Teaching ESL
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Introductions (hello in different languages)
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Author:  Zoro Sensei [ Thu Apr 23, 2009 12:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Introductions (hello in different languages)

Ok, so I had to do introductions this last week for the new school year.

Most my kids can do introductions really well, and I was just doing it for the few new kids coming in and because the Board of Ed put it into my syllabus.


Here is the game I created (and loved):


After warm-ups, I told the kids that they were going to learn 15 different languages today, and not just English.

I asked the students if any of them knew how to say "hello" in another language. A few could say it in French, Italian, Korean, and Chinese, so I wrote their answers on the board and started from there.

Next I wrote out "hello" in 15 different languages. I had them look at maps to find the country or countries where it was spoken, and I also showed them "hello" written in the languages own alphabet. I pulled all the "hellos" off the internet, and used youtube videos to practice the pronunciation before class.

I also tried to teach a few interesting things about the language. For instance, in Thai, all sentences end in "ka" or "krap". "ka" is for girls and "krap" is for boys. Using this at the end of sentences makes the sentence more friendly, and the more you use it the more friendly you sound. That is why you should say "sawatdee ka (krap)" when you say hello. Or "shalom" means not just hello, but also peace, and good-bye. Or in Portuguese, "d" sometimes sounds like "j". So we say "Boa Tarde" with a "j" sound.

Finally, we practiced and reviewed. (I taught hello in Arabic, Hebrew, Portuguese, Spanish, French, German, Thai, Korean, Chinese, Russian, Hawaiian, Hindi, Swahili, English, and Japanese).

Once they could say and remember quite a few "hellos", I taught them greeting gestures (bows [Japanese vs. Hindi], handshake, nose-rubs, hugs, cheek-kisses, and the fist pound).

Students then went around the class saying hi to people in different languages, and adding a greeting gesture. I didn't do the more touchy greetings with the kids (this is Japan, so they aren't going to be comfortable with touch), but some choose to try them with their good friends. Which language they say and which gesture they do is completely up to the kids.

After they spend about 5 or 8 minutes greeting each other, they had to say their name "My name is -" and "Nice to meet you".



I ran the entire class on the black board, but you might want to make language flash cards. I used the kids social studies book to teach the locations of the countries. The entire thing ran about 35 minutes. I used the other 10 minutes for making name cards.




I did this with 9-11 year old Japanese students in classes of 33-36.

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