I was in California for ten days up in their mountains, and so apologize for my absence. I”ll try to catch up on any threads in the next few days. While I was gone I got a question from someone overseas. I have no idea how to answer it:
“I teach English but the students’ native tongue is Hebrew which is totally different. How do you suggest that I navigate the first reading classes when a totally new alphabet is involved?”
Maybe someone knows how to answer that?
The Problem with CI
Jeffrey Sachs was asked what the difference between people in Norway and in the U.S. was. He responded that people in Norway are happy and
3 thoughts on “Hebrew”
Michelle teaches Russian to English speakers. Hopefully she will chime in. Other than that, I’d suggest checking out Linda Li’s Chinese classes. I know Fluency Fast has online classes in Arabic, Chinese and Russian all of which are vastly different writing systems than English. That might be another resource if you don’t get a lot of responses.
I introduce a little bit of phonics in my beginning classes, separate from TPR and the stories. I created my own phonics visuals. I tried to attach a picture to the shape of the letter and the sound. For example my ‘m’ is of a mouth. It helps them remember to keep their lips closed tight as they pronounce the word. The shape of the mouth gives them a clue as to how it is written.
The ‘h’ is a chair with a sweating man sitting on it. I say it is the sound for when it is so “hot”, only air comes out.
As they become familiar with the sounds, then I write the words with the visuals, gradually getting them to notice the letters and putting them together with the sounds. Once they are familiar with the sounds/vocabulary that I gradually introduce more written print. The more the students see the written language before they have to read, the easier the transistion will be.
A co-worker had a great idea. She wrote a story using the target phrases, carefully choosing words that are phonics friendly. (ie “She wants a PINK CAT” as opposed to a “PURPLE GIRAFFE”). In this way you could create a different story orally, yet your first reading will be easier.
I would recommend seeing Carol Gaab’s elementary DVDs. They are geared toward the younger crowd, but she also addresses pre-literate learners. Linda Li’s Fluency Fast Mandarin class is FANTASTIC and highly recommended, but because of the time limit she only used the romanized version of the langauge (pinying?) I think she, too, teaches the written language along side regular TPRS.
Back from Mexico with Carol and co…amazing but am on my way to Argentina to visit my daughter and typing on an iPod is not the way to go…will chime in end of July.