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When teaching primary children flashcards are an incredibly useful and flexible way for teaching vocabulary. Here are some simple practical activities that you can use.
When introducing or revising certain vocabulary with children, use the technique “Flash”.
Show them the flashcards very fast. Children identify what is on the flashcard. “It’s an elephant!”. “Yes, very good!”
An alternative way of doing this is to use the technique “Slowly, slowly”. In this case cover the flashcard that you are going to use and gradually reveal the picture. Children identify what is on the flashcard as soon as they can. “It’s a tiger”.
Doing initial flashcard activity with the children stick the flashcards on the board and get the children to repeat the words. This activity is called “What’s missing?”. Ask children to cover their eyes with the hands and remove one of the flashcards from the board and hide it behind your back. Ask them to open their eyes and ask them what’s missing.
Play “Magic eyes”: stick the flashcards on the board in a row. Six is a good number that children can retain in their short term memory. Get children to repeat the words with you in a rhythmic way: “Tiger, elephant, ostrich, zebra, whale, ” and “Tiger, elephant, ostrich, zebra, whale, ”. When you think children are doing this confidently, remove the first flashcard and continue in the same way: “Tiger, elephant, ostrich, zebra, whale, ” Then remove the second one and say all the words, repeat the sequence again: “Can we do anymore?”. “Yes, we can!” . Now, in a little simple activity like that you are helping children to train their memory. You are encouraging children to have a visual representation: the image associated with the word.
Do a “Lip reading activity”: stick the flashcards on the board, get students’ attention: “Everybody is looking in this way, please! Are you ready?”. I’m going to tell you one of the words and you will tell what is it. With a little activity like that you are actually giving children a strategy which is very helpful in the learning a foreign language, because if you look at people’s lips it can help you to understand what they say.
“Flashcard riddles”. Use a vocabulary that is familiar for the children. For example: “It’s big and gray and has a trunk and a tail. What is it?”. “It has white and black stripes.” In an activity like this you put students in a context of a language they already know.
Use the flashcards to play an action game. I call it “Flashcard groups”. Divide the class into several groups of 3-5 children. Assign each group a flashcard, for example: “Group 1, you are tigers, group two- you are elephants…”. Give the groups instruction in a following way: “Touch your nose, tigers!”, “Wave your hands, elephants!”, “Put your hands on your heads, ostriches!”. When you give instructions it is important to say instruction first and flashcard second. In this way children will keep listening until they know whether the instruction apply to their group or not.
Another action game is called “Hands on heads”. In this activity divide the class into two teams. Assign 2 rows of flashcards on the left and right side of the board. The activity works in a following way: children listen to the words that belong to their team and respond by putting their hands on their heads. For example: ” Tigers, giraffes, ostriches…”. As children gaining confidence you can speed up how fast you say the words. The two activities flashcard groups and “Hands on heads” give children an opportunity for movements.
Flashcards are also useful for practicing simple interaction pattern. In this activity called “Flashcard chain” ask children to sit or stand in a circle with you. Get ready the flashcards. Use the first one by passing it to a child on your left by asking any relevant question: “Do you like zebras?”. The child responds: “Yes, I do or No, I don’t” and passes the flashcard to the child next to him asking the same question. Then introduce the next flashcard. When all the flashcards has gone around the circle, the activity ends. This activity provides children with multiple opportunities using the language.
Flashcards can be useful to revise vocabulary from several a different lexical sets. For this activity called “Kim’s game” stick 12-15 flashcards. Explain the children that you are going to give them 1 minute to remember all the words. Ask children to work with the partner and write down as many words as they can remember. Check the answers and if you like children can categorise the cards for example” these are clothes, these are food, these are animals”.
So flashcards provide a flexible and enjoyable resource for teaching vocabulary.
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Закладывать и формировать лексические навыки у учащихся на уроках иностранного языка необходимо именно в начальной школе. Это обеспечит эффективное обучение в старших классах. Наиболее эффективным средством формирования лексических навыков у учащихся начальной школы является наглядность, так как у детей этого возраста преобладает наглядно-образное мышление, и всю информацию дети воспринимают не только на слух, но преимущественно образно. Принцип наглядности рассматривается не как вспомогательный, а как один из основных принципов в обучении иностранному языку, ибо наглядность так же неотделима от обучения иностранному языку, как язык неотделим от реальности.
В этой статье автор делится своим опытом использования флэшкард при работе с учащимися.
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