8 Strategies to Introduce New Sentences
T = Teacher
T models one or two sentences at a time, linked to the theme and to his/her experience
T always begins by modelling a sentence based on personal experiences.
For example: I have a blue sweater. It is blue. The sweater is very soft.
This is done only orally, using sentences that
are related to theme. Avoid the use of “What’s this?” or “It’s a…”, as it is not usually an authentic statement (and only checks for vocabulary, not functional competence).
If possible, introduce two or more sentences.
For example: Yesterday, I
bought a new sweater. It is blue. The
sweater is very soft.
T questions a number of students, who adapt their reply to their personal situation.
T asks the same question to a small number of students. Students answer using the sentence that has just been modelled, adapting it to their personal situation
For example: What colour is your sweater? My sweater is brown.
A) Students question students
A small number of students asks the question to other students who answer the question, adapting it to their personal situation.
B) Two students model the task in front
of the class.
T then invites two students to model the task that is expected to be performed during the next step, using a “conversational” structure (questions and answers).
T ensures that the language model is used correctly (both question and answer).
Students question each other, in
pairs (limited time).
Once the task has been modelled, all students, in pairs, ask and answer
T asks questions of some students based on answers provided by partners.
T asks questions of a small
number of students, using a natural conversational approach, so that students can report on what their partner has just told them.
For example: What colour is Julie’s
sweater? Julie’s sweater is brown.
Then, T continues and asks students questions about the answers that have just been provided.
T always requires students to produce full sentences (for fluency).
T always corrects errors gently and has students re-use the correct sentence (for accuracy).
Once in a while, T questions a student
This is to ensure listening, to have a natural conversation, and to have the
language re-used in meaningful contexts.
If necessary, repeat 4 and 5, but ask students to form new pairs. Strategies 6, 7 and 8 happen, when needed, at the same time as 1-5.