Update: Β Videos of all the gestures here!

I’ve had quite a few people writing in for the full set of gestures to the new Genki Phonics course. I’m still working on refining a few of them, but here’s the list at the moment.

s superhero
a (bite an) apple
t tea
p penguin
i in
n (touch) nose
m mountain (shape above head)
d open door
g gorilla (beat chest)
o flick a switch on/off
c (drive a ) car
k kick (you may wish to combine these into 1 if you like)
e elephant’s (trunk)
u under (one hand under other)
r rockstar
h helicopter (blades above head)
b baseball bat
f (smell) flower
l lizard (climbing)
j Jelly wobble
v vampire teeth
w windy
x hands out in front in a x shape
y (pick up a spoonful of ) yoghurt
z zombie! (hands out front!)
Qu Queen (make a crown on head)
ch * (sit down on) Chair *
sh sharks (jaws with your hands)
th – having got a good one yet!
ng – lift up big weights and say “ngggg”
ai train
ee sleep
igh hands to right
oa (put on) coat
oo kangaroo
oo book
ar arm
or horse (riding)
ur turtle
ow eye brows! (or prick your arm for β€œow!”)
Oi (sitting on) toilet! (not sure about this! Kids love it! Teachers don’t!)
ear ear
air hair

Any questions, write them up below!

Update: Β Videos of all the gestures here!

P.S. There’s also a nearly finished demo version of the next part of the phonics course, “alternative readings” in the VIP forum!

Richard Graham

I'm on a mission to make education Genkiβ€”fun, exciting, and full of life! Genki English has now been researched by Harvard University and licensed by the British Council around the world. The results have been magical! Now I'm here to help you teach amazing lessons, with all the materials prepared for you, and to double your teaching income so you can sustainably help many more students in the future!

9 Responses to “Phonics Gestures!”

  1. Rae Hyde

    Hi Richard
    I have always used ‘th’ for ‘think’ there are many gestures for this ranging from hand under chin, hand tapping against temple etc. You’ve probably thought of this but thought I’d throw it in anyway.

  2. Margit

    I’m super exited: I got up to “z” today and the kids are brilliant in reading and writing and gesturing. Teaching reading never has been this fun!

  3. Elena

    I’m a bit confused.
    How do you show rock star and helicopter?
    May be it’as easier to show just rock for R (like in rock, paper, scissors)
    And I agree with TH as think. I usually put 2 fingers to the temple.

  4. Thichaya Wongyai

    I love all gestures. When should I start the phonics lesson? I mean what is the suitable time to start. It’s new for my school. Could I try to use this from the first grade to the sixth grade? Exactly now I decide to start with the first grade but what about other grades? Be Genki! Jam

  5. Richard

    Hi Jam,

    The key with phonics is to start when the children have learnt many of the pictures on the phonics posters. The don’t need them all, but they need to know at least 1 from each page. So this means if you plan your lessons well you could start phonics after just 10 or so Genki English lessons, but the later you leave it (i.e. the more Genki English you have done) the better the phonics results will be!

  6. Martin (mjwenzel)

    Yeah, the later you do the Genki Phonics, the better for knowing more words’ meanings, etc. In my case, I started Genki Phonics after the kids had been learning English for 1.5 years. Of course, most of those 1.5 years were NOT using Genki as I took over these classes, but they did pretty well nonetheless having learned some of the words in other systems.

    My plan for a couple other classes are to start after one year of English. The kids are young, but basically if I don’t do it when I have the chance, I can never teach the kids phonics since the school INSISTS on the local teachers teaching Phonics in the old fashioned “Ay – a” way.

    I want to start after one year because then I can spread the lessons out a little more and cover more of the phonics before the kids finish 2 years and reach the crossroads where they may or may not jump to the Primary classes that learn phonics from the local teacher.

    I just recently administered a final test for my Y4 (end of second year) class. I increased the difficulty of the test (to actually test English as opposed to the ability to draw lines between identical pictures) and much of the test consisted of either listening and circling the appropriate pictures or words, reading and circling the appropriate picture that applied to the phrase, and spelling. All of the kids did very well with a few errors in spelling (fox as fks, foks…kick as kik, cik). These kids are 7 years old and I believe their phonics abilities are far more advanced than kids in the same level classes being taught by other teachers (and even upper level kids who didn’t learn phonics with Genki)

  7. Martin (mjwenzel)

    Now I’ve been tasked with creating a replacement transition type class in between the Y level (kindergarten level) classes and the Primary Level classes. The DD system has 6 Y-level books but books 5 and 6 are absolutely horrific. However, the starting age for the system is 3-5 years old. So if a kid starts at 3 and gets through Y4 in 2 years they are only 5 and the staff and parents fear the primary classes will be too much for these kids. The problem comes in three different forms of course. Too young, not ready English wise, or a combination of both.

    All we have right now that isn’t Y1-4 or Y5 is the Phonics K class which is a redundant “phonic awareness” class Aa Bb Cc…which they’ve already covered for 2 years in Y-level. Additionally, if a kid isn’t up to snuff English wise, Phonics K isn’t going to really increase their level because it is just learning the alphabet very slowly over 21 weeks.

    My desire is to use the Genki stuff nearly exclusively (in order to review, reinforce, and expand upon what they learned through Y1-Y4). I also want to do the Genki Phonics. If I design it right, it can kill two birds with one stone.

    Currently, the Phonics K class functions as the intro class for Primary Level kids who didn’t join in Y-level classes. However, it is a limited Phonics class and doesn’t do much for English instruction. The Phonics K class also serves as a bridge for kids coming from Y-level who the local staff feel aren’t ready for the primary class (how this is really determined is beyond me, because again, Phonics K is ABCDEFG…very little phonics/reading)

    My plan is to make the class useful for kids coming out of Y4 who are maybe too young or need more work AND also useful for kids who could use a introduction to English prior to Primary class.

    …Really, I don’t think this class is really necessary as the primary class consists of LEARNING new English (knowing it beforehand is not a requirement).

    I don’t know how it will coexist with my current plan of using Genki Phonics for the second year of Y-level…I suppose we just start over the Genki Phonics in the transition class and it might be review and helpful for the slower students or brand new students as the ones who grasped the phonics in Y3 and Y4 will have just jumped to the primary classes.

  8. Richard

    Hi Martin,

    Yeah, I’d probably go with starting over too, that’s sounds like it’s probably the best option here!

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