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The Natural Approach:
The Natural Approach is just what it sounds like, this method aims to foster natural learning of language in the classroom. The focus is on fully understanding a language. Learning how to speak occurs after a “silent period” of active listening. This is where the learner knows the words when heard, but cannot yet speak it. When students are exposed to the foreign language in a fun, stimulating, stress-free environment language acquisition will happen. Why stress a child with the burden of language production, when we could make it fun and interesting while they learn to use the words they hear. During class time the students will be able to understand the language through the teacher’s gesturing, actions and non-verbal cues as well as through the use of visual/auditory aids, pictures, and props.
Total Physical Response (TPR):
TPR’s approach to learning a foreign language also models ways in which we learn our native tongue. Learning occurs when an action word (verbs, as we know them) is accompanied by an action or gesture. The teacher demonstrates the physical activity linked to the word. There is no need for translation as comprehension occurs through the nonverbal communication and gesturing. An additional benefit to TPS is that it engages children in physical activity. During the lessons, the student can move their bodies, sing, and process new material. If you can get a kid moving, they’ll remember better. The dancing and movement makes class time fun and conducive to acquiring and learning Spanish.