How to teach English with puppets
Infants and preschool children are fascinated by puppets. Cash in on this attraction and use puppets to help you teach English.
Let the puppet be your ally, a bridge between you and the children. Your puppet only speaks English of course! This makes the children motivated to communicate with your puppet character.
Read Max's story:
I've used a puppet at home with my youngest child. The hand puppet can only speak English and best of all he does say some silly things!
I speak to my children in English but they know I speak French fluently so they talk back to me in French and it was a problem to get them to talk English.
However, quite by chance whilst going through some boxes of old toys with my youngest son, Max, we came across a 'Pinocchio' hand puppet. Max said, (in French) 'can you make him talk Mummy?' I replied 'of course!' and put on the puppet and it spoke to Max in English 'Hello, what's your name?' (I gave him a funny voice, to make it different from my own), my son replied (he was 3 1/2 at the time) in perfect English 'My name is Max, what's yours?'
I was very surprised and ever since every time we take Pinocchio off the shelf Max always communicates with him in English, sometimes if he's not sure of a word he asks me first, then he tells Pinocchio.
Pinocchio does silly things at times he gets the names of things mixed up which makes Max laugh and naturally he corrects him, sometimes Pinocchio contests and asks me if that's right and I tell him that Max is absolutely right. Pinocchio is Max's best friend, he even talks to him on his own when I'm not around and it's all in English, amazing!
I would really recommend this with preschoolers, I wasn't able to use Pinocchio when I taught English to Max's class (Max is too attached) but I did use a small teddy bear when I was using your Hetty and the Lion story, they loved him and had no problem repeating words to 'teddy' and answering him when he asked questions.
Teddy was always hungry too and the children loved 'feeding' him with the flash cards. Teddy would talk in my ear 'Ice cream' I would repeat it and all the children with Ice cream flashcards would give them to Teddy and he would devour them making lots of noise! The children found this hysterical.
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Beware of scary puppets
A teacher complained that her preschool children were afraid of the expensive puppet that she had just purchased. When she sent me the picture of the puppet, I could see why! A gaping open mouth, startled eyes and creased mouth corners and huge crinkly hands - this puppet reminded me of the baddie in Batman (The Joker). So if your pupils do not like your puppet, put it away immediately and try a different one the next time.