Education

Going beyond “Repeat after me”

June 14, 2013
Cute kids singing in music class

Photo by Africa Studio/Shutterstock.com

Active English language learning in Czech state schools

Recently, I had the experience of observing several English classes at Czech elementary schools. Although I was warned in advance that in some of the classes the children hadn’t been exposed to English at all before the first grade, I was surprised by how well, for example, one class of third grade children understood and responded to instructions in English when they were presented slowly and clearly. In the lesson I was observing, the third graders practiced several short plays that they were going to perform for their parents at the end of the year. They were able to recite their lines from memory and in some cases, even “ad lib” a bit, telling a few jokes in between the plays. Considering that some students had started from scratch three years ago, I was impressed both by their language abilities and by their willingness to communicate orally.

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