Coming from a hard science background I’m always a little suspicious of social science research (too small sample sizes and too many variables!)

But if you’re looking for some research on how songs help with teaching languages, this little research paper might be useful.

Songs as an aid for language acquisition by Daniele Schöna

I know that school directors especially, are always looking for data and research to support new ideas.  Hope it helps!

P.S.  Do also check out the research done on Genki English specifically too!

 


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If you’re looking for a quick, slightly crazy, but lots of fun end of year review game, then check out one of my favourites:

The what did you say? Game!

Ninja Tip:  This one is great for high school or adult classes too!

 


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fireavatar

So many of your resources resonate brilliance. This is another to add to the list.

Fantastic :) I’m about to print them all:)

These are GREAT!

These are just some of the comments about the  Christmas Avatars which were pretty popular to say the least!

So as promised Alyssa has been hard at work on a new set for anytime of year: Fire & Ice!

——————————————————————————

 

Have you ever wondered how those online games get the kids so addicted?

You know, the ones they (not you of course) can never stop playing?

Well a large part of it is just general addiction rules, but a huge, HUGE part of it are what are called “avatars.”

Your “avatar” is just the picture of you in the game.

And the kids go crazy  ( CRAZY!)  to get their avatar to the next level.

Seriously it’s almost like a class A drug the way some kids become so desperate to level up.

 

Can you you use it in the classroom?  Absolutely!

And recently even the Khan Academy has started giving avatars to motivate kids to learn.

So ….. of course we had to add some to Genki English!

We’ve still not quite got the full “cool” factor yet according to our 7 year old testers, but they are all ready for you to try!

You start from the little baby and work your way up.

fireavatarlong iceavatarlong

Scarcity, Scarcity, Scarcity!

And the reason they work?  Because you have to work to get them.

You all clicked on the images above didn’t you?

Thinking it would be easy to get them, yeah?

But that would be *too* easy.

And you wouldn’t value them!

See how much more you want them now? :)

How to use …..  The short way 

This is a great way to use them as basic counters if you only see your class once a year …

1) Split the class into two teams,  the Ice team and Fire team, both start at the baby level.

2) Ask questions based on today’s English.

3) Quickest team to answer gets to level up their avatar!

Ninja Tip:  Really act it up as you do the level up,  drum rolls, sound effects, the works! :)

This one isn’t quite as good as the kids don’t have as much work to do to get each one, hence the “I WANT IT!” feeling is slightly reduced!

But it still works crazy good!

How to use them? – The long run

The real magic is if you have several lessons with the same kids ….

1) Split the kids into two semi-permanent teams, the Fire  team and Ice team, each team starts on the first baby avatar.

2) After each lesson decide which team did the best.

3) And this team *only* gets to level up to the next level.

See who can get to the end before the end of term!

Queue lots of cheers and eagerness from the other team in the next lesson!

Ninja Tip: This works amazingly well at keeping the class under control if they know they’ll get leveled down for bad behaviour! 

Where are they???????

And how do you get hold of these amazing avatars?

Well seeing as you been so good as to read down so far,  these links are clickable!

fireavatarlong iceavatarlong

And do let us   know what you think in the comments  and it will help us to maybe make up some more?

Be genki

Richard

P.S.  Try giving each level different powers to make them even more fun, ability to freeze time? Or water?  Or the teacher? :)  Or can the level 5 ice wolf freeze the level 4 fire bird?

P.P.S. Please do give us your kids’  feedback to the avatars to make sure we’re on the right track with the colour schemes, coolness/cuteness etc. of them all! :)


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I’ll have more for all of you who are overseas very soon,  but just for today I’ve got an announcement for teachers in Japan.

It’s just a quick message to let you know that we’re having a stock clearance and will be putting up the price of the students CDs from March 31st.

They’re currently on at 1,980 yen (inc taxes) each if you order over 15 CDs and will be going up to 2,480 yen (*plus* tax) from March 31st.

So if you want your students having the songs at home, it’s the perfect chance to stock up!

Be genki,

Richard

P.S.  Vol. 10 has completely sold out and we’re also running short of stock on volumes 1, 2 and 5  so if you want those, get your order in ASAP.

P.P.S.  Yes you need to be a VIP member to get these discounts,  and unfortunately the CDs are only for Japan.  For overseas, check out the USB homework programme – I’ll be opening it up again in April!


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Hugo has just sent in his very cool Mega Maze game for practising Left & Right (or North & South) and reviewing previous themes.

Here’s Koharu Playing our game “Mega Maze” and practicing the words she had learnt (Left, Right, Forward and Back).

Koharu had to say the correct word before moving the mouse in the direction out of the maze.

Not only that, there were many pictures from previous lessons and every time she reached one she had to say what it was.

That was a great way to practice the “How are you?” and “Superhero” lessons.

She directed the mouse from start to finish and got many stickers as a reward.

Now she can give directions in English to anyone!

There are more pictures on Hugo’s Facebook page and VIP members can download the maze pdf below!

megamaze

 

Ninja Tip:  And of course you can make up your own maze with spaces to put in your own mini cards to review any theme!

 


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Feel like your kids are stuck or plateauing?   This might help …. :)

 

One key of success is to build momentum.

If you keep stopping.

Then starting.

Then stopping.

Then starting.

It’s hard to keep your eye on the goal.

The cure?

To have one really small victory.

Which then boosts you up, just a touch.

And leads into the next.

And the next.

And the next.

Then just like a flywheel these small steps all build up and these tiny little victories almost magically give you the energy to tackle the really big challenges.

superhero arms up

That’s why I start each course with a huge, great big, super smiley, super confident, superhero-body language “Hello!!!”

That one little victory leads us into the next and the next and the next.

And before you know it the kids are speaking amazing English.

Who’s here?

Contrast this with the class that starts with a whimper.

With sitting down.

Being quiet.

With the class register, with fumbling around with papers or flashcards.

Not the most inspiring start is it! :)

So get your first victory in, then keep giving the kids small victories at least 2 or 3 in each lesson.

And remember success is just a string of these tiny victories,  with of course lots of stumbles on the way, but the victories are what keep you going and going and going.

So the question of the day is:

  What small victory are you going to give your kids in class today?

Be genki,

Richard

P.S.  And to paraphrase Bill Gates,  if you feel like you aren’t achieving that much yet  ”It’s amazing how little we achieve in one year,  but amazing how much we achieve in ten.”


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