Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone was the first film in the epic Harry Potter Series. In the first first, Harry discovers he is a wizard and goes off to The Hogwart's School of Magic. At Hogwart's School, each new pupil goes through a greeting ceremony, The Sorting Hat Ceremony, where new students are sorted into houses. The Hogwart's students stay in their houses for the six years they are at Hogwart's. 

Want to teach this movie class to help classroom management and need the DVD? Click here

Kids love the Harry Potter films and you can use Harry Potter and The Sorerer's Stone in your own Young Learner ESL classes to help you with classroom management. By having your kids divided into houses, you can award points for winning language games, doing good work in class, raising hands, speaking English and helping others. Similarly, you can take away points for naughty behaviour, not listening, being boisterous, shouting too much, whatever. A student is far less inclined to behaving badly if he knows he'll lose points for a collective team.

Download the movie lesson plan for a more detailed look into how you can use Harry Potter to help your classroom management with children and how to get a really good vibe and routine in your English classes.

Written by Stuart Allen

Stuart Allen
Published in Movie lessons
Monday, 25 January 2016 02:14

ESL: What Young Learners Need

Young ESL Learners are young children who are just venturing out into the world and learning new things everyday. Coming to a language school might be a little frightening for some younger ones, so it is important that you create an environment in the classroom which is fun and relaxed.
Although Younger Learner students are often learning very basic words and sentences, you can (and should) plan some really creative and fun things for the children to do in class to get them using the language and interacting with one another and you.
Young Learners always love movement, music, things to sing along to and active games in class. They will follow your lead, so it is important that you personally break down the barriers as an adult and sing and dance along in class with them! Make sure that you are giving lots of encouragement and reward good behavior at every turn. A little star sticker on the back of the hand can do wonders for a child's self-confidence and self-belief. Create a safe, fun and stress-free classroom and remember to involve everyone, especially the naturally shy ones.
Young Learner Behavior
Young Learners have short attention spans and are easily distracted in class, so be sure to make your exercises and classroom activities fun and short. Even the best thought-out activities lasting 25 minutes are probably doomed to failure because childrens' brains just are not designed to stay focused that long. Make sure that you stay active, with energetic expressions to keep the kids focused on you and the activity in hand.

Create a Good Routine for Your Young Learner Classes
Get your students used to how to behave in your classes. Teach them early on to raise their hands before asking questions and not to talk over you. It is worth spending time getting this right in the first few lessons, as a well-organized, happy group of children will learn far more language over the time spent with you than if kids are allowed speak over you and generally be a bit too noisy. Children will naturally look to teachers and adults for guidance on how to behave, so set your stall out early and get a well-behaved atmosphere going quickly.
Organizing the class into three of four teams or 'houses' works well, as you can award points for good behavior or take points away for lapses. The young children love this kind of competition and it will be harder for children to misbehave if they feel that the whole team may lose points. In general, your teaching will be far more productive, as will their learning, if you create good class rules and have a good routine.
What Should You Focus On in Young Learner Classes?
The main focus on your ESL lessons should be communication and laying a good foundation for maintaining an interest in English. Students should practice pronunciation of the words, as getting this right early will have huge benefits to their language skills throughout their life. Young Learners should also learn material such as the alphabet, numbers, colours, fruits, animals and so on. There are some great ESL flashcards out there, so make sure you use these in class. Many children are very visual learners, so these flashcards will help, in addition to all the fun games you can play with them.
Introduce new vocabulary slowly and choose simple sentences that the children can practice with each other and where they can replace key vocabulary with new material. This will help the students to retain the vocabulary, as well as getting the sentences right. Make sure that part of your class reviews what was learnt in the class before. This will help the students to retain and recall language. Give out praise often.
Little Tips for Young Learner Classes
There are a couple of extra things you can do to make your little ones really succeed. Chinese parents expect homework to be set and the kids are used to it, even from a very young age. Although you may feel that this is wrong, it is the cultural norm here, so please get used to it and don't feel bad in any way. Use the homework you set to reinforce what you have taught in that day's class. It will help each child to retain what you have taught and you'll get good results and children feeling good about themselves when they remember the words. Make the homework fun and not too hard. Encourage students to do their best and not to worry about making mistakes. Check the homework at the same time in the every class. Create a routine and stick to it.

Quality Language Games and Play for Children
Create language games and activities that are fun and interesting. Help students to interact well with each other by doing pair-work, group work and team games; mix things up. Try to review material often and add new material slowly with lots of repetition. You will see marvelous results! The most important thing I can say is to make sure you have fun in each class. Use flashcards and puppets which talk to each other! Put a big smile on your face and keep it there. Make the children feel special and they'll soon be rushing in for your classes. Make your classes the highlight of their week!
By Stuart Allen


Stuart Allen has been an English teacher since 2002 and has taught Chinese, French, Italian, Austrian, Korean and Spanish students, both in the UK and China. He runs two successful TEFL blogs in China and is a well-known voice in the China TEFL industry. Stuart is the founder and owner of www.rayenglish.com

 4 Ways to Quieten Your Classroom Without Raising Your Voice

Four Ways to Quiet Your Classroom Without Losing Your Voice (or Sanity)

When I was coming to teach English in China I was often told that Chinese students are very shy. Now if you told me that, I would just laugh! My students in China are just as loud as my students in New York City (some in fact are even louder!). My Chinese students are just as happy, annoying, loud, funny, obnoxious, eager, and frustrating as any of the students I taught in America.

Teaching in New York City

When I taught middle school students in NYC, I emphasized the idea of one microphone (“one mic”) and the idea of respecting someone when they are speaking. I could say, “Listen to the instructions now. You will have plenty of time to talk later during the activity.”

The China Language Barrier

Now I have a huge language barrier with my Chinese students and little support from my school, so this type of logic can’t be explained. When you put thirty-two middle school students with one foreigner teacher there is bound to be some talking among the students. Thankfully I have found some easy ways to quiet my classroom without raising my voice. Here are 4 Ways to Quieten Your Classroom without Losing Your Voice!

If you can hear me, CLAP!

1. “If you can hear me clap one time. If you can hear me clap two times. If you can hear me clap three times.”

a. I quietly say this phrase, “If you can hear me clap one time.” Whoever can hear me claps one time. Then I continue, “If you can hear me clap two times.” Whoever can hear my claps two times. I do this until I have everybody’s attention. Usually it only takes about three times and it really helps them to refocus. Plus, it reinforces English numbers! If a student messes up and claps too many times I give them a funny look. You can go in numerical order or switch up the numbers. The highest I go up to is five.


2. Clapping different rhythms.

This is another great way to quiet your classroom without raising your voice. I clap a simple rhythm and the students copy it. I have created four standard ones that the students all know. Sometimes if feel a little creative and daring I’ll even use the desks (it really depends on the class)! The students love it as they have to listen very carefully to get the rhythm right. This will re-focus them very effectively.

Hit the Lights!

3. Use the lights.

a. I simply flicker the lights to get my students’ attention. I have only been able to use this later in the day as my classroom has windows on both sides. Another great way though to quiet your classroom without raising your voice!

Get Creative to Quiet Your Classroom!

4. Create your own!

a. Since my students are beginning to learn English I have to use simple techniques. I let my students listen to ABBAs “Money, Money, Money,” and they LOVE it. I hope to use this song as a way to get my students attention. If you students love a certain English word or catch phrase use it to your advantage!

b. In America, I would use “Freeze, everybody clap your hands” from some pop song. My students also had a strange obsession with chickens so we had:

i. Teacher: Winner, winner!

ii. Students: Chicken Dinner!

I try to use only about two of these per English class, as too many can be confusing. Which ever one works best for quietening the class, I continue to use it. I personally have being going with the clapping theme as my students respond best to it and I don't lose my voice (or sanity!).

Switching Tactics

But sometimes these methods don’t work I have to use another tactic:

1. “There is one teacher. There is 32 students.” I emphaze that I am the teacher and outnumbered. I still need to be heard to give instructions. You can relay this to your students using TPR...they'll get it.
2. I stay quiet and put signal quiet by putting my finger to my mouth. Let the students self regulate.

And some times when things get out of hand, I do have to say “Be quiet” in a firm manner - don't be afraid to do this. A well-behaved and listening class is essential to good English teaching. My last resort is I put a timer on for three to five minutes and my students have to do be quiet and read their English books. This technique works as they would rather be playing a language game and being active. They also know this is my last resort and I am not happy about their behavior.

Most of these techniques help during teaching, but then somedays they just don’t. But as Franklin Habit says, “Teaching seems to require the sort of skills one would need to pilot a bus full of live chickens backwards, with no brakes, down a rocky road through the Andes while providing informative commentary of the scenery!"

by Emily Kugel


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