Activity: The Dirty Dozen
Purpose: Build your listening vocabulary before you increase the speaking vocabulary.
NOTE: The GP does not speak during this activity. Only the N speaks!
Begin with 2 items. Have Nurturer identify them several times. (Not just once or twice, but several time!) Do not speak.
Then, as your Nurturer says the name of the object (household items, plastic animals, etc.), you (the GP) points to the correct item.
After reviewing several times, one or two more items are added. Again, do not speak, but allow the N to identify the items several times. (Usually 3-4 times, but be sure and check if you need by pointing to the object and having the N say the name again – if you need it.) Now, N will say the name of one of the objects while you point to it (or pick it up – whatever) several times.
Now, add 1-2 more items and repeat the process.
Continue repeating until there are 10-12 items. You can also rotate out a couple of items as you add new items after 5-7 words.
Be sure to have the N come back more frequently to items you do not know. (They may not want to since they can tell you are having problems and they don’t want to shame you.)
Using this process, the GP can easily learn up to 12 words in about 10-15 minutes.
To mix things up, you can add in having the N say, “Where is (the) _____?” This may bring out some variations in word endings, etc.
If you as the GP are ready to move on, you can say (in your new language – so it’s good to get this phrase from the start): “What is this?” or “How to you say _____?”