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The EFL Playhouse: A Resource for ESL/EFL Teachers of Young Learners


Objectives: listening skills; syllable segmentation
Group Size: any
Prep Time: none
Interest Level: ages 4 to 7
Ability Level: beginning

Tell students you are going to play a clapping game. Show them a picture of a famliar object, ask them to name the object, then ask them to say the word again while clapping to its beat. For example, "apple" -- "ap (clap)" "ple (clap)." Next, ask them to repeat the clapping rhythm while counting aloud "(clap) one" "(clap) two." Ask them how many times they clapped. When they respond, explain that "apple" is made up of two sound bites called syllables.

Show additional pictures, and let students continue clapping and counting their way through the vocabulary review.

For added interest, make up alternate rhythms to accompany syllable breakdown. For instance:

A one-syllable word would then get a clap, a two-syllable word a slap/clap, and so on. As students develop understanding of the syllable concept, allow them to clap-n-count with partners.

Return to The EFL Playhouse Phonics and Phonemic Awareness Activities
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