Genki English CD: a guide to help you make the most of it!!

For a Microsoft Word, A4 printable version of this page, click here.

Thank you for buying our CD! This CD is a little bit special so we're going to try and help you get the most from it! As a general rule the CDs are suitable for the final year of kindergarten through to first year junior high.

First of all your CD has 3 sections. Put it in a normal CD player and you have the 7 songs complete with vocals. Then you have the same songs but without the vocals, so the kids can sing along on their own. Finally if you put the CD in a suitable computer you'll get the CD-ROM section!

These resources can work on their own, but the way to get the best use of them is to use them together with games and actions to create a fun, effective learning environment!

Just playing the CD to the kids won't unfortunately make them fluent! The Genki English songs are designed to be simple enough for the kids to be actually able to sing them. First of all a parent or teacher should teach the kids the meaning of the words, and go through the pronunciation. This can be done by a native teacher, or by a non-native teacher using the software. On the Genki English website there are numerous games that can be used to practice the English used in the songs. Finally, once the kids can basically sing the song, you should have a go at singing along with the CD. Keeping the CD to the end keeps the kids' interest level up! If you are teaching children in Japan, then please make sure you don't use "katakana" when teaching the song as children should learn the correct pronunciation by listening! During subsequent lessons, the vocab can be easily revised by singing the songs.

Songs are great as a learning tool as the melodies aid memorisation of the words. Similarly, using actions and dances helps the kids to remember the songs, and makes them more fun! Suggested actions for the songs include:

CD Vol I

1."What's your name?". Kids form into groups of 2. Everyone sings "What's your name?" etc. Then one child from each pair sings "My name is " plus their own name (please don't become Richard or Mr Monkey!). The other child then sings "My name is cc". The 2 children shake each other's hand whilst saying "Nice to meet you!". They then split up and each finds another partner! Repeat 3 times!

2. "How are you?". It is best to have gestures for each answer. For example rubbing your tummy for "hungry", pretending to sleep for "tired", hugging yourself for "cold", pulling a sad face for "sad", smiling for "happy", jumping in the air for "great!", a thumbs up for "Good!" and an OK sign for "OK"!

3. "Left and Right" The kids act out the movements whilst singing the song, i.e. they all step one step left on "left", one step right for "right" etc. etc. For the "Sit down, Stand up" part I usually find it is better for the kids to listen and do the actions. When the "Left and right, forward and back" section returns they start singing again! This dance really helps the kids remember "left" and "right", even if they are not too sure in their native tongue! You can teach this song in 10 minutes.

4. "How much?" Put the kids into 2 groups. One group are shopkeepers and have items to sell. The other group are the shoppers and each one pairs up with a shopkeeper. All the shoppers sing together "How much, how much, how much is that " plus the name of the object that their shopkeeper partner is holding. The shopkeepers then reply "It's 10,9,8" etc. and the shoppers say "I'll take it!". The shoppers then move to the adjacent shop (make sure you decided in which direction everyone will move before you start!). When the song finishes, repeat again with the shoppers and shopkeepers reversing roles. This song takes maybe 1 hour to teach - splitting it over 2 classes is good!

5. "What's the weather like?" Like the "How are you?" song, hand movements help a great deal. When singing "rainy", put your hands in the air and make your fingers fall down like rain, for "cloudy" your hands trace out a cloud shape in front of you, for "windy" try swooshing your hands down from top right to bottom left, for "snowy" you can pretend you are throwing a snow ball. For "sunny" you trace out a circle in front of you, for "fine" you can hold your hand above your eyes like you can see a long way, for "hot" you can wipe your brow and for "it's a beautiful day" it's good to lean back and outstretch your arms! I usually do this in two 20 minute sessions.

6. "Where are you from?". It is difficult to assign any specific gestures to this song without evoking racial stereotypes. Therefore I find it good for the kids to split into two groups. The first group sings one line (e.g. "Where are you from?") and the other group sings the next line. You keep going backwards and forwards like this with the aim being to sing louder and better than the other team! Or you could use flags!

7. "Thank you". Actions can be good for the seasons part of this song. For "summer" you can pretend to swim, for "autumn" your hands fall from the sky like leaves from a tree, for winter you can pretend to ski and for "spring" your hands can shoot up in the air like a new plant. For the final "goodbye" verse I like to sing the line "goodbye" and then clap 3 times in time to the CD, sing another "goodbye" and another set of claps. Saving this for the final verse keeps everyone excited as they wait for it to come around! This song can be taught in 15 minutes.

CD ROM Section
The software should be OK on most Windows 95 or newer PCs, or newer Mac computers. However if your machine is slightly older, you may need to install "Flash" in order to get the pages to speak. You can do this by selecting the file in the Flash directory of the CD.

Each song has its own software page. On the left are the lyrics to the song. Kids can play around with the lyrics, repeating the lines one at a time till they get them right. On the top right is the description of the words used. It's a good idea for the kids to spend 10 or 15 minutes playing round until they know all the words!! If they are speaking the words as well as listening to them, they can practice their pronunciation! Finally they'll be ready to try the quiz! The idea is that you listen to the words spoken and then click on the correct picture! If you have a group of computers, then getting all the kids to start the quiz together and then finding who can finish fastest is a great idea!

I keep finding out new ways to use the CDs, and the information here is just a guideline. Adjust the ideas, think of your own, and above all have fun! You can find out more information, games and ideas on the songs page of the Genki English website at You can also contact me with any questions, problems or suggestions at

Be genki,

c 2000

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