their job. I ask if their mother tells them to do some of these things. Then I point out that they "have to do ..." Most of the time they only have to do these chores occasionally so generally they need to use the word "sometimes". It's also good to ask about other things that they have to do, like go to school and do homework, which aren't in the chores set.
The signs are pretty straight forward as well. I start with "no smoking" as it is a sign most people are familiar with. To start talking about permission, I put the "no smoking" sign up in the classroom. Then, I ask them if I can smoke. I make a gesture like I'm smoking. The students will generally say "No!" and I say "Right, no smoking." and point to the sign. You can do this a few times. There are also some parks in the Perfect Park project that you can print out. I use those and ask more questions about permissions. Then as a game, I tell them I'm going to make new rules. I put the game cards down face up and I have another set where I draw 6-8 new rules at random. I don't show these to the students. One by one in the group, they ask if they can do certain things. If it's OK (not restricted) they get a point chip and I remove the card. If it's not OK (it's restricted - one of the cards I drew as the new rules) then I tell them "No. No ...ing. You can't ... in my park." They don't get a point and the next student gets to practice asking.
You will need to separate out a few and go over the verbs needed, for example "No pets." They'll need to know that when asking, they want to know about the "action", is it OK to do the action. Pets is a good one because when they say "Can I pets?" I can say "Can you eat pets?" and they immediately know that's wrong. I can then model the word "bring" and explain that we need the action. This is asking if it's OK to do something.
Sports Go, Music and Places 2 are pretty much straight vocabulary building units for phase 1. I will introduce the idea of "how to do something" with music but generally as passive language. I will take a flute card and ask "Do you shake it? I know! You put them in your ears and wiggle your head?" and stuff like that. In later units, we cover hobbies and it's a little clearer to talk about knowing how to play a game like chess.
Running content notes:
I continue to practice past tense and also relative clauses. Both of these will be things I do for a very long time. Relative clauses will be a constant running theme through phase 2 and phase 3, with the goal that by the end of phase three they'll feel confident with the fundamental grammar taught here and the ability to use that grammar in relative clause constructions.
I'll have the students start asking "Have you ever gone ...ing?" but it's a little clearer in unit 14 with "Have you ever eaten ...?" at least for my group anyway. In Japan, seafood is a big part of the diet and I tend to get more "Yes." answers than with sports or countries. One or the other may work better depending on your group. I don't really explain the present perfect and the time line. They just do it as a formulated question in phase 1.
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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