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Classroom Activities

English Teaching Materials, Games and Activities

April 30, 2014


What do native speakers of English know about pronouns? Very little I suspect and in reality I'm pretty much the same except that I have to teach Japanese students how and when to use them and all done in English.

Subject, object, personal, possessive, relative, reflexive, demonstrative etc., etc. You just can't give a child a list of these and expect him to learn and understand "Girls (and boys) Just Gotta Have fun" and that's not fun, so where to start? Well I'm going to start with Subject Pronouns as that's our first lesson in Doors to Grammar. Now let me be straight with you, I've only ever used this book with an adult student who really liked it and really needed it, but after Golden Week I will be using DTG 1 with a small group of 1st grade JHS students and some of the activities I will be using with younger children. What do I want them to know and understand? Well this much at least:


I like simple and David Paul's song "I'm a cow" found on page 8 of NFO 2 (I've spoken about this song before) is excellent for having children drill their pronouns. The song goes well with "I'm a/an..." and "You're a/an..." using animal sounds and with a little imagination you can have fun using all the "subject pronouns" with this song. I have a set of animals sounds cards, for use with this song, which can be found on BAH 4 CD, they are similar to these except the sounds are to be printed on the backs.


Don't play the following game (scroll down to animal track game) if you want a quiet lesson because students go wild with it (in English). Here is another similar game board I made recently.


What about older children and low level adults? I usually start off simple as one can always speed up the pace or make something more difficult, but the reverse is more challenging for the teacher. I use the following cards as conversation starters and for pronoun practice, though some students get stuck on "What do you do?", which is the equivalent of "What's your job?", which makes more sense grammatically. "Where are you from?" "I'm from Japan." "Where's that?" "Er..."


I produced similar cards for the other subject pronouns and made them into a game "Pronoun Switchit" for practicing Subject Pronouns in a meaningful and "fun" way,


which is available in Japan from myself. Please email
for orders and details. I also use some worksheets from ESLPrintables but these are only available to contributing members. I want to contribute some Subject Pronoun worksheets of my own soon.

Next time I plan to write about the dreaded 'be verb', which so confuses Japanese students, so much so that it is still taught in university classes! Till then. Enjoy your teaching.

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