Saitama JALT:

Using Magic in the Classroom

Date: Sunday, September 18th, 2005 Time: 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Speaker: David Gann - Seigakuen University

Since beginning to use mathematical magic in English lessons over five years ago, David Gann has found the fun of magic to be a great motivator. This presentation will feature three magic-based activities that are flexible enough to be used with English students of various ages and skill levels. They are: The Magic Square, The English Decoder Card Trick, and The Criss-Cross Card trick. These activities get and keep students attention while maintaining a professional atmosphere; require almost no preparation; and most importantly, are very easy to perform. None of these activities involve sleight-of-hand, nor do they require special props. The lasting impression of magic effectively reinforces the target structures and vocabulary practiced in a memorable way. The step-by-step procedures involved in doing magic use language containing simple requests, commands and questions about common objects and concepts, specifically counting, adding, writing, pointing, opening closing, choosing etc. They involve listening and responding to contextually similar but grammatically different questions. They incorporate all four skills. Group-based magic tricks, incorporated into a meaningful language task, can take the lesson beyond the teacher-student/entertainer-audience hierarchy, empowering students to use the English they’ve practiced. Criteria for discerning the difference between a great magic trick and an unsuccessful English activity will be discussed. Each of the three activities demonstrated will be rated using those criteria. Examples of follow-up materials will be provided. Lastly, the limitations of magic activities will be mentioned.

Organization: Saitama Chapter of the Japan Association for Language Teaching (Saitama JALT)

Cost: JALT Members: free
Non-members: 1000 yen

Venue: Sakuragi Kominkan 5F (near Omiya Station, west exit,see map).

Location: Saitama City, Saitama Prefecture, Japan


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