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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Nov 28th, 2006, 05:11 am
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Join Date: Apr 29th, 2006
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Default Modality

Hey everyone

Got any ideas about teaching modality to 8 year olds? I am a bit stuck.
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Unread Nov 28th, 2006, 05:42 am
Sue
 
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Default Re: Modality

Can you narrow it down a bit? As they're only 8 I imagine you mean just the main uses of the modal verbs like can for ability or requests ?

I always teach requests first as it can be easily built into classroom languages - Can you open your books? Can you stand up? etc. You can practice it with some TPR-like activities - the teacher gives the commands and the students have to carry out the action : Can you touch something blue? Girls, can you go to the door? Boys, can you sit down? etc At a later stage the students can work in groups with one student giving the commands to the others (they could have them written on flashcards if you don't think they'll be able to do it spontaneously.)

But the golden rule is one thing at a time : teach one verb and one use, and don't go on to something related until the kids are happy with it.

But I may have misinterpreted your question. Did you have something else in mind?
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Unread Dec 1st, 2006, 05:10 am
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Default Re: Modality

I am team teaching in year 3 and 4 classrooms. We follow a program for grammar so a particular item is highlighted each week. The topic was simply modality. So, I can make it as broad or narrow as I want really.

The problem is there is such a huge range in these classes from English speaking, very bright articulate children, through to new arrivals with very little English. They are always really interested in what I teach them, I just don't want to pitch it to far over their heads. I tried doing a cline covering modal verbs such as could, should, etc. with lots of discussion. The more capable students got it, I think, but the others were a bit blank. Chances are I will be teaching similar things next year, so I need to build up my skills in this area.

Does this make it any clearer? I would really appreciate suggestions, advice whatever.

Yours Angela
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Unread Dec 3rd, 2006, 06:21 am
Sue
 
Join Date: Oct 8th, 2006
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Default Re: Modality

Hi Angela,

I'm not clear who your kids are? Are you in a state school or a private school? In any case it seems crazy that the fluent kids and the new arrivals aren't separated. I don't see how you can possibly meet the needs of both with the same lesson. You say you team teach - is it possible for more than one teacher to be with the class at the same time, so that one could take the more advanced kids and the other the beginners? If not, then I think you'll need to break the lockstep and have the two groups working on different things at different times, ie - give the strong ones a task to work on while you present something to the beginners, then give them a task to do while you work with the strong ones etc.

In any case, at that age (in fact at any age) I still think trying to teach modality as a concept is crazy. I'd go back to what I said before - take one use of one verb and teach that. I've just put a suggestion about teaching can't/can't for ability on the Teaching ESL forum incidentally. It's a consolidation lesson though, not an initial presentation.
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