The Neurolinguistic Approach – oral modelling steps for the second language classroom

The neurolinguistic approach to second language teaching has gained popularity with the successes achieved by the Intensive French program in Canada. First introduced by Canadian researchers Claude Germain and Joan Netton, it has taken off as teachers and parents have noticed that their children learn to speak the second language as a result of an emphasis on oral communication in the classroom. A colleague, Katherine Mueller, and I are beginning research in a German Bilingual School where the teachers want to develop their emphasis on oral language. For the purpose of this research, my colleague developed the following German examples:

Neurolinguistic Approach: Oral Modelling Steps

  1. Model prepared authentic sentence containing key word(s) and structure to be used by students. You can start by sharing a little personal info, and then repeat the key sentence.

Gestern hatte ich Geburtstag! Meine Schwester hat mir einen Kuchen gebacken. Er war lecker!  Mmm! Ich esse gerne Kuchen. Ich esse gerne Kuchen. (move to step 2)

  1. Question several students (not everyone) with corresponding question. (Remind them of their “escape hatch”: Wie sagt man ___?)

Ich esse gerne Kuchen. Was isst du gerne?

  1. Ask specific students to ask another student the same question:

Teacher: Lana, kannst du bitte Erik fragen “Was isst du gerne?”

Lana (to Erik): Erik, was isst du gerne?

Erik (answers):Ich esse gerne Spinat.

  1. Invite two students to stand/come up to front to demo the Q/A exchange. Remind student A of the question to ask:

Teacher: Rebecca, frag Jason “Was isst du gerne?”

Rebecca: Jason, was isst du gerne?

Jason: Ich esse gerne Leberwurst. (switch)

  1. Ask each student to turn to their partner and ask the same question. Teacher repeats the question one more time; students answer; then they switch.

Teacher: Frag deinem Partner “Was isst du gerne?”

Student 1 (to partner) : “Was isst du gerne?”

Student 2 (responds): Ich esse gerne Bananen.  Was isst du gerne?

Student 1 (responds): Ich esse gerne Thunfisch.

  1. Invite several students to say what their partner answered.

Teacher: Mathias, wer war dein Partner?

Mathias: Mein Partner war Jakob.

Teacher: Und was isst Jakob gerne?

Mathias: Jakob isst gerne Pizza.

My thanks go to the native speakers who helped us refine our examples. Stay tuned for continued reports of how the research is going.

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