ESL Teaching and Learning Tips
Thanks for your reply.
I'm wondering what size of sets the research considered? I like keeping things in sets, just for the organizational qualities. I think using small sets of 3-5 shouldn't be too much.
As far as teaching something using frequency of use (orange) I tend to agree. But I was considering teaching Asian students in my post, so I used the example of 'long black hair' (which is common in China, so is quite useful in making it personal) and colors that are more commonly used in China (red, yellow, black, white.)
And I guess I'm the only person on the planet--other than Chinese teachers--that has an appreciation for rote learning. So many groups (sets) of words can be quickly learned by rote. How do you think you learned numbers and letters? Multiplication tables? Doing homework, writing sentences over and over again to learn patterns of grammar are just rote. That's the basis of learning, doing something serially. Look at state testing scores in the States over the last thrity years, in the swing away from rote memorization to activity-based and small group discussion learning. Scores have been plummeting. And look at all the 18 year olds in 'remedial' type of classes in community college for one last chance at learning basic writing styles and and basic arithmatic. They want to get into colllege but are still struggling with middle school functions.
Nobody likes to learn by rote, and nobody likes to teach that way. But there are aplications in basic learning that rote is effective.
But all in all, teaching and learning needs to have an element of fun, especially for kids. Also, most of us are teaching students that have already had a certain amount of instruction from their local teachers, and we are backing them up with pronunciation skills and natural dialogues with native speakers.
I think of when I am faced with learning a new language. What do I do? I make a little book I can take with me and in times of boredom, I flip through and practice words and phrases that I still have not yet memorized. Somewhere along the way I try to work them into a conversation to see how they work, or listen for them. The first few weeks of being in a new place, numbers, colors, basic nouns and verbs are some of the most important. It's surprising how much can be accomplished with just primary and a few secondary colors, large/medium/small, long/short, fast/slow, etc. in describing something.
Sorry for my wordiness.