In order to meet the challenge of engaging and instructing students in the two language situations—mixed language groups and homogeneous language groupings, special approaches need to be in place. In keeping with the parameters of the program, I approached the teaching of the Aztecs through an experiential “hands on” manner that uses both multi-sensory and multi-media approaches in order to communicate meaning to students in both first and second languages.
I have arrived at a method for teaching second language, which I have coined the “Process Approach”. This method has components that have proven for me to work for teaching young children a second language. Children enjoy making things, and the lessons activities incorporate that dimension. Children also learn new language very quickly if it is put to song or presented with a taste of drama. This method uses methodical step by step teacher directed see it, say it, do it demonstrations as a method for teaching language. The beginning of any “ Process Approach” lesson requires that the Language specialist review the previous segment of the lesson in the second language with the use of any visuals, concrete examples, and to body language. His or her review should capitalize on previously mastered language constructs taught beforehand to the students. The use of the “Process Approach” proceeds that of first language teaching. Students who are receiving a “Process Approach” lesson should already have been exposed to information that will allow them to assimilate “core” information in the second language. A “Process Approach” lesson will initially prove to be a challenge for the language teacher, but this will become less so if he or she critically analyzes the essential vocabulary that needs to be newly presented beforehand. Only the “core vocabulary” that is essential to he students understanding of the lesson need be presented.
I feel that the most important aspect to teaching language through this method is to
, allowing students to make the cognitive connection between what they see happening before them and the language they hear in the step by step process. Just as important is the
of new and important language by repetition. Allow students to review the activity by verbally joining in with the teacher. Next, by chorally (speaking at the same time within a group) verbalizing in groups. Then, depending on the comfort level, children should be given a chance to produce language by themselves. Through the use of this method, the teacher has a built in evaluation tool for how much language was acquired.