From one-word utterances to complete sentences
Walking Through the Jungle, by Debby Harter (illustrator)
This article is based on the poster presentation given at the PEEP’18 Meeting on October 13, 2018. It
presents some activities that may help young learners practice complete sentence structures orally in
an enjoyable way when learning about animals (farm and zoo).
Before applying each of the following activities, it is Jungle” (available at: https://www.youtube.com/
important to keep in mind that any new vocabulary watch?v=plvY0quSyJg) and sing along to the
should be taught beforehand in order to enhance lyrics.
production should also be encouraged, supported
The teacher asks his/her friends with different
English accents to make 30-second videos where
Guessing game they talk about their favourite animal while holding
One student describes a farm animal orally, by a drawing or a picture of
being prompted through a card with an animal it. Students watch the
picture and a text, and the other student tries to videos, and are asked
guess the animal by using the model, “You’re a oral
Role play structures they are familiar with.
One student assumes the role of the teacher and Oral presentation
asks, “What do … give us?”, and the other student Students draw their favourite animal and then
plays the student and answers, “They give us …”. describe it to the class. The model students have
The models are written on the board and realia is to use is written on the board, and includes several
on display to support the students’ understanding. options regarding the number of legs, colours,
Story among other characteristics for students to choose
The teacher reads the story Walking Through the
Jungle out loud to the whole class. At strategic
points of the story, the teacher stops reading and
asks the students, “What do you see?”. In order to
give a complete answer,
the students have been
previously provided with
the model, “I see a…”.
Students listen to the song “Walking Through the
Although speaking is very demanding, activities
such as the ones described above, which provide
a lot of support, may help young learners go
beyond one-word utterances.
Note: Lion picture retrieved on April 2, 2018 from https://
I SABEL S ILVA | MA IN T EACHING E NGLISH IN THE
1 ST CEB | STUDENT AT U NIVERSIDADE DE L ISBOA