TEACHING TECHNIQUES 93 Tell me, I forget. Show me, I remember. Involve me, I understand. Ancient Chinese Proverb THE NATURAL APPROACH IN THE CLASSROOM The Natural Approach is designed to develop basic communication skills. The development stages are: (1) Comprehension (preproduction), (2) Early Production, and (3) Speech Emergence. This approach to teaching language has been proven to be particularly effective with limited English proficient students. STAGE I COMPREHENSION In order to maximize opportunities for comprehension experiences. Natural
Approach instructors (1) create activities designed to teach students to recognize the meaning in words used in meaningful contexts, and (2) teach students to guess at the meaning of phrases without knowing all of the words and structures of the sentences. ALWAYS USE VISUAL AIDS (pictures, realta, gestures). b. MODIFY YOUR SPEECH to aid comprehension, speak more slowly, emphasize key words, simplify vocabulary and grammar, use related ideas, do not talk out of context. DO NOT FORCE PRODUCTION. students will use English when they are ready. They d. FOCUS ATTENTION ON KEY VOCABULARY.
Teacher Activities in the Comprehension Stage. Total Physical Response (TPR). The teacher gives commands to which the students react with their bodies as well as their brains. Supplying meaningful input based on items in the classroom or brought to class. (Who has the ? Who is wearing a Supplying meaningful input based on pictures. Student Responses in the Comprehension Stage. An action (TPR). The name of a fellow student (from b. , c. above). Gestures Students say yes/no in English. Students point to an item or picture. Children do not initially make many attempts to communicate using words, rather 95
Stage 2 EARLY SPEECH In non-threatening environments, students move voluntarily into Stage 2. Stage 2 begins when students begin using English words to give: yes/no answers one-word answers lists of words two word strings and short phrases The following are instructor question techniques to encourage the transition from Stage I to Stage 2. a. Yes/no questions (Is Jimmy wearing a sweater today? ) Choice questions (Is this a pencil or an eraser? ) Questions which can be answered with a single word. (What does the woman have in her hand? Book. Where? When? Who? ) General questions which encourage lists of words.
What do we see on the table now? ) Open sentence with pause for student response. (Mike is wearing a blue shirt, but Ron is wearing a shirt. ) During the Early Speech Stage, the instructor must give a meaningful and understandable input which will encourage the transition to Stage 3. Therefore all student responses should be expanded if possible. Here is a sample exchange between the teacher and the class: Instructor: Class: What do we see in this picture? Woman. Yes, there is a woman in this picture. Is there a man? Yes. Yes, there is. There is a man and a woman. Where is the man? Car. Yes that’s right.
The man is in a car. Is he driving the car? Yes. Yes, he is. He’s driving the car. Other sorts of activities which can be used in Early Speech Stage: a. open dialogues guided interviews open-ended sentences charts, tables, graphs newspaper ads Stage 3 SPEECH EMERGENCE In the Speech Emergence Stage, speech production will normally improve in both quatntity and quallity. The sentences that the students produce become longer, more complex and tehy use a wider range of vocabulary. Finally, the number of errors will slowly decrease. Students need to be given the opportunity to use oral and written anguage whenever possible.
When they reach the stage in which speech is emerging beyond the two-word stage, there are many sorts of activities which will foster more comprehension and speech. Some suggestions are: a. h. preference ranking games of all sorts problem-solving using charts, tables graphs, maps advertisements and signs group discussion skits (finger plays, flannel boards, puppets) music, radio, television, film strips, slides writing exercises (especially Language Experience Approach) reading culture In general, we may classify language acquisition activities as those in which the focus s on the message, i. . , meaning. These may be of four types: content (culture, subject matter, new information, reading) affective-humanistic (student’s own ideas, opinions, experiences) games (focus on using language to participate in the game) problem-solving (focus on using language to locate information) (From: T. D.
Terrell, Department of Languages, University of California, San Diego) 97 Suggested Methods in Teaching Through Total Physical Response Orientation To introduce and motivate the class you might: film of students learning through TPR, or say commands rapidly in English and nnounce in the student’s language that by the end of the class everyone will understand everything that you Just said.
Preparation Before you begin each unit or lesson: have a detailed outline or script of the elements that you will teach, the various combinations and recombinations of elements, zany commands, and a strategy for varying from individuals to small and large group movement. get props together and have them handy; arrange the class so that there is a large space for the action and so that everyone can see (possibly a semi-circle). Classroom Procedure A. The Method (taken from Teaching English Through Action ) Demonstration – the students listen and respond to commands modeled by the instructor. 1) Instructor commands and models with the entire group. (2) Instructor commands and models with 2-3 or 4-6 students. (3) Instructor commands and models with 1 student. Group responds to commands without instructor. Group of 3-5 students responds to commands without instructor. Individual student responds to commands without instructor. Instructor recombines old and new commands and models with the group. (1) Group responds to recombined commands without instructor. 2) 2-3 students respond to recombined commands: – without instructor modeling 2 Progression of Commands – The steps in the development of a unit look something like this… . B. Simple actions (“walk”, “Jump”) Simple actions involving objects and locations (“walk to the door”) Recombinations of actions and objects (“walk to the chair”, “touch the chair”) Recombinations of actions and objects involving transferring meaning to a new situation (“shake your head”, “shake my hand”) Chains of actions leading into an activity sequence (“Take the can”, “Open the can”, “Pour the water” “Drink the lemonade”). Some pointers Model ‘clean’ responses to commands so that students will not pick up extraneous gestures that are false to the meaning of the command. For example, don’t swivel your head and then turn around with the command “turn”. ) Novel commands (new combinations of elements already mastered keep interest high and enhance self-confidence as students realize they have understood something never quite heard before. ) Introduce new vocabulary 3 items at a time and proceed only after students are responding confidently. If students do not grasp a new item after a few trials, drop it until a future time. For example, students may not be able to transfer from “point to the corner of your eye” to “walk to the corner of the room”. When commanding individuals, call on confident students. Sometimes invite command because she or he was the first to understand it. Keep varying who you call on by asking all the women, all the students on the right side, near the window, in row one, from Cuba. This keeps the students alert, never knowing who you will call on next. g. Keep changing the order of the commands to increase listening attention. The Expressive Stage (Speaking) After about 10 hours of TPR the students will begin to reveal a readiness to speak by mouthing or mumbling your commands out loud. At this point you can: a. . Invite the students to command the teacher, other students, or the whole group: Ask questions that involve yes or not answers. (Look at the clock. ” “Is it 5 dclock? “); Progress to questions involving one word answers (“Go home. ” “Where’s he going? “) Students will begin to lengthen their answers as they hear and assimilate more. They will improve word order and pronunciation through closer and closer approximation of what they hear. c. As students become more proficient, the instructor can add substitution drills, transformation drills, dialogues, and conversations.
The Expressive Stage (Written) The instructor can give out study papers after a few lessons with the words used in class, demonstrating and saying each of the words. The students use the papers as they wish. This is good for those students who wish to have it “down”. manipulated on cards (“put number 5 in front of number 2”). Commands can also include blackboard tasks (“Circle the date” or “Write your name next to number 1 Reading and Writing lessons can increase in complexity as the students progress.
Parts Of The Body REVIEW: stand, sit, turn, Jump, walk PROPS: pictures. (B. P. Faces), skeleton, bandaids, aspirin, hyperdermic, BP cuff, mirror, stethescope, medicine, Verbs and Verb Phrases Nouns head eye(s) ear(s) chin hair neck arm(s) hand(s) leg(s) ankle(s) chest hip(s) throat wrist(s) mirror flu bandage cut ache tooth gums cough toe(s) face mouth nose cheek eyebrow(s) shoulders elbow(s) finger(s) knee(s) stomach back tongue bone(s) heart fever cold bandaid shot temperature lip(s) teeth nails chill touch look rub scratch put shake raise step hurt draw pull wash