Phase 1A: Session 1

Session 1 

Authored by Greg and Angela Thomson 

Start with the Foundation

It is good the first day to begin with some of the most foundational vocabulary. In ordinary conversation, people probably talk most about people. A good starting point in language learning is words for people, including pronouns. man, woman, boy, girl, baby, old lady, etc. (languages differ in the way the divide the life span into segments); I, you, we, they, he (languages differ in the specific variety of pronouns, too).
Those basic human nouns and pronouns may provide ten or fifteen vocabulary. These can be supplemented by other common living creatures in your context such as dog, cat, horse, cow, fly, spider, frog, mouse.

Here-And-Now Descriptions

Descriptions of ongoing activities and states that are visible to the GP are an extremely important part of early input. It is relatively easy to learn actions in the form of commands. It is important to hear, not just, "Eat the bread.", but also "He is eating the bread." "We are eating the carrot." etc, in contexts where such meanings are actually being expressed. An easy way to do this at this point is to have the Nurturer and GPs, in various combinations, doing various activities, mainly ones that the GPs already know, and the Nurturer describing them. (However, see the discussion in the introduction where we mention the need for some more creative alternatives.)

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Learning Activity 1: Names of animate creatures

Description:

The Nurturer begins with two objects: This is a man. This is a woman. This is a person. These are people. Where is the man? Where is the woman? As names of items become familiar, new ones are added, one at a time, with lots of repetition. The pronouns are mixed right in with the nouns: Where is the boy? Where am I? Where are you? Where is the woman? Where are they? (In many languages, "Where is" is a good question for initially learning names of objects, as it will involve the most basic form of the word, whereas "Point to the egg" may involve a changed form.) Don’t separate the people and the pronouns. Do them as one group of items.

Materials to gather

For the objects being talked about (a man, you, etc.), you can use real people, toy people, dolls, photos, or drawings. For the pronouns, the Nurturer talks about himself (I), the specific GP she is addressing (you), etc. Add other props (for example, dolls) as necessary to refer to people, including pronouns. (see note above) Those basic human words may provide ten or fifteen vocabulary. These can be supplemented by other common (to the country) living creatures: cat, bird, mosquito, fly, spider, rat, fish, animal, insect.

Record (video is best!) Everyone has a cell phone!

Once all items have been learned, a recording is made in which GPs are again questioned about all of the items randomly. This recording is for review before the next session. Recording can be audio or video. Video has a big advantage in that GPs can readily see which objects are being talked about.

*Video Quiz
*Vocab Cards

Activity 2: Basic Actions

Description:

Use TPR (Total Physical Response): Command the student to stand, sit, walk, lie, run, go, stop, come, etc

Record with Video!

A portion of this activity, incorporating all actions, is recorded for review.

Learning Activity 3: basic actions 

Description:

The GPs and the Nurturer all engage in one of the above actions (or states, in the case of sitting and lying). The Nurturer then describes what each one is doing: I am sitting, you are walking, they are lying down, etc.

Record

Recording: Here-and-now description activities are ideal activities for video-recording. If that is not possible, then drawings with stick figures or triangle people can be made to represent the situations that were acted out in this activity, and an audio recording can be created describing the drawings in sequence. At some point when enough actions are known, it might be good for the GPs to take photos of the Nurturer and themselves individually and in various combinations, performing the activities. Then the Nurturer can use the photos for a here-and-now activity, asking, for example, "In which picture are we swimming? In which picture am I sleeping? In which picture are they dancing? In which picture is he crawling?" This strengthens both here-and-now description forms, and also the forms related to "I, we, he, they," etc

Option 2

Variant using puppets or a couple stuffed animals (for here and now descriptions) The Nurturer, and the puppets act out the various actions sitting, walking, lying down, etc. Examples: Puppet lies down. Nurturer says to puppet, “You are lying down.” Nurturer walks. Nurturer says, “I am walking.” Nurturer sits. Puppet says to her, “You are sitting.” Nurturer and puppet “walk,” and they say to learners, “We are walking.” Puppet and teddy bear are lying down and Nurturer says, “They are lying down.”

Activity 4 Greetings/Leaving/Taking
Using Lexicarry strip 1, the Nurturer asks, Who is saying hello? Who is answering hello? Who is saying good-bye? Who is answering good-bye? (The actual greetings will vary in many ways depending on the language and culture. This activity may turn out to be a tiny start on a large area of language.)
Example:
A: Hello
B: Hello
or
A: Good morning!
B: Good morning!
or
A: Good afternoon!
B: Good afternoon!
Example:
A: How are you?
B: I am fine, thank you.
or
A: How is your day going?
B: Fine, thank you.
or
A: How is work going?
B: Great! I love my job.
or
A: How is your family?
B: Great! Thanks for asking.
Example:
A: See you later!
B: See you later!
or
A: Have a nice day.
B: You, too.
or
A: By

B: See you around

Example:
A: Great to see you today Jim!
B: Great to see you, too.
or
A: Have a great day!
B: You, too!

Option 2: 

Reinforcing Lexicarry activity with a puppet conversation. Nurturer and puppet greet each other with “hello” and “response.” Then Nurturer asks GP, “Who is saying “hello”? Who is answering “hello”? Who is saying “Goodbye.” Who is answering, “Good-bye.” Then the Nurturer and the puppet can trade roles and ask the GP again.

Record using video!

Remember to record the Nurturer, so the GP can review and practice with Lexicarry on his own.
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