Resources for Teaching Languages to Children


Tuesday Tips: Choosing 'Just Right' Authentic Resources Part 2

IN PART 1 OF JUST RIGHT AUTHENTIC RESOURCES, I talked about the process of choosing resources that are comprehensible and accessible, in particular for novice learners. In Part 2, here are some more specific ideas of just what to choose.

SINCE NOVICE LEARNERS have little vocabulary to draw on, look for resources that are simple, concrete, and don't involve too much language. Resources that have repetition or follow a familiar format are great places to start.

*RECIPES- look for ones that don't have too many varied steps as novice learners do not know a lot of cooking verbs. In other words, recipes that involve the same type of action repeatedly are better than one where you have to cut, scald, fry, mash, mix, let stand, bake etc. Some good recipes that I have found: salsa, guacamole, arepas, tortilla de patatas, patacón (tostones), chocolate caliente, and paletas. Check out my Pinterest board with recipes here!

*INFOGRAPHICS- there are a ton on Pinterest, many of which are simple enough, and visually appealing, for novice learners.

*SAYINGS, PROVERBS AND MEMES- Steer away from using too many that contain figurative language with these as you will very likely need to translate them for your students to understand them. Instead, look for ones that are straightforward and context based. My collection of fun greetings, sayings and more on Pinterest.

*MENUS and GROCERY LISTS- Vocabulary is presented in a list like format, making them easier to access for students who don't know a lot of verbs.

*SONGS and POEMS- Search out ones that have repetition rather than new refrains all the way through. Many children's songs and poems are short, keeping the vocabulary set small. Youtube videos of songs and culture on my Pinterest board.

REMEMBER, give yourself permission to use a partial resource, not the whole thing- there is nothing wrong with using the middle of a resource (or just the beginning or just the end, or a clip). If part of the resource is too challenging, but another part would be just perfect, go for using the perfect part and leave the rest out!

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