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Posted: Wed Feb 21, 2007 3:18 pm
Boo at the Zoo
Hello, Boo. Are you enjoying the school trip?
Yes, Mr Muldoon. Blackpool Zoo is fantastic.
Cock a doodle doo! Cock a doodle doo!
What is it Mr Muldoon?
It's a rooster from Kowloon in China.
Wow! Look at that big owl?
Boo. Where is the cockatoo from?
It's from Toowoomba in Australia.
Very good. Let's go to the lunch room for a cool drink and some food. Then we can visit the baboons. We can eat our food near the lagoon.
Mr Muldoon, can I give some food to the goose?
Yes, Roo. That will be okay.
Stop! That's my food!
Posted: Wed Feb 21, 2007 3:20 pm
Posh the Sheepdog
Hello Shantell. Is that your dog?
Yes, it is. I got her from a pet shop in Washington last week.
Shush, Posh. Be quiet. This is my friend, Shannon.
What kind of dog is she?
She's a Shetland sheepdog.
Does she sleep in the house?
No, she doesn't. She dashes around too much, so she sleeps in the shed on a sheepskin.
What does she eat?
It's astonishing, she doesn't eat meat. She loves mushrooms, radish and catfish!
Gosh! That is astonishing.
Sorry. I'm in a rush. I must get to the fish shop before it shuts. I need to get some fresh catfish for Posh.
Goodbye, Posh. Goodbye, Shantell.
Posted: Wed Feb 21, 2007 3:21 pm
Meeting in the Wood
Be quiet, Woody. I can hear footsteps. Goodness! Who are you?
I'm Robin Hood. I live here.
Here? In this wood?
Yes. I live in a wooden hut next to the brook. Sorry. What's your name?
My name is Bill Osgood and this is my dog, Woody.
Are you hungry? I'm cooking lunch now. I took a big fish from the brook this morning. Please join me.
Thank you. What do you do Mr Hood?
I'm a woodcutter. How about you?
I'm a bookseller. I have a bookshop in Fleetwood Town. Mmm. This fish is good.
I will look for some books in your bookshop the next time I'm in Fleetwood.
Well, thank you Mr Hood. And thank you for lunch. I must say goodbye now.
You're welcome Mr Osgood. Goodbye. Goodbye, Woody.
Posted: Wed Feb 21, 2007 3:25 pm
It's getting late (here in Japan), but if there are any questions about the dialogues then I'm happy to respond and if you think they are of value then I'll post some more.
Posted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 3:11 am
Hello Dean. I haven't seen you for a longtime?
I'm a seaman now. I have been to sea.
Do you like being a seaman?
Not really. I'm too weak and I'm often seasick.
What do you do all day?
I'm the cook. I make meals for all the seamen on the ship.
What do you cook?
We eat a lot of beans. We have beans on toast or meat and beans every day. Sometimes we eat peaches and cream and we drink lots of tea.
What do you do in your free time?
I read a lot, I watch the seagulls and I dream about home.
Are you going back to sea?
I don't want to. I want to live in the Far East and teach English.
Posted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 3:16 am
Sorry that I didn't have time to talk about the usage of dialogues yesterday, but hopefully the following will be of use to any interested members.
Traditional textbook layout has been the 'Name A', 'Name B' or quite simply 'A', 'B', 'A', 'B' format, but when you are doing it yourself you have more options. There is the "Dialogue Card" layout and the "Comic Dialogue" layout. Dialogue cards are very simple to make. Here is briefly how I would make one.
Colour code your dialogue so that the font for character "A" is black and character "B" is blue; an alternative to using colour is to use a different font for each character. Now copy the dialogue to clipboard and paste it into a new page in your publishing software. Add some suitable clip art (Pictures should not tell the story but should aid the comprehension of the vocabulary.) to your project to make it attractive and easier for the students to understand. I added the following pictures -- a seaman, a seasick seaman, a cook, some beans, a bowl of peaches and cream and two seagulls to 'Seaman Dean'. Put your copyright (unless it's my story) mark at the bottom of the page and either print your project directly or save to hard drive and then print.
A more attractive layout is to create a Comic Dialogue. You can use your publishing software to create your own unique layouts or you can use Comic Life for Mac http://plasq.com/comiclife
# or Comic Book Creator for Windows http://www.mycomicbookcreator.com/
#, both of these can be downloaded from the Internet. If you choose to do your own, then the first one will take quite a long time, because you are creating a brand-new template but your second and subsequent Comic Dialogues will be easier to make and take less time to produce.
An easy way of using these cards (dialogues) is to lay two of each card around the classroom, put the students in pairs (the teacher may partake) and go through each card once or twice (changing roles) and as soon as one pair has finished all the cards, have them pick up the spare cards and the activity will wind down naturally. You can use your cards for role playing activities, your students will love acting out the scenes and bringing them to life. The cards are time efficient, everyone is involved, the students are practicing their reading skills and they are learning dialogues whose meaning is made clear through pictures. I have used them with students from elementary school through to adults, with great success. Students who are usually loathe to pick up a book absolutely devour these materials.
You can of course write a sub story, as most comics do, to your "comic dialogue" and then your pupils will naturally be encouraged to read further and get deeper into the story.
Try writing and making your own.
PS I trust that you found the phonic pattern to each dialogue.
Posted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 6:22 am
David, that is really brilliant material.
In fact, I've printed out several of your Story Boards (with
illustrations) and laminated them, and leave them out for
students who are waiting for class to look at. Maybe it's
a Nagoya thing, they don't seem too motivated to read them.
They adore the comic books I bought in the USA, but they
can't read a single sentence. The Jelly and Bean books they
can read, but in five minutes they can go through a dozen.
Or perhaps my approach is too passive. I don't use them for
class time, when they would have to look at them.
Or, perhaps my students just aren't ready for them- which is
an indication my phonics program is too darned slow. To be
exact, my material doesn't get into digraphs /ea/ and /oo/
until after the third year, about. How soon can a student of
yours begin reading those examples above, after starting from
the very beginning?
Best regards, Peter Warner.
Posted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 7:09 am
When I use "Story Boards" (Story Cards), then I always use them in class, though I know a number of teachers are using them as part of their homework programme; they are more organised than me. I often give a Story Card to a child who has finished her written work early. I usually give them a choice of levels and they often start with the easiest of stories before moving on to something more challenging.
My "Dialogue Cards" and "Comic Dialogues" are really designed for junior high school students, but I do sometimes use them with elementary (primary) school students. I have a couple of second graders who can read them; they are in their second year of study with me, but they are (unfortunately) exceptional students. I would expect upper grade elementary school students to be able to tackle them after about 18-24 months study; that's very roughly 30-40 hours of studying phonics spread over those 18-24 months.
As to the speed of my phonics program, I expect lower grade elementary school children to study digraphs early in their second year at the latest and upper grade elementary school students after about six months study. Though from previous e-mails with yourself, I am certain that your students have far better oral skills than my own.
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