Common uses of Gestures and Actions:
Our Trial Buddy Teaching Quality Coordinator Rebecca explains why gestures are important, but also why it's important to make sure the gestures are appropriate to the age and needs of the Bready.
TPR (Total Physical Response) is seen as an effective method to teaching students a foreign language and is something highly encouraged by IQBar. TPR is simply, the coordination of language and physical movement to support students’ language acquisition.
Assessing a student's level of understanding, being aware of what might pose comprehension difficulties and how we as Buddies can support accordingly, are essential parts of both the teaching and preparing process.
When asking a question to a bready, we have to be aware of what could potentially get lost in translation. In Chinese, the word order of a question is very different to the English language. As a result, both question word order and understanding that a question has been asked can pose difficulties for our Breadies. With this in mind, it's vital that we support students' question comprehension accordingly. The way we ask the question (tone and enunciation) and what gestures can be used to effectively illustrate meaning are both equally important to consider.
- Using a gesture to signify asking a question: What, Where, Who, How many?
Common questions that can be supported by a gesture:
• What's your name?
• How old are you?
• What did you do today?
• Do you like...?
• Where is the...? (on the whiteboard)
• What's this? (identifying an object or something on the whiteboard)
Giving out instructions to Breadies tends to take up a large part of the lesson. Whether it's asking them to identify something on the whiteboard or explaining how to carry out an activity for instance. Using actions which correspond can benefit the student in following your instructions better.
- Can you find/draw/write/spell... (something on the whiteboard or in their room)
- Can you repeat me
- Eliciting a full sentence
Using gestures to demonstrate the meaning of something can be effective in supporting a student's understanding and to include that element of 'fun' to your sessions.
Actions to support the following have been found to be particularly useful:
-Verbs: run, swim, see, listen, like, eat etc
- Verb tense: past, present, present continuous, future
- Identifying syllables in a word or words in a sentence
Giving praise and acknowledgement
Showing your approval and celebrating students' successes no matter how big or small is a crucial part of their learning process. As Buddies, we play such a large role as the Breadies’ teacher – not only in facilitating their language acquisition, but also keeping them motivated to carry on learning.
This goes hand in hand with giving our students praise and recognising the positives along with errors and areas of improvement, in order to encourage, boost confidence and maintain focus.
This goes hand in hand with giving our students consistent praise and recognising the positives along with errors and areas of improvement, in order to encourage, boost confidence and maintain focus.
- high 5's
- awarding trophies
- a round of applause
- creating your own reward system: golden stars, waving pom-poms, celebrating like crazy!
Not only does the use of movement in your lessons offer support to a student’s understanding but also, it adds an additional dimension to your learning environment. Anything you can do to make your lessons more entertaining, engaging and interactive can only benefit the Breadies learning experience.
Actions and gestures aren't necessary all the time. It varies Bready to Bready and sometimes you may only use them to support comprehension, in other cases, you may need to bring extra energy to the session to engage the Bready and maintain focus. Ensure you adapt your style to each Bready, using techniques that work best for them.
So, when going into your next session you can think about the following:
- What kind of support does this Bready respond best too? E.g. will the Bready engage with lots of energetic movements or do I need to take a calmer approach?
- What actions can I use to demonstrate meaning and address gaps in understanding?
- What key vocabulary can I illustrate with a gesture for meaning or engagement purposes
Check out my seminar on the topic for another look into using TPR in our sessions.