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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 words, and makes them more fun! Suggested actions for the songs include:
CD Vol II
1. "How old are you?". Try pairing up to sing the "How old are you?" part, then try splitting the kids into groups, one group sings "I'm 5 years old", the next one group sings "I'm 6 years old" etc. On the "I am 5!" part, get the kids to do a big Madonna Vogue style pose on the number!
2. "Fruit market" Prepare several picture cards, one for each item of fruit. The teacher (or maybe a student) holds up the relevant card and sings "What's this?" and the students all shout out "It's an apple" etc. For the "What's that?" part, have one person hold up the card, and a different person points to it from a distance and sings "What's that?". For the "Welcome to the Fruit market" section, get the kids to pair up and do a type of arm-in-arm folkdance!
3. "What time is it, Mr Wolf?" This song has a march feel, so during the chorus the kids can march along on the spot. For the "1 o'clock, 2 o'clock" part they can crouch down low and sing in a low voice, then from 5 to 8 o'clock they stand up and sing loudly, and then back crouch down, singing quietly from 9 to 12 o'clock. For "It's dinner time!" the kids all shout out!
4. "What's your favourite colour?" Holding up the colour picture cards in time with the music is very good. Another idea is to split the kids into groups, and give each group a full set of colour cards. They have to listen to the song and arrange the colours in the order that they hear them.
5. "Where are you going?" I often use pictures of my travels abroad to illustrate the words used in the song. In this way the kids get to see some foreign culture.
6. "What are you doing?" Doing actions that correspond to the lyrics is very effective. For "I'm eating" the kids pretend to eat, for "I'm drinking" they pretend to drink etc. "I'm dancing" is always an interesting one to watch! Getting one kid to go round the class as a detective singing "What are you doing?" to the other kids is an idea.
7. "The Monkey Family" This is the most difficult song, but it is also the most fun! A good idea is to give the kids pictures of the family members. The kids listen to the song and have to figure out the family tree.
15. "Rocket Launch" Everyone crouches down and you start the countdown. As you approach zero you begin to stand up and stretch your arms. Finally on zero everyone jumps up into the air!
CD ROM Section
The software on the CD is written just like an internet page. This means that most Windows 95 or newer PCs, or newer Mac computers should be OK. You don't need to be connected to the internet to use this software. 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 get their pronunciation correct! Finally they'll be ready to try the quiz! Adults will find it tricky, kids will just play and continue till the end. 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 www.GenkiEnglish.com You can also contact me with any questions, problems or suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org
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