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Storybook Workshop 04.01.24

I'm going to blatantly market myself here. This post is me telling you what my next step as an English teacher is, and inviting you, if you are a parent or know a parent of an elementary school child, to my upcoming Language Lights Storybook Workshop. There. It's out. Here's all the details (you can just click the link, but I'll give you them here too).

What is it: a parent-child workshop where, for the first half, I will guide the children through a beautiful winter story and teach them a fun winter poem, and for the second half, guide the parents through my teaching methodology and how to apply it at home with their children.

For who: parents of elementary school students who want their children to adopt a positive attitude towards learning English

When: Thursday January 4th at 16:00

Where: Zoom - you can connect from anywhere!

How much: 25€

Why isn't it free: because from my experience, free = zero committment. I want it to be affordable, but I also want it to be an amount that requires you to commit to coming to the session.


How I teach English to kids

Hi I'm Claire, and I've been teaching English (mostly to children) since I was 18. It started as a side job in University, and eventually became my full time job. I have developed a way of teaching that over the years I've learned to start calling my method. What is my method? It's not rocket science. It's keeping English fun. I want children to learn in a way that makes sense for them. Since my lessons are after school lessons, I do everything I can to keep them dynamic and full of a variety of activities. One of these activities is teaching through stories. No matter what a child's English level, they are capable of following a story, and learning or reinforcing vocabulary through the words and pictures. Reading a story with a student or group of students opens so many "teaching doors". I've always used stories, but lately, since I started teaching online (so since Covid, essentially), I've really needed to set my focus on keeping kids involved, something slightly more challenging to do through a screen. Here's an anecdote for you, which is also why I've decided to focus 100% on teaching kids now, 3 years later.


The beginning of teaching through stories

When Covid hit, I was working in a language center. I was teaching English at the center, as well as going to public schools all over Rome to teach CLIL - English through other subjects. That year, 2020, I was teaching English through Art at a nearby elementary school, to all grades, 1st through 5th. Covid shut everything down, and thankfully, my school decided to get our lessons up and running online. With my small groups from the center, it was easy enough to keep them going, after all, the students had their own book and workbook, and I just had to keep teaching them as I did at school, just not in the classroom. The public school courses were a whole other problem. 25-30 students, connected on GoogleMeet (not my favorite platform to teach kids), with nothing to keep their attention except me and the screen. My on earth am I going to keep them entertained for an hour?!?!?!?! Then I thought...there are tons of e-books and read-a-loud stories on YouTube...what if I use them as the base for the lessons, and then allow the kids to make some kind of craft at the end, showing what they learned from the story? I spent hours converting YouTube videos into PowerPoints, adding extra vocabulary help where necessary, adding images and emojis to further help the kids to understand the story. HOURS!!! But do you know what? Many of those stories I still use today. The base of my clients for my online teaching business are from those classes. The parents saw how I taught English, and they reached out to find out how to work with me. That's when it hit me...this "method" that to me just seemed like common sense, was actually something that people were interested in, and it was actually making kids happy to come to their English lessons.


My current situation

I have students that have been with me now for 4-5 years, and we still joke about stories that we read when they were younger. They still remember them. I have students who ask me to put the stories that we read in our lessons in their Google Classroom folder, so they can read them again between our lessons. Just the other day I had a lesson with a student who was tired and not speaking (she was responding to me just in the chat), and I changed my lesson plan, opened a story, and do you know what? She started participating, she wanted to read the story, and by the end of the book she was speaking like normal again. Teaching through stories works, and I want to prove it to you.

Here's me marketing myself again. If you're curious, or know someone who might be curious to learn more about this method, check out my Language Lights Workshop, or just share this post with someone who you think might like it. It means a lot to me.

Thanks everyone, see you next week!

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