Using Stories and Drama to Develop English Language Skills
(For Children ages 7-10)
Children are captivated by stories and can internalize vocabulary and the structure of language while listening to them. Learning English should be fun, engaging, and relevant for children so that they can REMEMBER and APPLY what they learn. Books provide examples of how the English language works, and are a springboard for playful speaking/writing (expression) and listening/reading (comprehension) activities.
Stories and information books that have repetitive language patterns and colorful illustrations are introduced to the children. The children engage in pre-reading activities, such as discussing what they already know about the topic and identifying unfamiliar words. When children are introduced to vocabulary, they don't just "learn" the words, they immediately see how the words are used and hear them in context, as well as have opportunities to use them. Sentence starters are provided to encourage each child to speak.
Children engage in activities to build phonemic awareness (hearing the different sounds of spoken language), such as rhyming, blending words, and segmenting sentences. Additionally, children learn dialogue scripts and perform them. In using this strategy, children develop their fluency and comprehension skills, and have fun!
By immersing children in a range of creative activities, they have a chance to share ideas and experience a sense of fun and purpose for learning English.