Question for Alisa

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  1. Alisa Shapiro

    We can do developmentally appropriate NT in the earliest grades! but must go very slowly and be sure to stay extremely narrow. Props and other visuals are so powerful at this age both to increase comprehensibility and as management tools.
    I would say that I mix predictable and routinized Spanish (i.e., a greeting song with gestures and movement; a concrete leave-taking ritual) with a bit of NT in my 1-2 classes. I don’t pre-teach the structures or write/translate them; rather, I use props, visuals & gestures and oral translation.
    So every auditory chunk has another modality to reinforce it, be it a prop, gesture, picture or combo thereof….
    The other day I was doing a guided reading of a kinda lame A-Z reading book called Carlos Cuenta Gatitos (Carl Counts Cats). I happen to have like a dozen varied stuffed animal cats incl jaguars, lions, Garfield, Hello Kitty, etc. First I introduced them as I pulled ’em out of a bag. Then I did a Prop Talk – describing their say colors (there were only a few), sizes, names. As I sat them down in a line, I re-counted the accruing group (numbers to 10-previewing the book). We moved (“You are a class of cats! You crawl to the red chairs! You meow!”) to the screen area to read the book. Every time Carl got a new cat, I threw one to a kid in the class. They had to raise it up for me to count it. It encouraged the questions, “Who has Simba?” “Does Marina have the baby jaguar?” The whole class was conducted in improvised NT Spanish. No pre-targeted structures. Lotsa playful fun…
    PS – There was a word that popped up once at the end of the book. The word is, ‘demasiado’- it means, ‘too many.’ I translated it and moved on. The key is to stay suuuuper slow & narrow….and change it up a few times during the class. Greeting song, a bit o’calendar; PQA/prop talk, TPR, read the on-screen book while passing props; good bye song. 30 min of fun.

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