by Tim Schneider
Peace Corps Volunteer
ETRC Spring School
March 6-8, 2014
What is an absolute beginner?
learners who have had no contact with English at all
often come from developing nations
often have had very little education
often more challenging to teach as the teacher can not
expect learners to understand even a minimal amount
The question, 'How are you?’ will not be understood.
The teacher must begin at the very beginning, usually
with no common language with which to explain the
Improve the learning with:
Technology - keep it interesting for 21st Century pupils
Words – Simple and direct. Don’t get confusing.
Pictures – Bright and colorful. Symbolic.
Movement – Get the students to move.
Interpersonal – Have the students share what they
Intrapersonal – Have the students reflect on what they
Nature – Use nature however possible.
Have concrete goals
We will learn the 4 seasons and 4 adjectives to describe
We will learn the 12 months of the year.
We will combine the months with their correct
Repetition – 1967 study found that 7 times resulted in
an 80% recall of 216 L1/L2 word pairs.
Use of an actual dictionary appears to speed retention
e-dictionaries increase the use of the dictionary, but
don’t increase retention like a book can.
Optimal number of words to learn is between 18-300,
but with harder words, fewer is preferred.
What is practical for your classroom?
invierno and iarna – both start with “i”
frío is close to frig in Romanian or frigid in
notice the color choice for the adjectives;
how can you use color to help with
Fill in the missing letters. _ nv_ _ rn _, pr _ m _ v _ r _
Mix the letters. - toñoo, ovaner
Show a picture without the word.
Give the adjective - frío
Complete the sentence
El ______ es caliente.
Poem – Tammy White
Spring is wet
The flowers grow
It rains a lot
And melts the snow
Summer is hot
It's full of sun
There is no school
It's lots of fun
Fall is cool
The leaves fall down
The colors change
All over town
Winter is cold
The snowflakes fall
We skate and ski
And make snowballs
Vocabulary Learning in a Second Language: Person, Task,
Context and Strategies
September 2003 — Volume 7, Number 2
HOW TO LEARN A FOREIGN LANGUAGE -
Learn the months of the year in Spanish -