Tip for Tuesday: Adapting Materials for Lower Levels
Our Tip for Tuesday this week is all about how best to adapt our new Picaro materials for very low level Breadies!
Unlike our older materials, IQBar’s Picaro slides begin very easy but gradually get a lot harder, particularly in the taster sessions. This allows Buddies to assess the Bready’s level and for the Bready to learn something new, even at the very beginning of the course. This does however, mean that for the lowest level Breadies - those who have no prior knowledge of English - this can seem a little bit like being thrown in the deep end.
This does not need to be the case. The first level of Picaro was designed for these lower level students. The initial slides, asking the Bready to identify the colours on the characters as well as saying ‘Hello’ and ‘How are you’ and parts of the body. For students who already know colours and parts of the body then great, they can go right ahead through the questions. For those who are yet to learn this vocabulary, here is your opportunity to teach the basics!
If you’re looking at colours for example, this is a perfect opportunity to move away from the powerpoint and bring in your own visual/physical or using what is around both you and the student. Scribble the different colours on the board and get them to say the names, ask the Bready to find the different colours in the room around them - maybe they have a yellow hat or a blue book and vice versa. This is your opportunity to have a little bit of fun with the student and to make the class your own. You can use whatever method and whatever prompts you feel would be most effective for the Bready.
Use the initial topics as a springboard to expand the student’s knowledge. The great thing about the Picaro course is it is not something you have to rigidly follow, understand where your Bready needs a little focus and get creative with teaching them that particular area!
Tools you could use:
Drawing on the whiteboard
Objects around you
Games and worksheets found online
For slides like those in the Level one taster: ‘Hello Draco’ and ‘How are you?’, you can expand this so much! Do role plays, take it outside of the slides and ask about puppets and toys, get your Bready to ask their parent if the parent is present. Don’t just teach ‘I’m fine, thank you.’ You can expand into the different emotions and draw silly faces on the whiteboard.
You could go over one slide for five minutes, don’t worry about getting through the whole presentation. The objective of the lesson is making the Bready fully understand the content rather than getting through as quickly as possible.
And this is something to take note of: The Bready does not need to complete a powerpoint per session. The learning and understanding is what is most important, not finishing the slides in time. If a student isn’t ready to move on you can click a box to say ‘not ready’ and the same powerpoint will be loaded in the next session. In this scenario, you need to write a note to explain what they needed to work on further. This means that you can cover the same powerpoint and use prompts to make sure the Bready is completely confident with the content.
These sessions are supposed to be fun for both the Bready and the Buddy so don’t feel scared about adding in songs and your own props and promps for low levels to help them understand. Be creative and put your own spin on the content. This not only helps the student fully understand the new vocabulary and grammar but also helps you develop a connection with the Bready.
Look out in the coming weeks for our collaborative space on the Padlet or Dropbox where Buddies can share how they expanded the slides and what they thought worked best.
Good luck and enjoy the new Picaro series! If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org