Quick Pics Tip: How To Mention “Happy New Year!” With Novice L2 Learners

Here’s a quick tip on how to use L2 to mention the new year with novice learners.

Write or post this on the board:

Picture of 2015

After the students give you a weird look and shake their heads, “NO” (because they’ve just returned to school after all of their “Happy 2016” celebrations at home) write the L2 for the following on the board:

It's not 2015

Have the students say, “Mr./Ms. …it’s not 2015!” (using the Two Hand Method if you need to).

Add the L2 word for “December…”

December

…and, after they role their eyes and react, add the verb.

It's not December

Let the students repeat the L2 sentences out loud.

Add the following, using a gesture to *PAIR something meaningful with the L2 word for ‘crazy.’

You are crazy

Have fun letting the students call you crazy.

Then bring it all together by adding the following a piece at a time:

2016It's 2016Happy New YearAt this point, it might be a good idea to show the students a short video clip of some native L2 speakers celebrating the new year.



Happy New Year from Sr. Howard and Tuesday’s Tips For Staying In The Target Language!

Señor Howard

Señor Howard – www.SenorHoward.com/blog – @HolaSrHoward

Caleb Howard – www.SoMuchHope.com – @calhwrd

Share your target language teaching experiences!

Leave comments below or add to the conversation on twitter by using #TL90plus (for staying in the target language” comments) and/or #langchat (for general language teaching comments).


*Disclaimer: This term is my own and I’m using it for the purpose of reflecting on my own foreign language teaching practice.  The reader should not assume that it’s the term found in formal, academic writing.

The Vocab List Analogy

What are your feelings about foreign language vocabulary lists?  You know…the handouts with the target vocabulary on one side and the L1 equivalent on the other.

german vocabulary

japanese vocabulary

 

russian vocabularySome people love them.  They’re very useful.

Some students cheat with them.

Some teacher’s feel guilty if they pass them out to their students.

Some educators write articles saying, “Hey!  These lists aren’t just part of some outdated strategy!  Don’t count them out!

In this post I DON’T want to make a case for or against the use of vocabulary lists in the foreign language classroom.  However, I DO want to mention them for the purpose of explaining what I do in my 90+% target language use classroom.


(And at this point I’ll include SIDE NOTE for new visitors to this blog who might be thinking, “What, exactly, is it that you do in your 90+% TL use classroom?”  Well…I try to provide my novice students with the following:

Repeated and meaningful opportunities wherein a piece of incomprehensible linguistic input is *paired with a corresponding piece of comprehensible extralinguistic input.

I make it my goal to have this *pairing” happen hundreds of times during one instructional session.  See examples in these videos from my classroom.)


So what does *pairing have to do with traditional vocabulary/translation lists?

The thing that makes L2 vocabulary lists so useful is that they *pair what is incomprehensible with something that is comprehensible.  They make the unfamiliar L2 (something that can be overwhelming/stressful) MUCH LESS INTIMIDATING because the L2 gets *paired (or matched) with the familiar L1.  This is so helpful for foreign language learners because their list becomes a tool that they can use to navigate an unfamiliar L2 environment.

A second helpful thing about these lists is that they take the L2 and break it down into tiny, isolated components or pieces.  You know what I mean, right?  Generally a vocabulary list isn’t a paragraph of L2 next to a translated paragraph of L1.  It’s one, single L2 word next to it’s L1 equivalent.

Well…

…in my classroom I do the same thing EXCEPT, instead of *pairing pieces of unfamiliar L2 with L1 words/phrases, I *pair them with any of the following forms of extralinguistic input:

So my students don’t get a printed out list.  I give them a different kind of list.  It’s not a list they can look at.  It’s more like a list that they experience live and in person.  For example:

  • when I put something cold in their hands and say the L2 word for “cold.”
  • when I say L2 words like, “YOU WON!” or “YOU DID IT!” or “GREAT JOB!” after a student wins a classroom game.
  • when a student randomly sneezes and I say, “God bless you,” in the target language.

When these moments/experiences are strung together in meaningful ways, the students start to form an intangible list.  The incomprehensible L2 is paired with something.  But it’s not paired with L1 on a handout.  It’s paired with comprehensible extralinguistic input.  And their intangible and ever evolving list serves the same purpose as traditional vocabulary lists: it takes what’s unfamiliar and makes it meaningful.  With it they can take steps towards more effectively navigating L2 environments.


Señor Howard

Señor Howard – www.SenorHoward.com/blog – @HolaSrHoward

Caleb Howard – www.SoMuchHope.com – @calhwrd


*Disclaimer: These terms are my own and I’m using them for the purpose of reflecting on my own foreign language teaching practice.  The reader should not assume that this is a term found in formal, academic writing.


See what others are saying about Tuesday’s Tips For Staying In The Target Language.

Share your target language teaching experiences!

Have the contents of this blog ever impacted your teaching or philosophy of teaching?Leave comments below or add to the conversation on twitter by using #TL90plus (for staying in the target language” comments) and/or #langchat (for general language teaching comments).

Turning Tedious Tasks Into Teaching In The Target Language Triumphs

Time taken to pass out textbooks, iPads, papers and supplies does not need to be wasted time.  Here are some simple “Do’s & Don’ts” that turn what could be tedious tasks into teaching in target language triumphs.

(*Side Note: these tips apply to teachers working with novice or intermediate low students)


DON’T #1 – Although it may feel natural to do so, try to avoid passing out the materials while you use L2 to talk about what you’re doing.

teaching in the target language don'ts

Example of DON’T #1:  Teacher has an armful of books.  Teacher begins to circulate throughout the aisles passing out books.  Teacher says (in the TL), “I’m passing out books.  We will be working with books today.  Wait quietly as I pass out the books.”  (Side note: I used to do this all the time.  I would think things like, “This is great!  The students are listening to me speak in L2.  They are getting great exposure to L2.  I know they don’t quite understand, but it’s valuable for them to listen to what L2 sounds like even if they don’t know exactly what’s being said.”)

Repercussions of DON’T #1:  Students with low L2 proficiency will watch with anticipation (at least for a while) and quickly lose hope that they’ll be able to understand what’s going on.

WHY? The target language is incomprehensible.  Students can’t find enough meaning.  There are too many incomprehensible L2 words with no way of finding out what they mean.  (See THIS POST for more.)


 

DON’T #2 – Avoid whispering L1 instructions into the ears of a couple student helpers and proceed to use L2 to explain what’s happening to the onlooking class.

teaching in the target language don'ts

Example of DON’T #2:  Teacher places a stack of iPads on the desks of two students and whispers the following L1 instructions into their ears, “Start passing out these iPads to each student while I explain what you are doing in the TL.  Thanks guys.  Great job.”  Teacher proceeds to use L2 to explain what’s happening to the rest of the class, “Lucas and Andrew are passing out iPads.  Lucas and Andrew will give you an iPad that we will be using for our culture research project today.  Great.  Oh, Andrew…Stephanie still needs one.  Thanks.”

Repercussions of DON’T #2:  Students will quickly learn to rely on L1 for orientation regarding what to do.  L2 will be perceived as non-essential to the function of the classroom.

WHY?  If L1 is made available, whenever a student is unsure of what to do, he will be trained to tune out L2 and just wait for the L1 help.


DO – Help students find meaning by *Pairing a piece of comprehensible extralinguistic input with each L2 word/phrase that you use.

teaching in the target language do's

Example of DO:  Teacher stands herself in front of the class and ensures that all students are paying attention.  Teacher holds up a box of crayons and says, “Crayons” in the target language.  Teacher continues in the TL, “Class.  Repeat: Crayons.” (Students repeat.)  Teacher holds up a red crayon and says, “Look class…a RED crayon.”  Teacher holds up other colors and says similar things in the TL.  Teacher adds a layer of complexity by saying and gesturing, “THIS is a RED crayon and THIS is a blue crayon.  RED crayon.  BLUE crayon.”  Teacher uses “circling” questioning techniques to get students to answer.

Teacher looks at the first student.  While still looking at the student, teacher holds up the box of crayons and says, “Crayons…” (teacher gives the student the box and finishes the statement) “…for Robert.”  Teacher looks at the next student and says, “Crayons…(hands crayons to the next student)…for Rebecca.”  (Read THIS POST for more on why you should use this TWO PART gesture.)  Teacher does this with a few more students.  Teacher adds a layer of complexity by saying, “Crayons for YOU.  Crayons for YOU and crayons for YOU.”  Teacher adds another layer of complexity by saying and gesturing, “Robert…pass THESE crayons to Andrew.  (Teacher waits for Robert to follow through with the instructions.)  Rebecca…pass THESE crayons to Isabella.”  Teacher continues in this way until all students have received the needed materials.

Click here to watch a video example of how Sr. Howard does this with his students.

Using strategies like these can help you turn tedious classroom management tasks into teaching in the target language triumphs!


*Disclaimer: This term is my own and I’m using it for the purpose of reflecting on my own foreign language teaching practice.  The reader should not assume that this is a term found in formal, academic writing.

 See what others are saying about Tuesday’s Tips For Staying In The Target Language.

Señor Howard

Señor Howard – www.SenorHoward.com/blog – @HolaSrHoward

Caleb Howard – www.SoMuchHope.com – @calhwrd

Your voice is valuable! Share your target language teaching experiences!

Leave comments below or add to the conversation on twitter by using #TL90plus (for staying in the target language” comments) and/or #langchat (for general language teaching comments).

Video Recording: 5th Graders Learning “To Be” Verb Conjugations In The Target Language

This post contains a video recording of Señor Howard teaching in the target language.

Teaching Grammar In The Target Language Teaching Grammar In The Target Language

The students were exposed to so much L2 grammar!  AND it was fun.  Check out the video recording by clicking here.

I used…:

…(and a few other tricks) to help my 5th grade students find meaning in incomprehensible L2.

I *paired comprehensible (and meaningful) extralinguistic input with incomprehensible L2 input to help students take steps towards acquiring bits of the TL.

To help them respond in the target language I used the Two Hand Method and wrote scripts for them on the board.


*Disclaimer: These terms are my own and I’m using them for the purpose of reflecting on my own foreign language teaching practice.  The reader should not assume that these are the terms found in formal, academic writing.

 See what others are saying about Tuesday’s Tips For Staying In The Target Language.

Señor Howard

Señor Howard – www.SenorHoward.com/blog – @HolaSrHoward

Caleb Howard – www.SoMuchHope.com – @calhwrd

Your voice is valuable! Share your target language teaching experiences!

Leave comments below or add to the conversation on twitter by using #TL90plus (for staying in the target language” comments) and/or #langchat (for general language teaching comments).

The First Week Of Trying To Stay In The TL With Your Students

Need ideas for what to do on the first days of staying in the target language with your students?

1- Motivational Speech

Help the students know WHY you are staying in the target language.  Here’s what I tell my students.

2- Motivational Structure

Hearing ONLY L2 takes patience and determination on the part of the learners.  Give them some incentive to stick with it.  Here’s the incentive that I offer my students.

3- Catch Students Off Guard

How would your students react if the first lesson you taught had NO WORDS?  What if you didn’t say anything at all?  No L1 AND no L2.  I might start out by saying something like:

“We’re gonna kick L1 out the door.  We’re not gonna use L1.  See ya later L1.  Bye-bye!

 

But some of you might think, “I don’t understand L2.  I won’t know what to do!”  Well you’re right.  But I don’t expect you to know what to do when you hear L2…yet.  You will later.  To start, I’ll help you know what to do by communicating without language.

 

It’s sort of fun.  Watch.  First let’s start by spending 5 minutes DOING nothing and SAYING nothing.  Your job, during that time, is to get used to the silence and to watch me.  Silence is okay.  And watching me is so important that I’ll say it again: WATCH ME!  Remember… first 5 minutes quiet…then watch me.  And my guess is, even though I won’t speak any language, you’ll still know what to do.”

After the 5 minutes of silence:

  • Stand up.
  • Walk towards the students.
  • Point to a student and motion for them to stand.  (After they stand up, hand them their pencil/notebook/bag or whatever they brought with them to class.)
  • Motion for the student to follow you with their things.
  • Motion for the student to stand in the spot you point to off to the side.  (I don’t suggest asking the student to stand up in front because they might feel too “on stage.”  Off to the side will feel more comfortable.)
  • Motion for the student to stay there.
  • Smile and give them a thumbs up to help them know they are doing the right thing.
  • Walk towards the other students.
  • Point to a second student and motion for them to stand.
  • Motion for the second student to follow you and point for them to stand next to student #1.
  • Repeat these steps until the whole class is standing up in a line at the side of the room with their things.
  • Using the same types of motions/gestures/pointing, seat the students (one at a time) at new desks.
  • When the whole class is seated again, in their new seats, smile with a sense of satisfaction.  Let them read on your face that you feel that you accomplished your task.  You did it all without using language.  Give them a thumbs up.  Give them a quiet acknowledging applause just like a soccer player would do to the home team fans at the end of a soccer game.
  • If the students are responding well…continue the silence.  Motion for them to wait.  Motion for them to stay quiet.  Maybe show them that you’re looking at the clock and that you want them to stay quiet for 5 more minutes.  If they are really into it, you can even motion for them to sit at their desks with their hands folded.  If they all respond well, give them a thumbs up so that they know you’re proud of them for responding to your non-verbal cues.

4- Debrief With The Students

Start speaking L1 again.  Tell them, “Wow!  You just spent 15 minutes doing exactly what I asked…but I didn’t even use any L1!  How did you do it?”  Let them raise their hands and offer answers as to how they understood what you expected.  Help them realize that people can receive and respond to many different forms of input.  Usually we all think that we only respond to linguistic input.  But there’s SO MUCH MORE!  Explain to them that there’s:

5- Tell Them About *Pairing

Tell them that if they watch you they’ll know what to do.  Tell them that you’ll start sprinkling in bits of L2.  Explain how you will *pair incomprehensible L2 with comprehensible and meaningful extralinguistic input.  Tell them that if they watch you, that they’ll have opportunities to start seeing what hundreds of L2 words and phrases mean just because of your *pairing technique.

6- Start The Week With Some Fun Easy Lessons…

…to get them used to what it’s like to follow you even though you only use L2 words (plus lots of extralinguistic cues!)  Here are links to some lesson ideas, which include a script of what you can do and say:

Teaching Grammar While Staying In The Target Language.

Introducing New Vocabulary While Staying In The Target Language.

Giving Activity Directions While Staying In The Target Language.

7- Have Fun And Be Creative

You know your students.  You have creative ideas.  Never feel limited to what you read on this blog.  I share the ideas that I use NOT to suggest that it’s the only way to do it.  They should be a launching pad for you.  Use the ideas you like and build upon the ideas that you can make better!

 


*Disclaimer: These terms are my own and I’m using them for the purpose of reflecting on my own foreign language teaching practice.  The reader should not assume that these are the terms found in formal, academic writing.

 See what others are saying about Tuesday’s Tips For Staying In The Target Language.

Señor Howard

Señor Howard – www.SenorHoward.com/blog – @HolaSrHoward

Caleb Howard – www.SoMuchHope.com – @calhwrd

Your voice is valuable! Share your target language teaching experiences!

Leave comments below or add to the conversation on twitter by using #TL90plus (for staying in the target language” comments) and/or #langchat (for general language teaching comments).

Step-By-Step Guide for Teaching Grammar In The Target Language: “To Have” & “To Want” Verbs

Goodbye memorization.  Adiós drills.  Auf Wiedersehen worksheet packets.

Say hello, bonjour and 您好 to students beginning to say, “I forgot I was learning a language,” “I learned it without even trying,” and “I can’t believe that was so easy.”

Teachers can make learning L2 grammar natural and almost effortless.

Teaching grammar doesn’t have to be a headache for you or your students.

Read the following transcript of how a foreign language teacher makes even acquiring L2 grammar skills easy for her L2 students.  (Note:  The transcript is written in English, although you should imagine the teacher saying all of her statements in the language that you teach.  i.e. French, Russian, Arabic, etc.)

“Hello students.”

(Students stand at the entrance of the foreign language classroom.)

“John. You sit here.  (Teacher points to the chair in which John should sit.)  Stacey.  You sit here.  Carlos.  You sit here.  Jenny.  You sit here.”  (Etc. until all the students are seated.)

“And I…  …I sit here.  (Teacher sits down.)  No.  No, no, no.  I don’t sit here.  (Teacher moves to a different seat.)  I sit here.   Mmm…no.  I don’t sit here, either.  No, no, no.  (Teacher moves to yet a different seat.)  I sit here.  Yes.  Yes.  That’s right.  I sit here.  I don’t sit there (Teacher points to her first chair).  I don’t sit there.  (Teacher points to her second chair).  I sit here.  Yes.  Here is where I sit.”

(Teacher has a bag.  Inside the bag is a variety pack of breakfast cereals.  Teacher pulls out an individual box of Cheerios and prepares to speak very slowly and with intention.)

Using fun and inexpensive food can help you teach grammar by staying in the target language and making it FUN!

Put the textbooks and your use of L1 aside. Instead use Cheerios to help your students acquire even tough L2 grammar skills in a fun and natural way.

“Class.  I have Cheerios.   Mmmmmm.  Delicious.  I have Cheerios.  Delicious, delicious, delicious.  I have Cheerios.  I have Cheerios and I like Cheerios.”  (Teacher points to a student across the room.)  “You. (Teacher gives an evil smile.)  You don’t have Cheerios.  I have Cheerios but you don’t.  You don’t have Cheerios.  Only me.  I have Cheerios.  Delicious, delicious Cheerios.”  (Teacher points to another student.)  “You.  (Evil smile.)  You don’t have Cheerios.  I have Cheerios but you don’t.  You don’t have Cheerios. AND you (Teacher points to the first student.) you don’t have Cheerios.  But I do.  I have Cheerios.”

(Teacher stands up with Cheerios in hand.  Teacher writes on the board the following L2 sentences.  “I have Cheerios.”  “You don’t have Cheerios.”)

(Teacher starts walking around the room, with her box of Cheerios, pointing to various students.)

“I have Cheerios.  But you don’t.  You don’t have Cheerios.  And you don’t.  You don’t have Cheerios.  And you don’t.  And you don’t have.  And you don’t have.  And you don’t have.  And you don’t have Cheerios.”  (Teacher continues until she has pointed to all students and told them that they don’t have Cheerios.)

(Teacher sits down back in her chair.  Teacher looks satisfied.  Teacher takes a deep, satisfied breath and says:)

“But I do.  I do have.  I have Cheerios.”

(Long dramatic pause.  Class is completely silent.)

(Teacher looks at the student next to her, named William.  Teacher pulls out a second individual box of Cheerios.  Teacher looks at the second box of Cheerios.  Teacher looks at William.  Looks back at Cheerios.  Looks back at William.  Teacher shrugs her shoulders and, with a happy smile on her face, gives the second box of Cheerios to William.)

(Teacher stands up and writes the following three sentences on the board: “I have Cheerios.  William has Cheerios.  You don’t have Cheerios.)

(Teacher goes around the room repeating the following phrases in the target language:  “I have Cheerios.  William has Cheerios.  But you don’t have Cheerios.”)

(Teacher takes out 4 more boxes of Cheerios.  Teacher asks random students:)

“Do you want Cheerios?”  (Teacher models how to say, “Yes I want Cheerios,” with the two hand method.  Teacher continues to walk around the room asking, “Do you want Cheerios?” and helping students to say, “I want Cheerios,” or, “Yes, I want Cheerios.”)

(Teacher gives the 4 boxes of Cheerios to 4 students who are sitting especially quiet, attentive and still.)

(Teacher writes on the board (in the target language) “Who has Cheerios?”  “_____ has Cheerios.”  “Who doesn’t have Cheerios?”  “______ doesn’t have Cheerios.”  Additionally, the teacher may choose to write, “Does _____ have Cheerios?”  “Yes, ______ has Cheerios.  No, _______ doesn’t have Cheerios.”)

(Standing next to the written sentences on the board, Teacher begins asking students the target questions and helps students respond by pointing to each word in the correct answer.  After each student attempts an L2 answer, the student should be rewarded. i.e. classdojo.com points.  Teacher continues this discussion (in L2) until class time is over.  If students get bored (from the repetitiveness) Teacher may choose to stop the activity and show some related L2 videos or do some other attention-getting activity.)

REFLECT: What did the students experience during this activity?

  • The teacher stayed in the target language.
  • The students realized that they could easily survive in an L2-immersion environment.
  • The students naturally learned some subject pronouns.
  • The students learned some first person, second person and third person verb conjugations.
  • The students naturally learned how to make something negative.
  • The students saw L2 in written form.
  • The students practiced responding to L2 questions with complete L2 answers.
  • The students got rewarded every time they offered L2 answers.

Your approach to teaching a foreign language can have a huge difference in what your students experience in the L2 classroom.  Your approach makes the difference between students thinking that it’s:

  • challenging or easy.
  • complicated or simple.
  • overwhelming or exciting.
  • work-intensive or second-nature.
  • intentional or natural.

I’m starting to realize that foreign language teachers CAN structure an L2 learning environment to give students an experience of actually forgetting that they are learning a second language.  If it’s done right, students can actually learn L2 without even trying to learn L2.  (More on this in future blog posts)

My next blog posts will be like this one.  I’ll give many additional examples of how to teach different verbs, L2 question words, subject pronouns, past, present and future tenses and more.

How about you?  How do you make learning L2 grammar as easy and as natural as possible for your students.  Leave comments below.

 See what others are saying about Tuesday’s Tips For Staying In The Target Language.

Señor Howard

Señor Howard – www.SenorHoward.com/blog – @HolaSrHoward

Caleb Howard – www.SoMuchHope.com – @calhwrd

Your voice is valuable! Share your target language teaching experiences!

Leave comments below or add to the conversation on twitter by using #TL90plus (for staying in the target language” comments) and/or #langchat (for general language teaching comments).

Part 1 – Step-By-Step Guide for Teaching Grammar In The Target Language: “To Have” and “To Want” Verbs

 Part 2 – Step-By-Step Guide for Teaching Grammar In The Target Language: Introducing “To (NOT) Want”

Part 3 –  Step-By-Step Guide for Teaching Grammar In The Target Language: Teaching How Change in Quantity Affects The L2 Sentence

Part 4 –  Step-By-Step Guide for Teaching Grammar In The Target Language: Teaching Future Tense of “To Eat”

Part 5 –  Step-By-Step Guide for Teaching Grammar In The Target Language: Teaching Past Tense of “To Eat”

Introducing New Vocabulary AND Stay In The Target Language (part 3 – modeling)

You don’t have to use L1 to introduce new vocabulary to foreign language students.  Instead, stay in the target language by using any of the following techniques:

It’s important to make language learning meaningful.  Don’t rob students of the joy of meaningful language acquisition by introducing vocabulary using L1.  When you start teaching language by using L1, you make language class about skills introduction, skills practice and skills assessment.  Teaching and practicing skills won’t be very fun unless you teach a class full of language nerds.  Instead, make language learning meaningful.  Introducing vocabulary AND staying in the target language not only has the potential to make make class more fun, but students will be able to retain more L2 for longer amounts of time. (see this post on why we should make students’ experiences of L2 meaningful)

One way to effectively introduce new target language vocabulary AND stay in the target language is by providing models or demonstrations of how L2 is used.

If I were to use modeling to introduce new vocabulary, here’s what I would try (and also what I’d be thinking in my head).

1- Keep students from getting lost.  It’s easy for students to get “lost” if you introduce unfamiliar words and phrases in the target language.  Sometimes listening to unfamilar L2 content can feel disorienting and unsettling.  To keep them from getting lost, ensure that you clearly communicate what the purpose of your instructional activities are.

If L2 immersion feels like wandering in a dark room, explicit and comprehensible performance objectives has the effect of handing your students a flashlight.

Students will be able to navigate the L2 immersion environment more effectively if they know exactly what you’re trying to teach them.  This is very important.  It gives the students a target to aim for.  It gives them an anchor to hold on to.

2- Students need to know what the performance objective for the day is.  In other words, they need to know what I’m trying to teach them on a given day and what I’m expecting them to learn.  I do this by writing the word, “IMPORTANT” on the board (in the target language) in big red letters.  Next to the L2 word for “IMPORTANT,” I write down the target phrases, words and/or sentences they need to know for the day’s performance tasks.

3- Always have the target vocabulary/phrases/questions posted conspicously while you are modeling L2 or showing models of L2 being used.  I frequently refer to the posted target phrases throughout the time that I am introducing the new content.  This helps students stay focused.

4- Give a demonstration or MODEL of how you want the L2 words/phrases/questions to be used.  If you are giving them language they can use in an interpersonal mode setting (for example), MODEL the language in a conversation.

5- Typically I start with a MODEL that is fun and attention getting.  I might use a video that I’ve made like this (for introducing the L2 for “How old are you?” or “When is your birthday?”) or this (for introducing L2 colors).  French teachers can try rythmic chants like these from RLRA.  There are many resources online.  You don’t need to make your own.

6- I realize that students are going to need repeated exposure to the new vocabulary.  Sometimes I forget that the first several times I introduce a word (or a phrase) the L2 sounds like jibberish to my students.  In order for the content to start sounding itelligible, I need to give them meaningful and repeated exposure.

7- Here are some ways I repeat the L2 modeling without boring the students.

  • I use the two hand method for modeling.
  • I show other videos of people modeling the new L2 content. (check out this resource from University of Texas at Austin.)
  • I might ask some heritage speakers in my class to model.
  • I might show the same 4 seconds of a video 7 times in a row.  It has the effect of making the students laugh because it’s repeated so much.  It also lets them hear the target word/phrase so many times that it starts getting stuck in their head.
  • If I make my own video or presentation for modeling, I make sure I repeat the target content several times. (click here for a video example)

How about you?  What are ways that you introduce new vocabulary in the target language by using modeling?  Leave comments below.

 See what others are saying about Tuesday’s Tips For Staying In The Target Language.

Señor Howard

Señor Howard – www.SenorHoward.com/blog – @HolaSrHoward

Caleb Howard – www.SoMuchHope.com – @calhwrd

Your voice is valuable! Share your target language teaching experiences!

Leave comments below or add to the conversation on twitter by using #TL90plus (for staying in the target language” comments) and/or #langchat (for general language teaching comments).

Introduce New Vocabulary AND Stay In The Target Language (part 2 – “circling”)

You don’t have to use L1 to introduce new vocabulary to foreign language students.  Instead, stay in the target language by using any of the following techniques:

I recently watched a FLENJ webinar with Joshua Cabral as the presenter.  He talked about “circling” as a great way for introducing new vocabulary AND staying in the target language.  The big point of his whole webinar was how to make language acquisition meaningful.  (It was really good.  See my notes/reflections here.)

Joshua Cabral would ask, “why have students repeat a new vocabulary word 5 times when you can introduce the same word 5 times meaningfully by using the “circling” strategy?”

“Circling” is a thoroughly developed, well documented TPRS strategy.  I don’t have the skill to introduce the strategy comprehensively.  But Joshua’s brief, simple tips can go a long way in helping a foreign language teacher introduce new vocabulary by staying in the target language.

  1. Show a picture of the vocabulary word you are introducing. (i.e. an airplane)
  2. Ask a question that get’s a “yes” or “no” answer. (i.e. “Is this an airplane?”)
  3. Ask an either/or question.  (i.e. “Is this an airplane or a train?”)
  4. Ask a question requiring a negative response. (i.e. “This is a train, right?”)
  5. Ask a question that requires a one-word answer. (i.e. “What color is the airplane?”)
  6. Ask an open ended question.  (i.e. “Where can you travel in an airplane?”)

Joshua also says that:

  • Circling gets students to think in the target language.
  • When new words are presented in context the chances for retention/acquisition increase.
  • You don’t have to use all 5 circling questions types all the time.  You know your students.  Use any or all of them and develop a routine that words well for your students to discover new L2 words in meaningfully and in context.

Joshua wrote a post on this topic here.

Remember: 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.

 See what others are saying about Tuesday’s Tips For Staying In The Target Language.

Señor Howard

Señor Howard – www.SenorHoward.com/blog – @HolaSrHoward

Caleb Howard – www.SoMuchHope.com – @calhwrd

Your voice is valuable! Share your target language teaching experiences!

Leave comments below or add to the conversation on twitter by using #TL90plus (for staying in the target language” comments) and/or #langchat (for general language teaching comments).

Introduce New Vocabulary AND Stay In The Target Language (“i+1”)

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:

"Red Bird"

Picture 1 – RED BIRD  (There are a lots of ways to teach new vocabulary WHILE staying in the target language.)

 

"Green Bird"

Picture 2 – GREEN BIRD (Use two pictures, like these, to introduce new vocabulary AND stay in the target language.)

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.

 See what others are saying about Tuesday’s Tips For Staying In The Target Language.

Señor Howard

Señor Howard – www.SenorHoward.com/blog – @HolaSrHoward

Caleb Howard – www.SoMuchHope.com – @calhwrd

Your voice is valuable! Share your target language teaching experiences!

Leave comments below or add to the conversation on twitter by using #TL90plus (for staying in the target language” comments) and/or #langchat (for general language teaching comments).