It can be done. There are many different ways to introduce new L2 vocabulary while staying in the target language. Stay tuned to this blog (over the next few Tuesday’s) for posts on…
…how to introduce new vocabulary AND stay in the target language.
1- Use What They Know To Help Them Progress (“i+1”)
This method is simple and extremely effective. (Watch a video clip of Señor Howard modeling this technique with some simple Spanish words.) Let’s say, for example, that students know the L2 colors. Now you can easily teach any L2 noun by displaying 2 different pictures of the same noun but in different colors. Like this:
Here are some examples of how you can introduce new vocabulary using these two pictures:
- Teacher says, “Michael, stand up. Point to the RED bird.” (Interpretive Mode)
- Teacher points to the green bird and says, “Michael, is this the RED bird.” (Interpersonal Mode)
- Teacher says, “Class, which is the RED bird? Picture 1 or Picture 2?”
- Teacher says, “Michael what color is THIS bird?” (teacher is pointing to one of the pictures). If the student needs is stuck, ask this follow up question, “Is THIS bird GREEN or is THIS bird RED?”
- Teacher puts the pictures at opposite ends of the room. Teacher says, “Class point to the RED bird.” Teacher says, “Class point to the GREEN bird.” Teacher says, “Michael, stand up and walk to the GREEN bird.” Teacher says, “Boys, stand up and walk to the GREEN bird.” Teacher says, “Girls, stand up and walk to the RED bird.” Teacher says, “Boys, SIT DOWN.” Teacher says, “Girls, SIT DOWN.”
The principle is this: use what the students already know to help them acquire new L2 vocabulary. The principle comes from Stephen Krashen’s Input Hypothesis. Krashen says a learner will acquire language when they receive L2 input that is ONE STEP beyond his/her current stage of linguistic competence. (This principle is commonly reffered to as “i+1” in the foreign language teaching profession.)
When you introduce new vocabulary by staying in the target language it provides students with so many opportunities to learn L2 easily (and even accidentally. Stay in the target language and they will learn things that you haven’t even tried to help them learn. Stay in the target language and you’ll help them produce “L2 Fruit” independently, creatively and for years to come.
Your voice is valuable! Share your target language teaching experiences!