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Kids World

Topics of interest to teachers of English as a second or foreign language to young learners.

April 15, 2004

English Talent Shows

Kids We just finished up the school year by asking the students to participate in an English Talent Show the last day of class. It was such a positive and interesting experience for all of us that I would like to share with you how we did it and how it worked. Perhaps you could use or modify something like this English Talent Show event for your own school for another occasion.

"Needless to say, lots of excitement permeated the classroom, and suspense was built over the two-week duration."

We gave all the students two weeks notice about the Talent Show along with a list of things they could do in English. Our suggestions were: singing a song, dancing a dance, reading a picture book, reciting or reading a poem, doing origami, doing "show and tell," playing a musical instrument, doing a self-introduction, performing a magic trick, etc. They could also come up with ideas of their own. But the main requirement was that their presentation be in English.

We gave the students a ten-minute slot during class time for two weeks to discuss with friends or practice their presentations. Since they also had the option of performing alone or in groups, some students opted to perform two times, once alone and another time in a group. Needless to say, lots of excitement permeated the classroom, and suspense was built over the two-week duration.

The week before the talent show, we gave out prints with examples of the kind of English they could use to introduce their acts. The format we used is as follows:

Hello. My name is __________________.
I am going to________________________. (1 person)
We are going to ____________________. (2 or more)

  • ......sing a song (The title of the song is...)
  • .....dance
  • .....read an English picture book (The title of the book is...)
  • ....read/recite a poet (The title of the poem is...)
  • .....do a self-introduction
  • ....show you something
  • ....teach you how to___________.
  • ....play a game in English (The name of the game is...)
  • ....give a speech in English
  • ....do a self-introduction
  • ....show you a magic trick

When Talent Show Week arrived, we taught our classes the first half hour, using the usual format. At the beginning of the second half hour, we asked the students to pick numbers out of a box to determine their presentation order. It was finally SHOW TIME!

Needless to say, the children were darling. We heard various renditions of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game", "The Mickey Mouse Club Song" and "When You Wish Upon a Star" on the recorder. We also listened to these songs and others played on the piano. One girl made a camera out of origami; magic tricks and cards tricks were shown. Songs were sung and self-introductions were made. Pictures books were read and one child even did a puppet show!

We taught the children to make comments after each presentation, such as, "Very nice," or, "That was great!"

It was a wonderful way to end the school year and to glimpse at another aspect of these precious children's ability beyond the English dimension.

I encourage you all to give it a try in your own special way this year.



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