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This is how our TEFL graduates feel they have gained from their course, and how they plan to put into action what they learned:
Creating Materials Creating materials, especially songs, will always be my main focus in teaching aides. This will help keep the students interest and in staying focused in a positive state of mind for learning english. From my research and studies I have discovered that creating materials is easy and that there are several ways to create teaching aides such as using paper and using animate and in animate objects for lesson plans that involve the student’s imagination. Creative Paper Materials First of all, using paper as an creative material are as simple as making or buying flash, birthday & Christmas cards, pictures, newspaper, and magazine articles. These are highly effective tools for teaching and learning vocabulary and stimulates’ the brain receptivity of students. For example: In a newspaper article you can use any section of the newspaper from any english printing press or copy article from internet that may discuss sports, weather, and culture events. You can make copies and laminate them for future lessons. Also, a less expensive way is to let the students draw their own pictures and the english alphabet or words to use in lessons and the teacher can laminate them for future lessons. This also will give students a sense of ownership in their lessons. There are also, thousands of sites on the internet to print and copy paper materials from for lessons. For example: My favorite site for young learners is www.mes-english.com. You can print beautifully illustrated flash cards and activities and games for lessons that students will enjoy and appreciate, however it can get costly and I suggest always to laminate to preserve any paper material if capable. Animate Objects Secondly, using animate objects is a great creative teaching tool, such as a musical instrument, singing or a video can be created easily for memorizing phrases and vocabulary. For example: For young students, you can have the class sing a “hello” song or a “number song” or a “days of the week” song. I found several songs at www.supersimplesongs.com to start as a warm up to lessons. Also, you and the students can create and record songs in a video or on a recorder in groups in english. This will help students interact and use their imagination. Creating plays and acting out in front of the classroom is a great lesson plan using music. According to Don Campbell, Music is effective when using site and sound with movement and it actually changes and as well as stimulates the brain. To back up Don Campbell research, in Dr. Wanda J. Routier articles she states that we should use music to teach pre-reading and reading skills. By using music to encourage children to become part of the story through movement, rhythm, singing or playing an instrument. Also, use music to help children sight word and books of songs to encourage children to ‘read’ favorite songs they may already know. Some teaching strategies for example are: Have children select the books they like and sing the songs as many times as they want then use the book and point to the words as you sing. Use cards of Dolch words used in the song or other words and see if children can recognize, then later read the words on cards and in the book. I found a great Dolch kit on the internet www.theschoolbell.com/Links/Dolch/Dolch.html. In animate Objects Finally, using any inanimate object such as clothes, food, balls or games as a creative material can be beneficial to hands on learning. For example: Using sports as a theme for the week and in a lesson you can bring in a football, basketball, soccer ball, or a baseball to toss and play with each day of the week learning different vocabulary and phrases and tenses of verbs and nouns and adjectives. Having children dress up for the theme would be a fun experience and in role playing sport games. Also, creating recipes and by using their favorite foods to create a different experience’s in learning. Plus you can enjoy eating the lessons. For example: Using favorite fruits as a theme for the week and you can have the students bring in their favorite fruit and create recipes. Board games are great tools to use in activate and study stages of teaching. They are great for the interacting and brain memory. For example: Scrabble is great for creating vocabulary words and go fish is great to match pictures with nouns and phrases. Conclusion In conclusion, creating materials is an easy and fun. There are many ways to do it by using paper, animate and in animate objects. You just have be creative and get the students involved so they can have a hands on learning experience they will never forget.