John Harrop

John Harrop

English teacher, teacher trainer
  • 14:00-14:45 - Day 2

Sevilla, Spain


We’ll start off by looking at different types of puppets that you can use. Googly eyes, hand puppets, glove puppets, puppet books, finger puppets, and living puppets. Then at some ways to introduce your puppet to the class. We’ll then look at the best ways to hold and manipulate a puppet, bringing it to life, giving it a voice, and how to build up its backstory. Finally, we’ll run through some practical ideas that you’ll be able to use straight away with your groups.

How can puppets be used with young learners in an engaging way?


John Harrop is originally from Liverpool and is presently based in Sevilla. He divides his time between teaching, training, and co-running Bat-i-Burrillo puppet theatre. He has been teaching for 30 years and his major interest is incorporating drama techniques into language teaching, especially through the use of puppets and storytelling.

Room sponsored by:


  1. Dear John, I find your workshop really inspirational. I didn’t know until now that I use finger puppets in a wrong way. 🙂 As for the talking with my fingers, I was trying during the presentation but I’ll have to practice a lot more. Thank you

    1. Hi Jelena
      I’m so happy that you found the workshop inspirational. I wasn’t saying that people use finger puppets incorrectly (I don’t think that there is a right or a wrong way!) but for sure there are more ‘effective’ ways of using them. I notice it when I work with them with young learners… it just adds an element of ‘magic’ and helps with the ‘suspension of disbelief ‘ (I’m sure you have the same phrase in Serbian) there is an unspoken contract between us that goes along the lines of ‘We know that you don’t really have a mouse on your finger, but we’ll sit here and get involved in the story if you entertain us’. The hand-puppet comes with practice, I really like the simplicity of them…and again, for the students it’s really funny and makes for a positive learning experience!

  2. Loved your workshop, every minute of it! Thanks for simple but great ideas how to create all these puppets and useful remarks on how to treat them in front of the children. Puppets, if used properly, provide such a powerful way for establishing contacts with young learners, inviting them to participate in any activity. Thanks one more time!

    1. Thanks for taking the time to leave a reply Tijana – as most people had their cameras off, it was really difficult to gauge if people were enjoying the session or not. Anyway, you’re so right, it really helps in establishing contact and rapport with young learners, especially students who might be nervous about speaking another language.

Leave a Reply