This year I am making an effort to include songs in my TPRS teaching, especially if they contain vocab clumps that I have used, am using or going to use! Music sticks! I still remember songs from my French lessons 40 years (gulp) ago.

From year one to three, we have been learning ‘Naik, Naik’. Pretty song and easy to learn. I sing it and play the ukulele, then show students the actions for each line. As I gesture, I explain what it means in English. Then I show students a series of pictures that match with phrases in the song. They volunteer to stand out the front and hold up each line as we sing it. By the time everyone has had a turn at holding a ‘Kartu’ and we sing a final time with actions, students have heard the song about 7 times and (most) are not bored yet!

eg.     Naik, naik                                                    ke puncak gunung

When ‘naik’ comes up in a story, they already know it!

The song below is the next one I will learn on the ukulele, the kids love my ‘little guitar’! I have a book called ‘Koleksi 100 Lagu Anak Indonesia Terpopular’ that I bought in Indonesia. It came with a CD but the book has music and guitar/ukulele chords, so it is great!

Heli is an easy catchy little ‘lagu’ that also happens to contain one of the super 7 verbs ‘punya’ so it will be great for my students. We can also substitute the ‘aku’ for student names and change the ‘anjing’ to pets my students have. See link below for youtube version of the song.

Heli – song with ‘punya’



The ‘Saya Mau’ (I Want) Game

Yesterday while teaching preps, I came up with a way to get lots of painless, fun repetitions. I called it Raja dan Kwin (King and Queen). I already had a bag full of objects, all cognates except for one: bola, truk, pensil, pena, stiker, apel, stroberi and tikus (mouse). I sat the children in a circle and told them I was the bossy queen, and if I asked for something they had to bring it to me ‘cepat’! I gave out the objects, sat on my throne, put on a queenly face and manner and demanded ‘Saya mau truk!’ It was so much fun to see the preppies get up as quickly as they could to give it to me! We played this a couple more times (I was gesturing as well) then picked children to be the king and queen. Great fun, engaged students, 100% Indonesian and lots of repetitions! I even went to the $2 shop after school to buy a couple of crowns!

How Do I Do PictureTalk?

Just had to reblog this, to remind myself what a great method this is to revise/introduce vocab!

t.p.r.s. q&a

Other than MovieTalk, PictureTalk is the single-best “add-on” to T.P.R.S., and an amazing strategy for non-c.i. teachers.  It reinforces already-taught vocabulary and grammar, and is also a superb way to introduce new vocab pre-story.

Picturetalk– what Ben Slavic calls “Look and Discuss”– is simple, easy, low-prep and effective.   Here are three ways to do Picturetalk.

a)  Find a picture online which contains the “things”– people and actions– in your most recent story.  So, if your story is about a poor Guatemalan kid who wants something to eat, you find a picture of that, or (say) a picture of a homeless person.

b)  If you have never taught the vocab you want to use, write on board (or project it) along with translation.  Make sure the kids know what the words mean.

c)  Project the picture, make statements, and ask questions about the picture and about the things you’ve…

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Cats Speak Indonesian!

I like to tell my young students that cats speak Indonesian. That is because they always say ‘mau, mau’ when they want something, and ‘mau’ means want! So cats are very clever. This little connection seems to help my students remember ‘mau’, and if that means some strange cat-like sounding ‘mau’s at times, so be it!

To help us lock in ‘Saya mau’ this week, I brought in some packets of Skittles and m&m’s. We didn’t eat them, just used them to engage the students! We sang ‘Saya mau Skittles, saya mau m&m’s, saya mau Kit Kat and saya mau Chupa-Chup to the rock song ‘I want Candy’ (from the movie Hop). Year Ones loved it! We got to play our air ‘gitar’ to make it sound cool, but ONLY if we did the gestures and sang ‘Saya mau ___’ first. There is a kareoke version of this song available on iTunes – make sure you choose the third option with no English background singing.

Inspired by…

María Mayeux!

I saw a fantastic video of a young student in Maria’s Spanish class reading a story using communication pictures. Reading with very few words, but lots of meaningful pictures! I decided this would be a great idea to try with my pre-readers. So I downloaded some free communication pictures from: Do2Learn Picture Cards  and  ARASAAC   Both of these sites have free pictures. Some I made up myself (such as ‘ada’, ‘mau’) as I couldn’t find what I wanted. Maria emailed me a great notebook file of a story she made up based on this one:

The Girl wants an Elephant

I then used the idea and made up a story as a word document cerita – Sam mau gorila and a powerpoint, with the picture cards. Sam mau gorila It is such a cute story! I intend to use it once I have taught ‘mau’, ‘suka’, ‘pergi ke’ and ‘ada’.

I am really hoping this method of using pictures will help my younger students ‘read’. I am uncertain how it will all go. How quickly will they learn the pictures? Will they remember them? Stay tuned…