This part two of my Beijing workshops. See yesterday for part 1!

High Level Phonics

This afternoon was going through the much more advanced parts of the phonics course. They start off with individual sounds, then move on to alternative ways of writing them e.g. ai, ay a…e etc. Then it moves onto some of the more esoteric readings and onto full stories. It is a little “schooly” but as long as the teachers do everything in order, and they’ve done lots of vocab with Genki English beforehand then the magic of being able to read such high level stuff still really gets the kids going.

Moving into much more grammar and punctuation meant there was a lot to take in and I think my brain was hurting a little!

How GE works!


Dr Pauline Dixon showing how Genki English has improved the listening & speaking abilities of the children.

The Dr from the University then ran through why we’re doing this programme. With phonics for reading and Genki English for speaking and listening. And why they chose these methods, because they are some of the best in world developed by experts in the field.

She also showed the data and research results from India. It’s great to see a University Dr. saying such nice things and pointing to posh graphs showing how much the kids improve with Genki English! Even if the analysis was way above the heads of most of the teachers!

Back to being Genki

Then in the final hour I wanted to run through more of the GE stuff. First of all I showed them Flossy’s excellent video of the bonus printable materials. Once we get a budget sorted out we’ll probably add in some of these and the teachers looked very excited to see them, especially the Imagination Worksheets!

I also ran through “How do you say … in English?” where they were the kids and asked me, the teacher, “How do you say” plus the random word from the song animation, in Chinese, plus “In English?” and I gave the name of the item in English. (Have a try of it yourself, it’s a lot easier to do than explain!)

The timing of this song still isn’t too easy for most teachers, so I might have to do something about that, but they managed it fine. Except that they were pronouncing “say” as “see”, I’m glad we have the songs to correct that for the kids!

Then as we had two foreign guests we played a variation of the …

How do you say … game.

1. Put the students in two groups.
2. Each guest cheers on their group.
3. The group of kids say to the guest “How do you say” + a word in Chinese + “in English?”
4. If their guest can say the word in English i.e. they knew the Chinese, you get a point!

They got so excited about this game! Usually kids try and think of words that sound similar in the two languages, but here the teachers knew some of the phrases I’d been teacher the other trainer so were asking her questions like “How do you say ε•€ι…’ in English?” – it’s beer!

Genki Marathon

The teachers have only been given the first twenty lesson plans so far, so using the high we’d just created in the game I wanted to show them how far GE goes and how good their kids could get. So very quickly we ran through Excuse me, High School Phonics (oh it’s too fast! But then “Oh, it was OK this one’s too slow” when played the slow one!) the Times Tables songs (too easy for Chinese teachers!) the Hip Hop Songs including You’re the best, then a run through Eat! Drink! Dance!, linking to What do you want to do?, linking to I want to be a rockstar! to finish with, all in 30 minutes!


The “freeze” part of the Eat! Drink! Dance! song is a killer!

Yesterday the new teachers wouldn’t have been able to do any of this, but today they were on a such a Genki high, had got the rule of “I can do it!” and just did it!

It’s so good to hear GE working so, so well and the teachers who have to teach it were getting so excited when they saw the new songs!

So then it was my speech about how they really are the rockstars.The job they’re doing in inspiring the next generation of kids to be whatever they want to be, to trust and care for each other, and to know that whatever they dream and work towards they can achieve, is a truly special vocation to have. After an amazing “Welcome to Beijing” song they sang for us, and all the photographs and tears, they left the room singing “I want to be a superhero”.

But they already are.

Richard Graham

Hello, I'm Richard Graham. And when I was a kid I found school to be sooooo boring... So I transformed my way of teaching. I listened to what the kids were really wanting to say and taught it in ways they really wanted to learn. The results were magical. So I'm sharing it all with you now...

8 Responses to “Beijing Genki Marathon”

  1. Flossy

    Again another great post. Wonderful news regarding the teachers ‘Genkiness’!!!(that should be put into the English dictionary!)

    Also great to have the results to prove that GE is so beneficial to students. Wow Richard I imagine you will need to take a break soon!!! or are you just floating along on the crest of this great wave??! Enjoy

  2. Rosebud

    Wow, you really filled in the time to the optimum, didn’t you. When my classes are in full swing and everybodies on board, I hate them to end, but it is so great to finish on a high. Well done.

  3. Carol

    Super! WHat a high… great news for the research. I still can’t wait to see the phonics program.

    Good job Richard! You’re a superhero.

  4. Yumiko

    It’s really great to read that Doctor’s research proved Genki English improves kids’ speaking and listening abilities.
    I was also moved by how you established trust among teachers in yesterday’s blog. I think their smiling faces tell the success of your workshop.
    Otsukare samadeshita!!

  5. Liza

    Well done, as mentioned above, it’s great to see some statistics being quoted as to how GE works. I’m really excited about the workshop here in November!

    Just before the schools broke up here for the Easter holidays, I went into a class of 7 yr olds to do the GE Easter lesson only to find out that they knew it already! The teacher likes our English lessons so much she’d taken her class to the computer room and let them “do” the GE Easter lesson on the computer. The kids walked ME through the lesson. That was a great feeling.

  6. richard

    Liza, do you have an online link with information or maybe a sign up form for the November workshops in Austria? I have a feeling they’re going to be sold out!

  7. Liza

    Hi Richard, not yet, but I’m working on it. I cannot do these technical things myself – I’m technically in the stone-age. So I usually ask a friend to do it for me. Unless you can link it up through your website? I don’t know. Whatever you prefer?

  8. Richard

    i really appreciate your works, send us more tips and games to improve our class all the time

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *