The stars and the fans…

Grade: 2nd grade

Target language material:

A: Hello, I’m _____________. Nice to meet you.

B: Nice to meet you, too.

Duration: 20 min

Now I’m not sure how others do to present these kind of basic greeting dialogue,  but I know most kids aren’t interested in the context presented in the textbook.

I decided to create a situation that can apply such dialogue. This idea was inspired by Jim Scrivener’ssituational presentation’ concept.

First I asked these little kids what would they do if they see Jay Chou on the street?image

They immediately gave me the answers I want

take a picture’

ask an autograph!’

Then I asked them if they want Jay to know their name? The answer is a big definite  YES.

I then followed a mini play starred by me and a smart kid. The kid is the star and I’d be the loyal fan who came across with him on the street.

That’s when I brought in the dialogue- Nice to meet you./ Nice to meet you, too.

I guess I did a pretty good job to mime a crazy fan asking for an autograph from a celebrity. The kids enjoyed our little play very much! Everyone of them want to be the star after I announced that we’ll have 5 stars from the class today. I asked another 3-4 kids to act as a fan/star in front of the class so everyone is familiar with the dialogue.

I assigned 5 able kids to be the star( I tried to pick 5 kids randomly in some classes but I don’t think that’s a good idea). The others will be the fans. They are to go introduce themselves to the stars and ask for an autobiography. To save time, I asked the stars to use stamps instead of signing their names.

The key to a successful conversation drill like this is to have them collect as many stamps within a time frame. This would prompt them to go to different stars to practice the same dialogue. 

I also realized later that you’ll have to coach kids how to react upon situation where some kids simply can’t produce a word. You’ll have to tell them it’s okay to be stuck and the solution is to go to the back of the line and listen and learn how others do the job.  This can avoid a lot of tears, arguments and saves time!You’ll see this part in the video clip.

I did the same activity in two consecutive sessions. I use more English in the second time with illustrations to prompt them the idea I’m trying to convey.


I realized how kids enjoy being the star and the concept itself really couldn’t be easier enough. So here’s some tips I learned in this game:

  1. It’s effective to present a dialogue with hand-drawn illustration (regardless how bad you are in drawing, as long as the kids can understand, the work is done). Jim’s situational presentation is indeed very operational even for very young kids.
  2. It’s nice to act out a mini play with students with rich body language and meaningful clues for kids to follow.
  3. It’s better to assign abler students to be the star in your first try but

    you can ask volunteers to be the star in the next session.

  4. Be sure to monitor each ‘stars’, able kids can be lazy and make mistakes, too.

  5. Be sure to let them(both the stars and the fans) know what to do when someone stuck. You don’t want those able students to spoil your classroom atmosphere!!

Now I wonder if there’s any other effective ways to introduce greeting language? Let me know if you have better ideas!

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