Sunday, 31 August 2014

Summer English Course (short duration) for 4-6 year olds - The last day - The 29th of August 2014

Knowing they would be playing in front of an audience the children were over excited and nervous I had therefore to "calm" them down by having them watch the last chapter of Peter and the Wolf, by Prokofiev prior to two rehearsals, which had me finally "nervous", as nothing seemed synchronised as I would have expected.

Despite being very young and not having had too much time to memorise the text in English I still believed then that they were capable of doing better and I was right because the actual performance was second to none, with just an unexpected event at the beginning when a four year old, who was supposed to be in charge of the sounds started crying the moment he saw his mother in the audience, which led us to let her move over to him and "play" her part.

There were a few times in which I had to "conduct" the "stage entrance" of the little actors, whilst Ana knelt in the back prepared for any eventuality involving the falling of the scenario setting, but taking into account the young age of the participants we were both very happy with the final outcome and so were all who came to see the play, the administrator included.

Both the administrator and the head of the training centre made a speech before the handing out of the participation certificates. We then all went into the classroom to see the children's artistic works on display.

Praise can be shown in quite a wide variety of forms (flowers, books, drawings made by the children) but having had many of the children asking their parents if they could come again next year was the most heartfelt praise of all ...

Note: Photos of the last day's ceremony gently taken by João de Barros

Friday, 29 August 2014

Summer English Course (short duration) for 4-6 year olds - The 28th of August 2014


Apart from watching and discussing part of the adapted version of Peter and the Wolf from Prokofiev, we read (attempted to read) the Ladybird book of The ugly duckling, which children really enjoyed.  


By  the end of the fourth day each child had finished at least two artistic pieces, with the younger children having actually finished four due to the lower degree of difficulty involved. They mostly did origami and sticker-type of Art, whilst the older ones used felt tip brushes, paint and some of them even had to assemble them.

By the look on their faces as I was photographing them I could clearly see they were very happy with what they had done and despite the fact that this was an English Language oriented course, the artistic pieces were associated with the vocabulary extension, in as much as most of them reflected many of the new words they had learned.

We rehearsed the play twice, this time in the auditorium where it will be played at on Friday, so that children get adapted to the "stage", which significantly differs from the classroom, where we have been rehearsing until now.
(To be continued)

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Summer English Course (short duration) for 4-6 year olds - The 26th and 27th of August 2014


Children seem to love doing the vocabulary identification exercises, with which we initiate the English Language development course every morning.

Once we finish with the identification exercises we then go onto the game of getting a random animal from a bag and saying what it is in English. Children do enjoy themselves quite a lot "playing" the game, particularly in the moments following the correct identification of the animal they have picked out.

After the break children continue further developing their vocabulary in English followed by exercises every-time, even if the words they have been taught are as simple as the colours.

Because we have been asked to prepare a play in English for the last day of the course we have had to select roles for the various children depending on their English knowledge and theatrical skills.
We won't have the necessary time to perform the adapted version of the three little pigs as I would like it to be performed but I am sure children will do their best, particularly the narrators who have got quite a lot of text to memorise.

I must confess the only character I am not particularly worried about is the "wolf" because the child performing it is playing this role for the second time, so he knows perfectly well what is expected of him in terms of English and performance as well.

On Wednesday the children all seemed exhausted after the "repeated" rehearsal  around mid-day so I decided to allow them to continue doing their "artistic pieces", so as to give them a break before they went home for lunch.

(To be continued)