(Originally posted 3/23/10)
Many people wonder and worry about how to choose the best structures to focus on IN STORY-ASKING OR READING. As usual there is no one “right” answer. I think the easiest route is to first eliminate what DOES NOT need to be a focus structure.
We DO NOT NEED TO CREATE A FOCUS STRUCTURE from:
We want to USE a ton of cognates in our listening and reading activities….but we do not want them to be the focus phrases. We want to build stories around other structures.
- Things you have only seen in textbooks
This is just a waste of everyone’s time. Choose words/phrases that students are likely to come across over and over again.
- Words/phrases that can be “TPRed “in a VERY clear way.
Save these words for TPR!!!
What does that leave us? At the beginning levels we need structures that will allow for stories to take place. If we combine the words below with other key words we can create nearly every story we need at the beginning level. How?
Pick a phrase. Add a word or two. (ie goes to the new supermarket) Add cognates. Add TPRables. Add emotion (see next post) Done.
is + adjective (physical, personal, possessive…however your target language is structured.
is named Lives in
Has (to) Needs (to)
Wants( to) Should
Goes (to/towards) Leaves (from/for/towards)
Looks (for) Finds
Says (to) Asks (for)
Likes Knows (that/how)
Understands (that) Thinks (that)
I realize that it seems like it couldn’t be that simple. But it is. Start with simple.
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