C has written 37 posts for Early Years English

Literacy on the tube

The London Underground is 150 years old this year! You don’t have to be London-based to take advantage of all the learning opportunities a tube topic has to offer. Overseas students will be able to experience a little bit of life in London, and students anywhere will be able to compare London transportation with modes … Continue reading

All Aboard! A game to encourage positive behavior

I’ve used variations of this game in several different classrooms. The students really enjoy it, and it definitely helps to modify their behavior. Throughout the school day, students can move their team’s boat forward along a game track by showing agreed-upon desired behaviors. As the boats pass markers along the river, the students receive rewards … Continue reading

How can I support my students and their families?

Recently, this poster has been popped up several times on my Pinterest feed. First, I want to make it clear that I think it gives good, sensible advice and I’m sure it was written with the very best of intentions by a caring teacher. If all parents followed the advice on the poster, our children … Continue reading

The Snowman by Raymond Briggs

This beautiful classic story is ideal for English language learners as both the book and the animated adaptation are completely wordless, allowing students of different language levels of enjoy the story equally. The lesson plan covers several activities which you’ll probably want to split up over a few days of teaching. If, like me, you … Continue reading

Early Years English reader survey

Do you have 5 minutes to help make Early Years English more relevant, interesting, and useful? Last year, I was really impressed with the number of people who visited the site, downloaded resources, and left reviews on Thanks to everyone who left feedback – you make it all worthwhile! This year, I’d really like … Continue reading

All about vowels – activities and a song for young learners

Metalinguistic knowledge (knowledge about language) is important for all children, but especially for children learning English as an additional language. I use these activities to introduce very young children to the basic alphabetic categories they will encounter throughout their schooling. I’ve used the song and activities with children aged 3 – 7. They all seem … Continue reading

‘A Day Without Media’ – Are our students really addicted to the internet?

There seems to be a trend at the moment among the freshman EAL classes that I tutor for. A couple of professors have assigned the students readings about internet addiction, and challenged them to go a day without digital media. The students then come to me when they are writing a reflective piece on their … Continue reading

Literacy with leaves: activities to accompany ‘Leaf Man’ by Lois Ehlert

I just tried out this lesson with a class of 2nd and 3rd graders who come from very linguistically diverse backgrounds. It went really well! The students were really enthusiastic and they produced and shared a lot of great leaf vocabulary. You could do these activities with students who have hardly any English knowledge and … Continue reading

Five versions of Woosh: a game to improve word recognition and fluency

Recently I’ve been reading a lot of research about how re-reading builds students’ fluency and confidence, and how this has a great knock-on effect on their learning in other areas. Re-reading books is great, but I wanted to give students more variation of activities. Playing Woosh requires students to read the same sentences or words several … Continue reading

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

This book by Eric Carle is truly a classic. I’ve never taught a class who didn’t love it! It’s really a teacher’s dream as it can be used to teach food vocabulary, days of the week and numbers, as well introducing caterpillar life-cycles. The lesson plan focusses on enabling comprehension and retelling of the story. … Continue reading

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