Nursery Rhymes

Rhymes can be used to teach new vocabulary and to enhance early reading skills in lots of ways.

Each rhyme is really a miniature story that children can act out, sing or retell from memory.

The students gain confidence in retelling each story to friends, parentes or in class.

When the children act out these short rhymes they are speaking, listening and moving.

Because they are short stories it is easy to memorize, take turns and participate.

Here are some pictures of the characters from a variety of rhymes that could be used in many ways. As necklaces, finger puppets or stapled onto headbands or popsicle sticks.

So, let´s have fun and learn some nursery rhymes!

Humpty

Lamb

Hubbard

Muffet

JackJill

Shoe 

Hickory 

Hey Diddle 2

Boy Blue

Boy Blue 2

Nimble

Children can manipulate these figures as they retell the rhyme.

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Here is a summary of the stories.

Mary Lamb sequence

Little boy blue seq

Humpty Dumpty Sequence

 

Humpty rebus 

Mother Hubbard rebus 

Nursery Rhymes provide great practice with concepts in early reading.

Because the children sing and memorize these rhymes most of them are successful “reading” them.

 

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Different kinds of knowledge

think about the different types of knowledge that your learners have.

Linguistic knowledge Knowledge of English and of other languages
World knowledge ‘General’ knowledge or specialist knowledge
Sociocultural knowledge Knowledge about communities and social practices, how language is used by different groups of people, in different situations, for different functions
  • What types of knowledge do your learners have?

What do we do when we listen and read?

In the previous step we talked about how reading and listening to different things affects the way we read or listen. These different ways of reading and listening require different reading and listening skills. In the world of English language teaching, there are specific terms for each of these different skills. Look at the descriptions below – do they match the ideas that you had? After you’ve read about the different skills, look at the Quizlet activity to see how much you remember.

Reading and listening skills

General understanding

You can read or listen for general understanding. This is what you do when you read through an article quickly to see what it’s about. For reading, this is called skimming. It’s also sometimes called reading or listening for gist.
Specific information

Sometimes you might read or listen to find specific information. For example, maybe you are looking through an article about teaching abroad. You have a particular country you know you would like to work in, and you want to find out exactly where to find a job and how to apply. In this case you’ll read only the information in the text about that country. You wouldn’t read everything as you would if you were reading or listening for general understanding. This is reading for specific information.
Scanning

This is a bit like looking for specific information but is used only for reading, and is about finding particular bits of a text. For example, looking at a website for jobs, you might look through for a particular word or phrase. This could be a specific word, for example a qualification, or a specific number, such as the pay or the number of posts.

Children need time to play

Play is fun, all children love playing, and children learn so much through play without even realising it. So we need to give children time to play, not just ten minutes when they finish their ‘work’.

When children play, they are experimenting with ideas, testing hypotheses, mastering skills, using their imaginations and representing their world. If you cut out play when teaching English you are removing a vital step in childhood development.

Here are a few examples of the different types of things children are learning and developing as they play.

  • When playing with plasticine children develop their fine motor skills. Children are working on hand-eye coordination and building up the muscles in their hands and fingers when modelling plasticine. These are valuable pre-writing skills, as good muscle strength and hand-eye coordination will help children hold and use writing tools properly later on. By playing with plasticine, children are also experimenting with things like colour, shape and texture.
  • When playing with dolls and a tub of waterthey are learning about the concepts of wet and dry, floating and sinking, clean and dirty. They are also engaging in sensory play, and experimenting with the way water feels.
  • When playing with musical instrumentschildren are developing sound recognition (the sounds that different instruments make and an understanding of how sounds can change (e.g. high, low, soft, loud, fast slow) and an appreciation of music. These valuable listening skills are transferable to the area of language and communication.
  • When playing with transport toys, children are experimenting with friction and motion, up and down, forwards and backwards, fast and slow.
  • When children are playing with blocks, they are learning about colour, shape and patterns, as well as the concepts of weight, size, height, length, vertical and horizontal.
  • In dramatic play and small world play(acting out scenes from real life, stories and/or imagination created with small figures and objects) children are representing ideas that help them make sense of the world around them. They can also experiment with playing different roles and inventing different scenarios, taking them beyond the real world and developing their imagination.

What do you think?

  • How important do you think it is to give children time to play?
  • How do you think play can help a child’s language development?

© British Council

Play and learning

We’ve talked about why children play and the benefits of play, but the idea still persists that if it’s too much fun, children are not learning.

However, the evidence suggests the opposite. Research shows that children actually learn through play. Play is learning.

Internationally renowned expert on early childhood and play, Tina Bruce, outlines in her book, Early Childhood Education, the 12 features of free-flow play:

1. Children use the first-hand experiencesthey have had in life during play.

2. Children keep control as they play. Play does not bow to pressure to conform to external rules, outcomes, targets or adult-led projects.

3. Play is a process. It has no products.

4. Children choose to play. It is intrinsically motivated and spontaneous.

5. Children rehearse their possible futures in their play. Play helps children learn to function in advance of what they can do in the present.

6. Play has the potential to take children into a world of pretend, beyond the here and now, in the past, present and future, and it transforms them into different characters.

7. Play can be solitary, and this sort of play can be very deep.

8. Children can play together or with an adult, in companionship (parallel play), associatively or cooperatively in pairs or groups.

9. Play can be initiated by a child or an adult, but adults need to respect the child’s play agenda by not insisting that the adult agenda dominates the play.

10. Child-led play is characterised by deep concentration.

11. In play, children try out their recent learning, mastery, competence and skills, and consolidate them.

12. Play makes children into whole people, able to keep balancing their lives in a fast-changing world.

Tina Bruce (2015) Early Childhood Education 5th Edition

Why is it so hard to choose broccoli 🥦 over doughnut 🍩

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How to answer interview questions


© The University of Sheffield

Strength-based questions

10 comments

A number of employers have introduced ‘strength-based questions’ into interviews. They focus on what you enjoy doing and what you are particularly good at rather than what you can do, so be prepared to be open and honest.

Consider your achievements not just in your studies and at work but also in activities such as sports, interest groups or volunteering. Think about what aspects you enjoy and why you are good at them. This should help you to understand your strengths and prepare you for strength-based questions.

Types of questions that are looking for strengths include:

  • How do you know if you’ve had a good day?
  • Describe something that you learnt recently.
  • What activities come naturally to you?
  • Would you prefer to be a big fish in a small pond or a small fish in a big pond?
  • Describe your favourite interest outside of your work or studies.
  • What have you done that you are most proud of? Why was it significant?
  • What are your greatest strengths? When do you use them?

In describing your strengths, you may be able to provide evidence of the skills and experience asked for in the job description, such as team work, project work, communication skills or customer service.

For example:

  • You enjoy playing the violin as part of an amateur orchestra.
  • You may feel that you’ve had a good day after completing a difficult project on time.
  • You would describe yourself as a good listener, who is able to communicate with people from different backgrounds and cultures.
  • You are particularly proud of your customer service skills and have gone out of your way to help people recently.

Use the comments below if you can think of other strength-based questions, and how you might answer them.

© The University of Sheffield

Entrevista de Trabalho – parte 2

To summarise, if you are to be interviewed for a job you should understand:

  • the services or products the organisation deals with
  • the organisation’s aims and values – what does it say in its ‘mission statement’?
  • how you will fit in with its values. Can you identify its culture?
  • who its clients / customers are
  • who its competitors are and how the organisation compares to them
  • if the organisation has been in the news recently and why?

Researching an institution

If you have applied for a course, you may be invited for an interview, although this varies between departments and at different universities or colleges. If you have applied to do postgraduate research you will almost always be invited to interview.

Before you attend, you should understand:

  • the institution and department that you wish to join and its strengths
  • the aims and values of the institution – what does it say in its ‘mission statement’?
  • how you will fit in with its values. Can you identify its culture?
  • the key areas of research currently being undertaken or the structure of the course
  • the types of careers that students progress on to after completion
  • if the institution has been in the news recently and why?

© The University of Sheffield