With my own younger two boys (ages 12 and 14) and with some of my AO students (children of my friends in my CM book club) I use the following procedures and resources. I will be fine-tuning these for the various capabilities of each age student that I teach (from ages 5-18), both at home and a little more traditional for high school in a homeschool co-op setting).
~ I use simple commands in the target language, in our case, Spanish. This is how children learn as babies and toddlers. For example: "Watch out! Look! Come to me! Bring me the plate! Sit down! Come here! Let's go! Don't run!" In Spanish this would sound (and look) a bit like this:
As recommended in TPR, I perform actions or gestures to express these, which works out great, because I talk with my hands, anyway!
¡No corre! - Don't run!
toca - touch (as in toca el pelo-touch [the] hair. toca la boca touch [the] mouth)
So in a group I will say:
levanten la mano - (all of you-plural) raise the hand
bajen la mano - (all of you-plural) lower the hand
Abran sus libros a la página... - (all of you-plural) open your books to page...
~ Then I may add in phrases such as: jump or stand on the chair, beside the chair, around the chair, etc.
~ Play "Simón dice" (Simon Says) with them. Play Bingo to reinforce numbers. Make up memory games with pictures. Vocabulary/Picture learning is recommended in the very young years, but especially pictures without words, only oral presentation of the words.
~ Later, make or purchase an inexpensive memory game in Spanish and English. I have one put out by Leap Frog that I found at Wal-Mart for 5 or 8 dollars. Sing your favorite songs in Spanish, whether they be children's songs, Bible verse songs, worship songs, hymns, or folk songs from Cuba. I am slowly building up my supply, and plan to keep posting updates to my blog. Say little poems aloud; the sing-song type poems or rhymes. I found a book of Traditional Spanish Rhymes just for this purpose. It has great illustrations, too. Find the living books listed in the early years of Ambleside Online in Spanish, then do a search for them at Amazon.com or do an online search for "libros en español," and click on the "juvenile" section. Their are a lot of adorable picture books that we are most familiar with available in Spanish, as well. Think of books such as "Buenas Noches Luna" and "Courduroy," "Frog and Toad," "Go Dog, Go!" and many others.
Here are two fun books I found a couple of months ago. These can be used as reference for CM words for the teacher/mom who hasn't had much or any Spanish. I posted links last week to audio-file pronunciation sites for phonetic help.
(The above photo is for Donna-Jean :-)
There are many free e-texts online in Spanish. Just do a search for "free e-texts" and "libros en español" to see what you come up with. Look for Stories such as "The Three Little Pigs" en español or "Little Red Riding Hood." I have posted some links to the blog already, but by the time I would be able to post 20 links of AO books here, you may well be able to find them on your own. I will post some in future as I am able! Stay tuned!
~ One important thing to do is to find traditional stories, fables and folk songs that are common to Spanish Speaking countries. Right now, I'm trying to have the balance of about 50% of stories/songs/poems (and eventually even art and movies) that originated within the Spanish-speaking cultures. Then, include 50% of stories, songs, sayings, from world classics. Why 50/50? For now, it just seems simpler to keep it balanced there. I have no Scientific reason to change it at this point (since I am able to find quite a few good resources!) but know it is important to have both styles represented.
~ Another book I am reading aloud from is a 1937 Graded Spanish Reader. It has the few vocab words from each "new" paragraph printed at the bottom of the page, and I can go over them at the beginning of a lesson, so the kids can hear and know them when I read the brief story lesson to them. It is working well so far! I send a copy of each paragraph home with each student so that they or their moms can read it to them once or twice more during the week.
Update: The kids are able to narrate from these pretty much immediately. They are simple stories about a family in a large white house :-). The story builds with each paragraph, which can be read aloud during each new lesson. We review any vocab from the previous lesson, a la CM, and present any new vocab before we begin the new paragraph.
~ I like to make up a sentence or two about an animal in the house, or about one of the kids.
"Hay un gato que se llama Tigre! Tigre es un gato muy simpático. ¿Es simpático Tigre? Sí, Tigre es simpático."
This makes it personal and as James Asher states in his book _Learning Another Language Through Actions_, pg. 3-67, "The TPR works because it is comprehensible input with high believability since we create intimate, personal experiences for the students. Hence, there is intake by the students." He refers to intake as "learning that is stored in long-term memory rather than short-term memory." In other words, the believability factor and the personal factor connect with the students' learning on the right side of the brain as opposed to memorizing lists and dialogues, which teaches ONLY to the left side of the brain. This tends to be stored in the short-term memory.
I made up a brief line or two about one of Mother Auma's family pets, too! That was a kick. I need to add to Thumper's story when I see them this week!
Update: "Hay una coneja que se llama Thumper. Thumper es blanca, morena, manchada, y suave. ¿Es vieja Thumper? ¿Es Jóven? ¿Cuántos años tiene Thumper?
~ It's important to follow Charlotte's and the TPR and TPRS methods of not adding more than 3-6 new words or units of words per day. Since I only meet with most of my students once a week, I must have a list of extra words or phrases to send home with them, so that they can divide the words up over the week and work on them at home, all based around the theme or story which we are working that week.
~ We do a little copywork from introductory and "real" dialogues, or some Bible verse copywork.
~My senior high students get to do studied dictation with me from time to time.
~ I like to sing a song with the kids. All my students have learned "This is the day that the Lord has made..." Bible verse and song in Spanish this last month. Next we'll learn, "I've Got the Joy, Joy, Joy" en español.
~ We've already made clocks and learned to tell time
~ sung "What a Friend We Have in Jesus" and
~ half of my students have already made chore/activity charts learning appropriate questions and answer dialogues that are used to communicate these activities.
~We've begun to learn to set the table.
~ We've learned the days of the week, to boot!
~ Our next step is to take a nature walk while I speak things to them in Spanish. I may talk about the weather and the seasons, as well.
~ When these kids are a little older, I could add some German in, a la CM, if they wish!
This is what I will do with my own children.
I remember fondly taking a long bike ride all over Heidelberg with a dear friend at the time, who was the son of an elder in the Berlin Church. He gave me the whole tour of Heidelberg via bicycles speaking to me completely in German. This was my second summer in Germany and I actually did understand quite a lot then!