The magic of puppets

 Whether it be Turkish teachers in Oxford
or British Council Teachers in Tunis
or young learners anywhere in the world, there is something very magical about using puppets to encourage the use of English in the classroom.
Children don't see the point of speaking English just for the sake of it. Why would they when they can so easily use mother tongue? But if it's part of a game, that's another matter. They give the puppet they have an identity and it's fun to use another language to interact with other puppet characters.
I once did this activity with a class of 5 and 6 year olds in Greece. The next lesson a mum came and told me that after the previous class her daughter had got home, grabbed her 3 year old sister drawn a face on her own finger and her sister's (creating instant finger puppets) and taught her sister the few phrases in English that she had used in class and they proceeded to 'play the game' of speaking in English in character. Magic!

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