Speaking and writing in a foreign language isn't always easy for children who have only just started to learn it. Like the mother tongue, the primary school children imitate and repeat what the teacher says. In addition, English is only taught two or three lessons each week. Therefore, the progress is very slow and independent production is unlikely. Toys can be helpful material to encourage speaking and writing as well as to give room for creative language use. They are emotionally appealing to children and allow them to play while using their minds and hands. Furthermore, they can give numerous opportunities for language production. Especially for incommunicative and cautious learners, toys can help to overcome fears. The children focus on playing and learn English unconsciously. The first part of the presentation consists of theoretical considerations on the use of toys as teaching/ learning material and language production in the EFL classrooms of primary schools. In the second part, practical applications are shown from a project which has been carried out. Different activities are presented, such as practising a dialogue with a Playmobil set.
Sabrina Bechler, Montessori Schule Heiligensee, Germany
Stream: Innovative language teaching and learning methodologies
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