Thursday, 23 December 2010

Consonant Clusters for pudding

I always look forward to my Wednesday lads because they bring an interesting mix of attitudes to class. Takuro wants to talk about football all the time (annoyingly Arsenal) & today he started drawing premier league teams' crests on the board; Toru is all business; Kunpei tries to avoid answering any difficult questions at all.

Boys ganging up on the teacher!
This class chuffs me to bits, because they can spell very well indeed. I like our classes to use a dedicated phonics book to go along with their regular class books; the Let's Go Phonics series is super. They are now quite confident of two and three letter clusters at the start of words (eg SPRing, SHRimp, STRipe, THRow, SCReam, CHip, SHop,) and at the end (eg biRCH, beNCH, wiTCH, piNK, wiNG, haND). No big deal? Wrong - this is a monster big deal in Japan, as katakana-isation of pronunciation usually mangles these combos hideously & terminally. These lads know they do not need to break up the sounds with extra vowels in between, or lob an extra 'o' or 'u' on the end. This avoids 'su-per-ring-u' (for spring) or 'win-do' (for wind).

So they can read, they can spell, they can roll out lovely pronunciation with stress in the right place and exactly the right number of syllables. BIG DEAL! To celebrate their great work, pudding and a quick A-Z vocab game that Jim lost at badly!