Teaching English Step by Step – Puppet by Puppet

Kids English Theatre

Teaching English Step by Step – Puppet by Puppet

Clara, how old are you? (no response)

Clara , what’s your favourite colour? (no response)

Clara, come and play. (no response)

Clara let’s sing! (no response)

Dance? (no response)

Jump? (no response)

Wiggle? (no response)

Try this …give it a go…with me? (no, no and NO response)

Over the past 25 years, I have taught adults, teenagers and children.
By far, children are the most challenging learners EVER. 

And I’m not just talking about those mischievous students who, as soon as you turn your back start climbing up the classroom walls 


I’m talking about the challenges (and frustrations) of teaching shy or introverted children – like my student CLARA- who would freeze with fear at the thought of communicating in class.

I first met Clara about 10 years ago- she participated in my Mummy and Me course.

Clara spent every lesson hidden behind her mummy and refused to participate in ANYTHING. 

She wouldn’t even look at me.

I scared her that much!!!

I tried everything in my powers (I mean EVERTHING) to encourage her to come out of her shell, have fun and express herself freely

NOTHING worked.

But every Saturday morning – there she was again!

I couldn’t understand why her parents continued bringing her back every week. 

Why force her to participate in something she obviously didn’t enjoy? 

So, after a few weeks, I asked her parents if everything was ok. Were they sure it was a good idea to continue?

Clara’s mummy answered- 

“Clara doesn’t speak in class but as soon as we get home, she can’t stop.
She repeats EVERYTHING. 

She sings all the songs and dramatises the stories with her cuddly toys and puppets.
She’s really enjoying drama and she loves English!

Clara continued coming to the Mummy & Me group for a further 3 years. 

And each year her self-confidence grew more and more which was so exciting to see.

She even played principal roles in quite a few end-of- year shows.

I bumped into her a couple of years ago. She told me she had just won a place to study the harp in a prestigious “Liceo Musicale” in Florence. 

I couldn’t be happier for her.

Not only because she continued to follow her love for music and the arts but also because she now felt super confident to express her true self in front of HUGE audiences.

I honestly can’t say if her Drama and English lessons influenced her in any way-

But I like to think that we teachers have the possibility to touch the hearts and minds of young learners.

Be theatrical!
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