About the Natural Approach By Dolly, Amber and Angie
Origins • first used to describe teaching methods, such as the direct method, that attempted to mirror the processes of learning a first language • developed in the late 1970’s by Tracy Terrell (education theorist/UCSD Professor), and further developed by Stephen Krashen (USC Professor Emeritus)
Three Main Principles • focus on communication rather than grammar/form • speech production comes slowly and is never forced • early speech goes through natural phases (comprehension, early speech, and speech emergence)
Other Important Components • a low anxiety, low stress environment paired with meaningful communication • focus on understanding messages rather than drills and error correction • building a large vocabulary base rather than learning grammatical structures • lessons that are interesting and motivating for students • speech taught before writing
Constructivist Perspective Piaget’s Constructivism Theory: Humans gain knowledge and meaning from an interaction between their experiences and ideas. Although the language is new, the idea of making a salad is familiar. Students can build on previous knowledge.
Roles of Teachers • lots of teacher talk is used in the beginning • the teacher’s speech and writing serves as an example for students to learn from • the teacher never forces students to speak, and instead can ask for another type of response (like pointing)
Example Activities • TPR activities, like pointing to pictures as the teacher says the names out loud • observing more proficient speakers perform the same tasks • reading aloud • listening to speech in the target language • talking in pairs (using a model at first)
Some Criticisms Include... • Classroom management can prove difficult as students begin speaking and reach new levels at different times. • Children have trouble expressing themselves when they want to speak up. • Krashen assumes adults will learn second language just as easily as a native language, but does not consider that memory decrease makes it more difficult as we age.
Example Lesson! Making a Salad in the Fulani Language 1: Mido Weelaa! (I’m hungry!) 2: Min Kadi! (Me too!) 1: Enen nyaamay salaadi? 2: Hii hi 1: Awa. Hidon faala tomaati? 2: Hii hi. Mido falaa tomaati. 1: Hidon faala basal? 2: Hii hi. Mido falaa basal. 1: Hidon faala piya? 2: Hii hi. MIdo falaa piya. 1: Awa. Enen yamay jooni.