EFL Barrier Game on the Topic of Clothes (October 2017)


Dear VCIS ep1 red parents and guardians,

This is week 21 for the pupils of EP1 red here at Varee Chiangmai International School.

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The YouTube video below shows the ep1 red children taking part in an extremely useful and fun activity referred to as a barrier game.

A barrier game is essentially a pair based communicative activity which allows each member of a pair to either ask or answer specific questions in order to gain specific information for the game to progress.

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A barrier game usually focuses on spoken language and active listening comprehension although this particular barrier game also required a degree of reading, colouring in and a significant amount of writing.

This barrier game focused on 6 items of clothing, 6 different colours, the target word of ‘wearing’ and the indefinite article a.

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Once the children had completed the barrier game they then went on to complete the exercise by writing up the sentences they had heard or spoken as responses.

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During activities like this there is always a high degree of scaffolding available for those pupils who require it. For example during this exercise the colour words were typed on the worksheets in the colour they spelt. The clothing words were written on two classroom whiteboards with the drawings of the items of clothing next to them. Also more ‘experienced’ children were intentionally paired with those pupils whom would benefit from their assistance.

I hope you enjoy the video!

Kind regards…Teacher Chaz.




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Communicative Approach Child Centred EFL Activity (August 2017)


Chaz Teacher

Dear ep1 red VCIS parents and guardians,

This speaking activity applies, pedagogically speaking a communicative approach whereby each child is using the language they have learnt, in a realistic and contextual and of course child centred way.

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The children of ep1 red have just completed their learning about basic adjectives which they are using in this game to ascertain whom their partner’s chosen character is.

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Promethean Interactive Whiteboard

The game is loosely based upon the classic family game ‘Guess Who’.



Even though our classroom could be regarded as quite ‘high tech’, the resources the children are using are ‘low tech’ and very simple in nature.

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Activity Paper Enveloped in a Plastic Sleeve

Sometimes going back to basics is the best way for children to learn, and these types of simple yet creative and fun resources will never lose their fascination.

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The ultimate goal of an EFL teacher after having taught their own pupils vocabulary grammar and learning strategies is for his/her pupils to be able to use the language they have acquired in a realistic way and indeed useful way.

Please note that this is not a one off activity the skills and knowledge the children are applying here are based upon previous learning, in this case English and Health (body parts) specifically.

I am extremely proud of my pupils and I hope that you enjoy the YouTube video.

Thank you for watching…Teacher Chaz.




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Whole Class Participation Mini Whiteboard Reading Game (2017)


Chaz Teacher

Dear ep1 red VCIS parents and guardians,

This particular activity applies the use of the invaluable mini whiteboards which, in my humble opinion are one of the most simple, effective and versatile educational tools an EFL teacher has for very young learners.

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The basic goal of this exercise is to find and write the page number of the passage being read out. Time is of the essence so the children have to skim read the text by memorising and retrieving certain key words they hear.

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EP1 Red’s Current Reading Book

The children in ep1 red are only 5, 6 and 7 years of age and for many of them it is their first real exposure to the English language in an academic context.

They have been in ep1 red for only 13 weeks now.

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For this activity to be helpful the children must already be familiar with the text they are asked to read.

There are a multitude of skills which are being utilised and enhanced in this particular activity. Such as skim reading, reading, working memory, listening, writing, numeral writing to mention but a few.

As you can see ALL of the children are ACTIVE participants and enjoy this exercise immensely.

I hope you enjoy the YouTube video!

Thank you…Teacher Chaz






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EP1 Red Number Words and Numerals 1 to 20 Activity (July 2017)


Chaz Teacher

Dear ep1 red VCIS parents and guardians,

The objective of this simple yet effective activity is to aid and enhance recognition between the number words from 11 to 20 and the corresponding numerals.

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First the children were given a worksheet which had 10 sections on the left and also the right. The children wrote down the numbers from 11 to 20 on one side including small corresponding images. On the other side the children wrote down the number words.

They were able to refer to the whiteboard for the spelling of the number words.

The children then cut up the 20 segments and mixed them up and turned each segment upside down.

When each child was ready they were given 1 minute to quickly move to another desk, turnover the 20 segments and rearrange and pair them correctly.

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This activity was carried out several times in one lesson where each child moved to a different desk each time.

This simple game can also be played in pairs or individually.

The key to EFL activities for young learners I feel, is that they should be quick, simple and engaging and should also employ a variety of skills.

I hope you enjoy the images and the YouTube video.

Thank you…Teacher Chaz.




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Mini Whiteboard and Cardboard Die Addition Activity (2017)


Chaz Teacher

Dear ep1 red VCIS parents and guardians,

This is week 10 for the pupils of ep1 red here at Varee Chiangmai International School.

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This simple Mathematics addition activity relies on the partner to roll the dice and randomly generate a number which can then be written down by the other partner and in turn the sum is figured out.

The partner with the dice must shout out the numbers and also check to see if their partner’s answer is correct. This way both children are actually solving the same sum.

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As we all know in Maths there is no single approach to working out calculations. Some children are able to figure out the sums in their minds, some use their fingers others use a number line and some use counting the taps they make on their tables.

Once a partner has worked out 5 sums their roles are then swapped.

This is a great little activity which uses a multitude of skills, for example writing, reading, counting, visualising numbers, speaking, pier assistance to mention just a few.

In the coming weeks this activity can be made more challenging by allowing the children to add more than 2 numbers together by rolling the dice more than two times.

In this game the children whom were more comfortable with adding bigger numbers together were given different die with larger numbers.

 This activity was also scaffolded by pairing intermediate level children with children who needed extra assistance, for example those children who used a number line.

I am extremely happy and immensely proud of the progress every single one of my pupils is making in my class.

Finally I would just like to say that I am a huge advocate and promoter of the humble mini-whiteboard, I guess it is the slightly more modern equivalent of the slate and chalk.

The mini whiteboard’s applications are extremely varied, versatile and only limited by a teacher’s own imagination!

I hope you enjoy the YouTube video!

Kind regards…Teacher Chaz.



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EP1 Red Classroom Things Barrier Game (June 2017)


Chaz Teacher

Dear ep1 red VCIS parents and guardians,

This is only week 5 for the children of ep1 red here at Varee Chiangmai International School.

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The vast majority of the children in ep1 red have had very little English language exposure, to the extent that most up until very recently were completely unfamiliar with the alphabet, phonics and basic classroom language and basic classroom instruction.

This particular esl activity is referred to as a Barrier Game. A barrier game is usually a pair based activity where one pupil obtains information from the other by asking questions and the other pupil gives information by answering questions.

Another way to use a barrier game is to give instructions to one another. This is the methodology which is applied in this version of the activity.





Barrier games are usually carried out as an educational activity when the pupils have learned all of the various elements of a particular unit of learning. In this case the children have completed their unit on Classroom Things, Colours and Question Words.

This barrier game activity accommodates for children of varying abilities by way of differentiation and providing specific scaffolding.

Lower level children are given a worksheet which has the colour words printed in colour. The classroom objects are also displayed on the interactive whiteboard with the object names underneath them.

This activity may seem very fluid however it has taken weeks for the children to get to such a level so as to become confident enough to execute this game successfully.

I hope you enjoy the video.

Please feel free to subscribe to my YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPfho-3_kP85sjyEjQ4dRCA

Kind regards…Teacher Chaz.




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EP1 Red Gangnam Style 2017


Chaz Teacher

Dear EP1 Red VCIS parents and guardians,

This is a YouTube video of one of the many, many songs the children of ep1 red here at Varee Chiangmai International School love to sing and dance to.

The song also helps the children energise and revitalise in between learning periods.

I hope you enjoy it as much as the children of ep1 red do.

Kind regards…Teacher Chaz.





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