First Hundred Hours (Phase 1B)

The First Hundred Hours:

growing participation

Interacting about the Here and Now

Growing Participator Approach

At-A-Glance Session Plans and Resource Packet for

Phase 1B:

Add Constrained Two-Way Communication



by Greg and Angela Thomson (Version: Mar06)

Don’t learn the language!

Rather, discover a new world,

as it is known and shared by the people

among whom you are living.


Note for Groups using This Program

We suggest that before you begin to meet for the learning activities with a Nurturer, each participant read the introduction to each phase (and skim the rest of the document). Then meet together to discuss it, with a Language Learning Advisor also present, if possible.

We also recommend an initial social event like a party, potluck supper, and other activities that will help the members of the group better understand one another and develop a team spirit of mutual support, encouragement and ‘plain old fun.’

Please keep in mind that even though the Here-and-Now Phase involves less than ten percent of the total set of language learning activities (1500 hours with Nurturers),  these first 100 hours provide a rapid and powerful kick-start which can create momentum that will help learners continue for months to come.


Phase 1A: Listen And Respond Nonverbally (‘The Silent Phase’) pages 3-47

Time Spent with Nurturers:

15 Sessions, 35 – 45 hours

Word Gain: 

first 300+ words

Phase 1B: Add Constrained Two-Way Communication pages 48-92

Time Spent with Nurturers:

25 Sessions, 65 – 75 hours

Word Gain: 

add 450+ words

How This Set Of Session Plans Was Originally Created

These session plans were created for our first eighty hours of focused participation in Kazakh life. Each morning, we spent half an hour to an hour planning and preparing for a two hour session. We had four such sessions per week. We had previously collected a lot of toys and dolls and continued buying such items as we saw them in bazaars and shops. Often, though, we just gathered the needed artefacts for a session from our own apartment, for example, from the refrigerator. We also prepared visual helps such as a detailed drawing of a typical local neighbourhood.

Graphics Pack Included

More recently we have added a set of drawings of the objects suggested in each session. We find these are especially helpful to GPs as they listen to audio-recordings made during their sessions, to use when they can not reassemble the objects that were used in the session. We like to ring-bind the program for Phase 1 (a and b) with the back cover forming a pocket containing this graphic resource set as loose sheets. Often it is helpful to cut apart the pictures, in which case we encourage users to first make photocopies. We are also making the graphic resource set available as computer files.

As more people use this plan on their own, we would love to hear of changes and innovations they have made.

Phase 1B: Interacting about the Here-and-Now,

Adding Constrained Two-Way Communication

At-A-Glance Session Plans

Copyright September 2004, all rights reserved.

Informal copying and distribution freely allowed.

Please obtain permission for formal publication.

SECTION III:  Introduction to Phase 1B. 53

Time to start speaking. But how?. 53

Some Thoughts on the Types of Activities 53

Phonetic Practice (Listening) 53

Lexicarry. 54

Yesterday’s Actions 54

Major Talking Activity Each Session. 54

Information Gap Activities 54

Continued Listening Activities 54

How Outside Life Relates to Your “Supercharged Participation Sessions”. 54

SECTION IV:  Phase 1B Sessions at-a-Glance 56

Session 1 at-a-Glance 56

Session 2 at-a-Glance 58

Session 3 at-a-Glance 59

Session 4 at-a-Glance 60

Session 5 at-a-Glance 62

Session 6 at-a-Glance 63

Session 7 at-a-Glance 64

Session 8 at-a-Glance 65

Session 9 at-a-Glance 67

New Phonetics Activity, Word Dictation. 67

Session 10 at-a-Glance 68

Session 11 at-a-Glance 69

Input-Oriented Grammar-Focused Activities 69

Session 12 at-a-Glance 71

Session 13 at-a-Glance 73

Session 14 at-a-Glance 75

Session 15 at-a-Glance 76

Session 16 at-a-Glance 78

Pushing The Envelope Of The Rate Of Learning. 78

Session 17 at-a-Glance 79

Session 18 at-a-Glance 81

Session 19 at-a-Glance 82

Session 20 at-a-Glance 83

Combining Two Sessions Worth Of Actions 83

Session 21 at-a-Glance 85

New Activity Re-Run, Review, Filling In Gaps! 85

Session 22 at-a-Glance 86

Return to Earlier Topics; Synonyms 86

Communicative Grammar Activities 86

Session 23 at-a-Glance 88

Session 24 at-a-Glance 89

Session 25 at-a-Glance 90

Going On. 91


SECTION III:  Introduction to Phase 1Bprogresssion2

The assumption is that many or most people following this program, or using it as a model for designing their own, have been concentrating on learning to understand speech for the first thirty to forty hours of their language sessions, rather than talking. Many language learners, or as we prefer to describe them, growing participators in a host ethno-linguistic community, are initially uncomfortable with the idea of not speaking in the new language during the learning activities of the first thirty five hours of language sessions. Most quickly get used to it, however, and even start to appreciate it.
It becomes fun and relaxing. It is time now to move out of the comfort zone, and start talking. Even those who are approaching the beginning of “talking activities” in Phase 1b with a sense of impending relief may soon discover that it isn’t such a relief after all! Early talking can cause a surprising rise in anxiety, and at times it seems to stir some very deep emotions indeed.

Time to start speaking. But how?

iceberprinciple2The growing participators (GPs) reaching this point are clearly still at what is has been called the Novice level (in the terminology of the American Council of Teachers of Foreign Languages). That means (by definition) that they are not able to be very creative with their speech yet. A new goal for them beginning in these sessions is to get most of their three hundred vocabulary items from the level of understanding to the level of talking.

They will find that many of those three hundred words are immediately available to their minds for speaking. Others will require some prompting from the teacher/tutor/language helper (the person who is nurturing them into deeper and richer levels of participation—in short their Nurturer).

In the next twenty-five sessions they will need to continue learning through comprehension activities as before, especially when it comes to learning new vocabulary and sentence patterns.

The speaking activities will be aimed at forcing the GPs to truly speak, that is, to struggle to get their thoughts out, rather than simply speaking like a parrot (memorizing, imitating). Consistent with the “Novice level” (also known as Level Zero), the speaking tasks will often be within well-defined parameters, giving the GPs the opportunity to use similar patterns and replies over and over in a given speaking activity. They will be motivated to create new sentences according to the communicative needs that arise in the activity, putting their thoughts into words, conveying real meanings. One of the powerful types of activities for getting them to do this, information gap activities, is discussed further below. Later, in Phase 2 (discussed briefly below), we encourage GPs to greatly loosen the constraints on what they attempt to communicate, as they attempt to discuss increasingly complex picture stories, among other things.

For those who want to have a pleasant time, a warning is warranted here. Talking can provoke greater anxiety than listening and responding nonverbally (as the GPs will have been doing in the fifteen sessions of Phase 1a). If someone finds that talking is pure fun, that person is blessed. If another person finds talking quite stress-provoking at first, that is not unusual. Therefore the activities below are designed to ‘break people in gently’ to two-way spoken interaction.

Some Thoughts on the Types of Activities

Phonetic Practice (Listening)

GPs will probably find that they begin to focus on details of sound more precisely when trying to pronounce the words. They should remember to base pronunciation on what they hear, not on what they see written. Accurate hearing only develops through the ears, not through the eyes! Review what was said about this in the material for Phase 1a.

As the GP’s hearing improves, his pronunciation can improve on the basis of better mimicry of what is better heard. As hinted at above, premature dependence on written letters may discourage people from developing acute hearing.


Continue to spend a few moments exploring a new page in Lexicarry with the Nurturer. See Phase 1a description of how to use this resource.

Yesterday’s Actions

Whenever a new set of actions are learned, typically through TPR, the following day it is good to quickly strengthen them, by reusing them in different ways, if possible. Actions seem to need more help than nouns!

Major Talking Activity Each Session

The new vocabulary from the previous day, learned in listening activities, can be re-used in a production activity the following day, which might be as simple as naming the new objects or actions from the day before. It is generally better if various actions are performed with the new objects, and new actions are performed and described – such as, “We are peeling the pomegranate,” “I am crawling; you are rolling; he is bouncing”, etc.

Information Gap Activities

Information gap activities involve two GPs or groups of GPs on separate “teams”. The Nurturer might be on one team, or might be a team all by herself, or might stand on the sidelines and coach one or both teams of GPs. Each team has information that the other doesn’t have, and the teams are therefore forced to communicate with each other to solve a problem.

For example, each team might have a picture. The pictures are partly similar and partly different. The teams must discover the similarities and differences entirely through conversation, since they cannot see each other’s pictures. Often information gap activities involve setting up a barrier on a table, with the two teams on opposite sides of the barrier, so that neither team can see what the other team sees, which might be, for example, a particular arrangement of toys.

Continued Listening Activities

New vocabulary can be learned each day in listening comprehension activities. (Quick and Dirty Dozen style, TPR) We attempt to stick to a pattern of learning new material in comprehension at least one session prior to using it in production, although this doesn’t need to be an absolute rule. That allows those who want to, the opportunity to listen to their recordings in between sessions. This becomes less important as time goes on in Phase 1b, and GPs may want to experiment with learning new material for both comprehension and production in the same session, as they will certainly be doing by Phase 2.

How Outside Life Relates to Your “Supercharged Participation Sessions”

Early sessions with the Nurturer can be more accurately understood when they are viewed within the large picture of multi-year growing participation. We grow as participators by participating, and we ultimately won’t grow very far if host people don’t accept us into various social groupings and relationships which allow us the opportunity for rich participation. However, we are in the Catch-22 situation of being as yet unable to participate much, and therefore unable to increase our ability to participate!

In our life within the larger host community, some growth experiences will occur, but in fact, research[1] has shown that such experiences will tend to be sparse. It might take many weeks to engage in as much fruitful participation in the community as we can experience in just a few hours of language sessions. That is why we call language sessions “supercharged participation sessions” (SPS’s). In the SPS’s, the Nurturer nurtures the GP to increasingly richer levels of participation in her ethno-linguistic community life. (Therefore, we like to call her a Nurturer rather than a teacher.) A GP can participate in a growing relationship with her in the host language long before he can easily do this in the outside world.

Over time, however, more and more of the GP’s growing participation will be in the “outside world”. By Phase 6 (not discussed here) it is mainly or entirely out there in the host community. Social groups and relationships in which the GP is involved in the big host-cultural world will have become a very powerful basis for growth that is perhaps even more rapid than the growth experienced in the early SPS’s.

The GPs, in other words, will gradually move from depending primarily or entirely on SPS’s for their rapid growth, to depending primarily on normal life social groupings and relationships. It may be that even in Phase 6 there will be clear value in having one to five hours per week of ongoing SPS’s. It may also be that in Phase 1, there is real value to some interaction with host people apart from the SPS’s. The GPs may have a nanny for their children or a house helper or driver, etc. with whom they can only communicate, by hook or by crook, in the host language. In addition they may regularly frequent certain shops where host people keep trying to relate to them. They may have one-time relationships, for example with taxi drivers. Although these provide impoverished opportunities for participation when compared to SPS’s, they nevertheless may help to get the “participation ball” rolling better.

As the GP is out and about, he may notice certain recurring situations in which people have to communicate briefly. For example, when people want to get off the subway, and someone is in front of them, they say something. If people are waiting their turn at the post office and a new person comes in to join the queue (or waiting mob), that person says something. What are they saying?

Beside the GP noticing such situations, a thoughtful Nurturer will be able to think of a number of such situations. These can be used to design new Lexicarry-like pictures to represent people talking in such situations (see the discussion of our Lexicarry activity in the introduction to Phase 1a), or they can serve as the basis of spontaneous role-plays, in which GPs act out these situations as best they can, and the Nurturer helps them to improve. Such situations can be even made into long TPR activities (see introduction to Phase 1a): You are riding on the subway. Hold on to the hand-rail. The subway stops. Start toward the door. Someone is in your way. Tell them, “Are you getting off?” Go past them. The subway stops. Step through the doors.”

In ways such as these, the experiences in life outside the SPS’s can feed into the activities in the SPS’s. This adds variety to the SPS’s, and gives many GPs a sense of satisfaction that they are learning something “relevant.” Despite this feeling of relevance, in fact, in the big picture of growth in participation, such “relevant” activities are merely small drops in the bucket of the basic language, known to every four-year old, that the GP is trying to acquire, and so such activities shouldn’t crowd out the richer variety of learning that goes on in SPS’s.

The GPs can take stock at various points. “Now I have finished Phase 1A. What relationships, if any, are developing in my life outside of the SPS’s? Is that adequate?” In fact, throughout Phase 1 it is really fine if very little is developing in the way of relationships out of the SPS’s. Relating to the GPs is an extremely laborious process for host people at this stage. As it gets easier for them in later phases, the GP should be occasionally reassessing how much the relationships outside the SPS’s are increasing and deepening. For now, the GP can enjoy the “secure nest” he shares with a Nurturer who is highly committed to the laborious process of enabling him to participate and grow.

SECTION IV:  Phase 1B Sessions at-a-Glance

Session 1 at-a-Glance

Language Activity Description Materials to Gather
Activity 1: Phonetic practice (listening) Nurturer speaks words that are difficult to discriminate from other words, and the GPs attempt to point to the corresponding pictures. Note any ongoing sound discrimination problems and make relevant drawings. For example, if the GP has trouble hearing the difference between “bin” and “bean”, there should be a picture of a bin and a picture of a bean.
Activity 2: Lexicarry Continuation from Phase 1a
Activity 3: GP names someone’s body parts One GP becomes the human model, while another names all of the model’s body parts: This is his head, his hair… Bring a doll, or photos if you have no one to use as a ‘model’.
Activity 4 GPs show their family photos, telling the Nurturer who is who. Each GP brings his or her own family photos
Activity 5: major talking activity – Grand activation of speaking vocabulary with “climbing the ladder of success” (This is a pivotal activity, moving a large number of words from comprehension only to production as well, and initiating the process of struggling to put words together into phrases and sentences.)

This game needs to move along quickly. Set a time limit. Participants will be attempting to “talk” more spontaneously. They should be encouraged to quickly say what they feel most confident about.

Lay everything out on one end of the table. Divide the remainder of the table into four sections, marking it with string, or tags to form a “ladder”. Students stand around table and each, in turn, chooses an item, card, etc. from the table and attempts to say the word. If it is “close” (helper judges that!) they put it onto the first step. The aim is for the group to move as many objects, actions, etc. as possible from the big pile to the first section and then to move as many items as possible up the “ladder” to the other end of the table.

Objects may be moved forward when a  participant says something about an object in any section which is expanded from what was previously said about it.

E.g. One person says, “Dog” and puts the dog onto the 1st step; another person says, “Brown dog,” and moves the dog to the 2nd step. A third player might say “The brown dog is running,” (doing motion), and move the dog to the next step, etc. (These steps can happen randomly during the game.)

If player can say numbers, he/she can take 3 dogs, for example, on one turn.

1st round—1 item from pile, expand on 1 other

2nd round—2 items from pile, expand on 2 others

3rd round—3 items from  pile, expand on 3 others

Etc. For example, if it is clear to someone has said “b” when the person should have said “p”, that person would put the object(s) back on the table, and on the next turn, pronounce the word with “p”.

This activity can lead the GPs to speak a large portion of their three hundred vocabulary. Some people may become quite imaginative. (For example, one said, “The mouse is drinking milk from the cow” actually arranging the two toy animals appropriately so that the mouse’s mouth was touching the cow’s utter—it was a large mouse.)All objects, cards, pictures, etc.

Include the special set of action and object pictures for this activity.

You will need some string, yarn or twine to make 4 “rungs” to your ladder.Activity 6: Talk about actions from Session 4 of Phase 1aTalk about actions from Phase 1a, Session 4. In that activity (which you may have repeated briefly from time to time since), there were pictures of places, and pictures of men, women, boys, girls, who were walking, running, sitting, standing. The Nurturer would describe a situation, and the GPs would place the pictures to match the description.

This activity here is the same, except that the GPs now take the role of the Nurturer, describing situations while other GPs, or the Nurturer, arranges the of places, people doing actions


Session 2 at-a-Glance

Plan this one based on how Session 1 has gone (repeat, expand)

Language Activity Description Materials to Gather
Activity 1: Phonetic practice (listening)
Activity 2: Lexicarry
Activity 3: GPs name someone’s body parts GP take turns naming their own (my), others’ (your, our, their) body parts.
Activity 4: major talking activity – Grand activation of speaking vocabulary Continue with activity from previous session, using remaining objects. All of the objects and pictures used in earlier sessions are placed on the table, and the string/yarn/twine is used for the “ladder.”
Activity 5: Talk about actions from Session 4 activity 1 of Phase 1a Use the countryside scene, and GPs describe the situation while the Nurturer or other GPs arrange the pictures. Countryside scene

* A note about out of session time – note as you add in “talking activities” and have less “listening activities,” you also have less new recordings.  However, look ahead each day and see what activities you are going to be doing where you are trying to move words up your iceberg into “talking.”  Then go back to your recordings from Phase 1A and “refresh” those words in your iceberg by listening and doing those activities again.  For example, today we are going to do the countryside scene with feelings and nationalities, so I will want to go back and listen and do with  recordings from Phase 1A sessions 11, 13, and 14.


Session 3 at-a-Glance

Language Activity Description Materials to Gather
Activity 1: Phonetic practice (listening)
Activity 2: Lexicarry style Review pictures for power tools (See Activity 6, Session 11, Phase 1a.) Lexicarry-style pictures for power tools
Activity 3: arranging drawings in orders (Information gap) The Nurturer sits on one side of the barrier, and the GPs on the other. The task is for the Nurturer to rearrange her pictures to be in the same order as those of the GPs (without looking across the barrier!). The Nurturer will ask questions such as “In your first picture, are there two hills, or three?” The GPs try to answer in fairly complete sentences. The Nurturer goes through the picture positions, first, second, third, etc. until all of his pictures are arranged like GPs’ pictures. Then the barrier is removed and the two arrangements are compared.

Set up a barrier on the table (a brief case stood upright, for example). This is so that the people on either side of the barrier cannot see one another’s pictures. Arrange the pictures in four rows of four, on each side of the barrier, but ordered completely differently.Use set of 16 drawings with scenery (mountains, hills, river, house, lake, boy, girl, etc.) in resource packets or make your own similar set.  You need to have two sets of 16 pictures.Activity 4: (Dirty dozen)Since Session 1, little new vocabulary has been learned. The emphasis has been on getting vocabulary that the GPs comprehend into their spoken production. However, we mustn’t slack off for long. There is too much vocabulary needing to be learned to slow down after only three hundred.

For today’s activities, choose twenty more basic, everyday objects from around the house. Suggestions: some new foods, and many important objects from the bathroom, like toothbrushes nail clippers, toothpaste, soap, towel, handkerchief, blanket, thread, needle, pills, medicine, laundry items, cleaning supplies,. In situations where the material culture is radically different from that assumed here, appropriate adjustments will need to be made.20 objects or pictures of objects from around the house (food, bathroom objects, etc) If you are running out of ideas for “around the house” objects, visit the market, and go down the rows buying “one of everything.”record


Session 4 at-a-Glance

For those using this program mainly as a model for designing their own, we suggest that a regular session pattern may be helpful in giving a sense of structure and simplifying planning. In a typical session, new vocabulary can be learned in a comprehension activity, while the new vocabulary from the previous session are re-used in a production activity, which might be as simple as naming the new objects or actions from the day before (but it is generally better if various actions are performed with the new objects, and new actions are performed and described (“I am crawling; you are rolling; he is bouncing”, etc.).

Language Activity Description Materials to Gather
Activity 1: Phonetic practice (listening)
Activity 2: Lexicarry
Activity 3: Physical states and needs with yesterday’s objects. The Nurturer says, “I’m hungry.” “I’m thirsty” “I’m dirty” and “I’m tired.” “I’m sleepy.” “I’m sick”. Etc. The GPs respond by telling the Nurturer to take a relevant object from the table.

For example, if the Nurturer says, “I’m hungry”, the GP replies, “Take the egg.” (bread, beet, turnip, flour…) If “I’m dirty,” then, “Take the washcloth” (toothpaste, razor, perfume…), etc.

GPs should make a point of trying to say the words they feel are the weakest for them, rather than the ones they feel safest with.

Keep in mind that any activity may highlight certain grammatical forms. An advantage of an activity such as this current one is that the same type of form will be needed over and over. GPs may find that they start to notice forms more once they have needed them in speaking, and not just in listeningObjects from Session 3, Activity 3 plus some other known items including drinks, pillow, blanket, toy bed, chair, couch, some pills, some liquid medicine.Activity 4: power tools (TPR)The Nurturer asks any question which the GPs can easily answer: “What is this?” (pointing at ball). “What is your name”. “Where are you from?” The GP who is addressed then responds to the question.

Now comes the “TPR” part. The Nurturer tells the GP, “Please repeat,” or “Speak more slowly” (loudly, clearly), “I don’t understand.”

Any other appropriate commands from earlier power-tool exercises can be used. The “physical response” of the GP will then be to repeat, to speak more loudly, to speak more slowly, to speak more clearly, etc. Activity 5: geographical features (information gap)Last time the Nurturer had the main burden of speaking. In this session, using the same materials, the Nurturer will be part of a team with one or more GPs, while the other team consists of one or more GPs.

The sides alternate finding out which picture is in a given position (for example, “In your third picture, are there two trees?”). Thus the GPs are all doing what the Nurturer was doing the previous session. The goal is that both sides will arrange all of their pictures in the same order. Activity 6: Places around the neighbourhood (dirty dozen)Learn places around the neighbourhoodMake a fairly large drawing representing common places and things around the neighbourhood: A mosque, an apartment building, a bus-stop, a drug store, a market place, an electric shop, a light post, a cemetery, etc. Include at least twenty new items that the GPs do not know the names of. If possible, include as many as forty new items. (See resource packet.)

We will assume that there are that many, which means this activity will not be completed in this session.record


Session 5 at-a-Glance

Language Activity Description Materials to Gather
Activity 1: Lexicarry
Activity 2: focus on sounds Such activities can be worked in anywhere along the way. If the language being learned is one for which the relevant materials have not been previously developed, this will be about the time when such phonetic activities become practical (since before this, it may not have been clear to the GPs’ perceptions what the problem sounds were).

The Nurturer says the words, and GPs point at the drawing (or perform the action). This can be more challenging than it sounds!Drawings depicting words that sound similar to the GP. If it easy to find lots of pairs of words that differ by a single sound (as in English: pin, bin; pat, bat; pill, bill; punch, bunch) then the activity can concentrate on a single pair of sounds that GPs have a hard time discriminating. Otherwise, it might be good to just find a fair set (five or six or more) of words that sound quite similar, but may differ in various small ways.

This will prompt more fine-grained listening than the GPs may have been engaging in so far.

Some drawing can depict the meaning of each word (or a TPR action can be used).Activity 3: Physical states and needs and related objects, continuedThis is like the activity in Session 4, except that whereas the previous session’s activity had the Nurturer always describing his own states, he now describes his own states, or the states of the one he is talking to, or someone or ones else. “I am hungry.” “you are sleepy.” “We are tired.” “you are sick.” Respond verbally to the Nurturer as appropriate.

Statement: “I am sick.” Reply: “Take the pills.”;

Statement: “We are hungry.” Reply: “You guys take the beet.”

Statement: “You are hungry.” Reply: “Give me the egg.” etc.Objects from Session 4, Activity 3.Activity 4: (dirty dozen) places around neighbourhood, continuedInclude review of yesterday’s items, and add the new items.picture of the neighbourhood made for Session 4record


Session 6 at-a-Glance

Language Activity Description Materials to Gather
Activity 1: Lexicarry
Activity 2: focus on sound Repeat Session 5’s activity more briefly. Add some new words similar to those, if possible
Activity 3: Physical states and needs, step three This is like the activity in Session 5, except that now GPs take the role that the Nurturer took before, addressing one another and responding to one another. Objects can be combined using “and” and “or”. Objects from Session 4, Activity 3.
Activity 4: (TPR) Actions with small containers and other objects The Nurturer instructs a GP to open and close the jar and box. With the jar and box as well as other objects, add actions for dropping (on purpose), dropping (accidentally), pushing, pulling, turning, turning over, rolling, and perhaps earlier actions such as throwing. (Put a pillow or other padding on the learning table to break the falls!!) A small box with a lid. A jar. Other objects from recent or earlier days that are considered weak by the GPs.


Session 7 at-a-Glance

Language Activity Description Materials to Gather
Activity 1: Lexicarry
Activity 2: focus on sound For the next few days (or more), have the Nurturer take the list of all the words the GPs know (the word log), and start reading through it. Choose a specific sound to watch for, such as “the vowel sound in the word for ‘dog'”. As the Nurturer goes through the list, GPs raise their hand as they hear the particular “sound of the day”. If know one raises their hand at the appropriate point, the Nurturer stops and helps the GPs to focus on hearing that sound.
Activity 3: Dirty dozen Now that sessions devote time to talking activities, it is more of a challenge to keep the new vocabulary coming. This session’s dirty dozen is a hodgepodge of new vocabulary.

The collection of objects and actions don’t have to be all on the same theme. Since little new vocabulary came into Session 6, this session basically begins with a bunch of basic new objects and actions.

Learn expressions meaning “turn on” and “turn off” with the lamp and radio. Learn expressions meaning “peel”, and other vocabulary that relates to the objects that have been gathered.A lamp and a small radio, more foods (including things that can be peeled), remaining places and things around the room that are still unknown, few other basic objects, such as a piece of cloth, handbag, hat.record  Activity 4: Like Session 6 Activity, but with GPs performing the actions and describing themselves.Getting lots of “I-you-he” communication continues to be important. This activity not only allows use of the “I” forms, but reviews all of the vocabulary from the previous session. You can begin by doing all of the actions from Session 6 Activity 4. Needless to say, GPs should not be embarrassed at difficulties recalling the words. The Nurturer is sitting right there to provide reminders. It is not at all important that every word be well-mastered—only that it make a lasting impression so that when it comes up again it will feel more familiar.

In this activity, each GP can move from describing what he himself is doing (“I”) to describing what another is doing (“he”) to describing what the person she is talking to is doing (“you”).

Other options include activities which the GPs are carrying out in digital photos (“In this picture, I am washing dishes and you are talking.”) and activities in which GPs perform puppet conversations. Activity 5: Body parts-possessorsExtends Activity 2 from Sessions 1-2. Again one GP is a human model. Another GP names all of the model’s body parts as well as his own: This is his head, this is my head, this is my nose, this is your nose, etc. (using all personal pronouns).


Session 8 at-a-Glance

The activities of this session may need to be stretched over two sessions in some cases, if there turns out to be too much new material for a single session.

Language Activity Description Materials to Gather
Activity 1: Phonetic practice (listening)
Activity 2: Lexicarry
Activity 3: Repeating Session 7’s dirty dozen The time constraints may be making it difficult to get enough experience with new vocabulary each day. It may be a good idea to very quickly repeat a vocabulary learning activity from the day before.
Activity 4: (Information Gap) Cutting out the faces GPs on one side of a barrier (with the Nurturer watching them) cut out faces as the Nurturer describes what they are doing. (“Mary is cutting out the surprised girl.”)The other side can hear, but cannot see, and attempts to copy the actions carried out by those on the first side, based on understanding the Nurturer’s descriptions of those actions.

At some point, GPs themselves begin to describe what GPs are doing as GPs cut out the different faces: “I am cutting out the happy man” etc.

GPs can describe themselves after hearing the Nurturer describe them, and then the opposing side can tell them what GPs are doing, and do the same action themselves, describing what GPs are doing as GPs do it. For example, the Nurturer says: “He is cutting out the sad man”. GP: “I am cutting out the sad man.” GP on opposing side: “You are cutting out the sad man.” “Now we are cutting out the sad man.”Use the set of nationalities and feelings pictures in your resource packet.  Also use your town scene and countryside scene.  You will need two sets.  We recommend you make each set on a different colour of paper. A barrier is again needed.

[see resource packet]

[Note that if you have a set that has already been used, you won’t be able to do the cutting out activity but will need to go on to the next activity.]Activity 5: Combining people with emotions with places in the townAfter cutting out each face, a GP on one side places it somewhere in the town. The Nurturer describes where GP is placing each face. After the Nurturer has said what GPs are doing, GPs say what they are doing. In the case of a language such as Kazakh, the GPs may notice a new peculiarity in the noun endings. They shouldn’t let this bother them. It will come back!

Next, GPs on the opposing side (who cannot see) do what GPs understood that the first GPs did, describing what GPs are doing as GPs do it.

At every point, GPs have the immediate reminder from the Nurturer before needing to describe the action themselves: “I am putting the sleepy man in front of the drugstore”.

This is far from simple parroting; the sentences can be quite lengthy, challenging GPs to reassemble them “He is putting the sad man in front of the door of the school.” If there is only one GP, the Nurturer simply takes one part herself, and the single GP responds each time.sameActivity 6: …and in the countrysideSame as the previous one, but using the landscape rather than the town scene. Hopefully the dynamic of lengthy negotiations of meanings (GPs trying to say challenging things, getting stuck, using communication strategies, etc.) will soon be taking off, if it hasn’t already.sameActivity 7: Scene descriptionThis pulls together a lot of the steadily strengthening vocabulary. The faces are arranged all around the landscape. The Nurturer describes their location and the description is recorded (best if videotaped or accompanied by a digital photo) for further listening.: “The sad man is on top of the middle mountain”, etc.samerecordRecord this activity above immediately.


Session 9 at-a-Glance

New Phonetics Activity, Word Dictation

If most of the sound contrasts are becoming relatively distinguishable to you, and if the writing system has a relatively close relationship of sounds to letters, then you might start a daily “spelling” activity: The Nurturer takes the list of all the words that have been learned to date (the word log), and dictates five or ten of them to you. Attempt to write them out based on the pronunciation. This is a very brief and potentially fruitful activity over several weeks to help you to tune up more and more accurately in your hearing of the sounds of the language.

This may run contrary to most your experience, going from sound to spelling rather than from spelling to pronunciation. It has the advantage of encouraging you to hear the sound distinctions. (Some GPs believe you learn to pronounce sound distinctions that you never learn to hear.) In many cases, it is not a good idea to begin writing much before this, since it is rare that spelling has a simple relationship to pronunciation, and GPs may begin “pronouncing the spellings” rather than pronouncing words the way they sound.

Language Activity Description Materials to Gather
Activity 1: Phonetic practice (listening) Continue with sound discrimination activities. If the GPs feel ready, and it is appropriate in the language they are learning, they can begin word dictation. If you don’t begin this now (assuming it is appropriate) begin it by Session 17.
Activity 2: Lexicarry
Activity 3: info gap using town scenes: This activity builds on Session 8. The point is for the GPs to be increasingly doing the talking. The Nurturer is on one team. A GP describe where he is placing the people and the other side clarifies and repeats. The Nurturer supports them in their efforts to talk.

Occasionally simple words related to the interaction are simply learned as needed. For example, if the Nurturer keeps getting ahead of a GP (saying things the GP is attempting to say before he has the chance to finish), it is a good opportunity for the GPs to learn to say “wait”. Such direct learning of items that are not yet in the GP’s comprehension ability is not strongly encouraged, but a small amount of this sort of learning is natural, and even inevitable.Two identical town scenes. Picture of faces depicting emotions and nationalitiesActivity 4:The purpose of this activity is to fill in many question words that have not yet been learned. The people are placed here-and-there in the Town scene and country scene. The Nurturer can ask questions using who (Who is by the barber shop?); whom (Whom is the angry boy chasing?); what (As subject: What is on the roof? As object: What is this man holding?) why (Why is the sad man by the café? Sample answer: He is hungry.); whose (Whose mother is sad?), what kind of (What kind of girl is by the lake? Sample answer: A frightened girl What kind of car is this? Sample answer: A red car.); other possibilities: to whom, in what, with whom, for whom.Town scene; country scene; faces and stick-figures (or triangle people) depicting emotions and nationalities.record  Activity 5:

Repetition from Session 8If there is extra time, some continuation or repetition of Session 8 may be helpful.


Session 10 at-a-Glance

Language Activity Description Materials to Gather
Activity 1: Phonetic practice (listening) focus on sounds
Activity 2: Lexicarry
Activity 3: (dirty dozen style) descriptions of books Learn the descriptions of all the books (hard, easy, old, new, etc.) dirty-dozen style. (Books provide the opportunity to use an amazing variety of adjectives, including many abstract ones such as interesting, about politics, etc.) Books on the learning table. A difficult book, an easy book, a thick book, a thin book, an old book, a new book, an interesting book, a funny book, a book about a monkey, a book about dogs, a cheap book, an expensive book etc. If you want, you can include particular types of books, such as novel, dictionary, textbook, notebook, diary.
Activity 4: Dirty dozen—places on books Learn expressions such as far edge, near edge, right edge, left edge, right side of, left side of, centre, inside, etc. a book
Activity 5 : (dirty dozen) Places on different books Learn to place some objects in different locations on the books. The objects can mainly be review ones, with two or three new ones thrown in. “Put the rooster on the far edge of the old book.” “Put the baby between the funny book and the nice book.” Include instructions involving expressions for “the same book” and “a different book”. Objects, and the Books on the learning table.
Activity 6: If…then Continue as in activity 4, but placing conditions on the actions: “If the rooster is on the far edge of the old book, put it between the old book and the funny book.” Same as above
Activity 7: If…then with you and me Continue as in activity 5, except now the conditions can also relate to the GPs and the Nurturer. “If you are wearing a red shirt, then put the rooster in front of the difficult book.” “If I am sitting between the board and the table, then put the goat in the middle of my book.” This construction might be complex, and GPs should be concerned with understanding adequately to carry out the instructions, not with mastery.


Session 11 at-a-Glance

Input-Oriented Grammar-Focused Activities

We noted in Phase 1a that this type of activity cannot be prescribed identically for all languages. It is mentioned here because during this “here-and-now two-way communication stage”, areas of grammar will become apparent that might benefit from special attention.

For example, in Kazakh it was noticed that nouns like “table” had a different form when the meaning was “on the table”. That was easy enough, since it is not to hard to notice a different form of a word that one already knows well. However, it turned out that when something is on somebody’s table, the form is different still. This amount of detail can remain very fuzzy without special attention. Thus the following activity was carried out.

In the current stage, the GPs are trying to develop the ability to understand and talk about all of the kinds of things that can be understood and talked about in the “here-and-now”. Locations and possession are obvious examples. There is no pressure to deal with other aspects of grammar such as those that occur in stories or in academic discourse.

As we go from 150 to 600 vocabulary, there will be ample time to develop ability to understand and use the necessary forms, since the pace of new vocabulary learning has slowed somewhat, so that the second three hundred words are taking more days to learn than the first three hundred.

Grammar-highlighting activities can be included from time to time. In fact, when included in earlier sessions, they were not always identified as such. For example, activities dealing with body parts and various possessors belonged to this category.

During the development of materials for a specific language, a linguistic consultant, or someone with some knowledge of the grammar of the language could help to identify areas where such grammar focused activities might be helpful.

Language Activity Description Materials to Gather
Activity 1: Phonetic practice (listening) Do some activity such as choosing among pictures for words that sound similar, or listening to the wordlist watching for specific sounds. This should be continued briefly at the beginning of each session.
Activity 2: Lexicarry .
Activity 3: Grammar focused activity Begin with the Nurturer asking “Where is the book? Where is his book? Where is the glass? Where is her glass, etc. Then a GP places an additional small object at each location and asks, e.g., “Where is the sheep”. Depending on where the sheep is, the Nurturer responds either “On the book” meaning the book on the learning table, or “on his/her book”, meaning the book that one of the GPs has in their lap. After a time, the Nurturer and GP trade roles, so that the Nurturer asks, “Where is the goat?” etc. and the GPs answer accordingly. Two of various objects (e.g., book, glass, toy furniture) that can serve as locations. One GP holds one of the objects in his lap, and the other one of each object is placed on the learning table. Now some additional objects, say, toy animals, are placed on each of these first objects.
Activity 4 : Back to the books Arrange the books as in the Activity 4 of Session 10. Arrange the objects around on the books.

The GPs attempt to describe the arrangements of the objects on the books using all of the language of the previous session and whatever else they are able to use that is relevant. Activity 5 : Dirty dozen: shapes and lengthsThe Nurturer says words like crooked, straight, curved, long, short, tall, short, high, low, round, square, triangle, down, up, far, close and the GPs respond by pointing.Blackboard or paper, with lines on it, objects that can be tall and short (e.g., trees). See resource packet.record


Session 12 at-a-Glance

Language Activity Description Materials to Gather
Activity 1: Phonetic practice (listening) See session 11.
Activity 2: Lexicarry
Activity 3: Info gap drawing The Nurturer describes as a GP draws. One GP starts drawing lines, shapes, etc. from Session 11, Activity 5. In addition, any other objects (e.g., mountains) from earlier sessions can be drawn. The GP will locate things at various places on the slate or paper. The Nurturer describes what the GP has drawn and where it is located. “He is drawing a small crooked line at the centre bottom edge of the slate.” Etc. The other GPs cannot see the first GP’s slate, and on their own slates, the try to replicate what the first GP has drawn based on the Nurturer’s descriptions. They are free to ask for repetitions and clarifications, and check their ideas (all in the target language). The Nurturer cannot yet see what the others are drawing. Each GP has a small whiteboard, slate or piece of paper (it is better if it is a surface that can be rapidly erased and revised.)
record Record a description of the final drawing.
Activity 4 : Info gap drawing The Nurturer verbally corrects the new drawings. Now the ones who were drawing what the Nurturer described show her their drawings. She sees mistakes they have made, and tells them (in the host language!) how to revise their drawings. “The flower isn’t near the tall man’s foot–it is on the tall man’s foot”. Etc When they have made all of the corrections, they can compare their drawings with the original.
Activity 5 : quantities of small objects The Nurturer asks the GPs to show her a few, many, most, all, more, less, and the final match. Also include expression for one of them, two of them, some, a little, any, each, every, someone, everyone, no-one, nothing. (In reference to people or mass nouns different terms might be used (a little rice or flour, a few matches). Choose a small object that comes in quantities, such as matches. Place a bunch of them on the learning table. You can use a number of dolls to represent people, and some substances such as water (in glasses), flour and rice (on plates).
Activity 6 : Wanting things in the town The Nurturer looks around the diagram for ideas of things she can “want”. Then she says things such as “I want a book”. The GPs tell her where to go in the town. familiar drawing of town
Activity 7: Map: Who lives where, etc This is a return to Session 13 activities of Phase 1a. At that time, the map activity was done by listening and responding nonverbally. Today it is turned into a production activity.
Activity : Men from various countries are placed around in different countries on the map. The women are placed along the bottom. The Nurturer asks “Who lives in Canada?” The GPs take turns pointing to the appropriate drawings: “He is from Canada. He lives in China. He knows English and he is learning Kazakh.” Other forms of questions the Nurturer uses are: “Who lives in India?” “Where does the Canadian live?” Each time the GP attempts to answer by saying something about where the person lives, is from, what language he knows, and what language he is learning. Eventually the Nurturer also asks, “Who wants to go to South America?” GP responds by pointing to the woman whose husband is in the place named. The Nurturer can ask Why? The GP can answer, “Because her husband lives in South America. He is from Russia. He knows Russian and he is learning Spanish.” Etc., etc.

As a variation on this, The Nurturer can ask GPs, “Where do you live?” Each GP holds a “face” card and on his or her turn places it on the map and tells where he lives, and tells other facts about himself. When asked “Who wants to go to ______?” the person holding that card must say, “I do,” and then tell other things about themselves and why they want to go to ________.

GPs should not get frustrated over the fact that they keep needing prompting and help from the Nurturer to say these things that they previously only responded to nonverbally. It will probably be necessary to repeat this activity as well, in the next session.Map and drawings of people representing different nationalities.record


Session 13 at-a-Glance

Remember to record each activity.

Language Activity Description Materials to Gather
Activity 1: Phonetic practice (listening) See Session 11.
Activity 2: Lexicarry
Activity 3: repeat map activity from Session 12 The GPs may have found that the last activity of the previous session stretched them to the limit. Rather than only repeating the activity from before, this session allows the opportunity to add two or three new expression forms such as “He was born in…”, “He grew up in …” Also, the drawings of people can be placed in a partially different set of countries, continuing to emphasize the home countries of the GPs and important countries in the geographical region of the target language. Same as Session 12, Activity 7.
Activity 4: Rooms in the house or building (dirty dozen) Learn the words for living room, bedroom, kitchen, entry way, bathroom, stairs, outdoors, indoors, etc. Once the GPs can point correctly to all of the places, they can walk or run to them according to the Nurturer’s instructions. If possible, the rooms of the house where the language sessions are held, or in the building where it is held if it is not a house (perhaps rooms can be designated, as bedroom etc. and given some distinguishing object such as a blanket in the bedroom, a pot in the kitchen, etc.). Alternatively a picture of the rooms of a house could be used, or artefacts (blanket, pot, etc.) could be placed around a single room (or pictures at various spots on the walls of a single room). But it is best to have the session in an actual house with actual rooms.
record A video going from place to place is useful for strengthening the initial learning of the session. An audio recording is a reasonable substitute if the places are gone through in a predictable sequence.
Activity 5: Repeat quantities with town and country drawings The purpose is to strengthen vocabulary for quantities, etc. from Session 12.

The Nurturer asks the GPs to show her “many windows, a little bit of grass, a lot of buildings, where there are more people and where there are less, a few trees, etc. In this way the GPs can strengthen the new words from the previous session, and also many of the words associated with the two drawings. As always, two or three new words might be thrown into the activity (e.g. “the end of the lake; the beginning of the sidewalk”).Lay the drawings of the town and the countryside side by side on the learning table. Alternatively, the GPs could use pictures from books or magazines that have many of these details.record  Activity 6: Where does one go to …Build on Session 12.

The Nurturer asks, “Where does one go to…” e.g., buy carrots, buy used clothing, play, pray… GPs simply respond by saying where one goes.Drawing of townrecord


Session 14 at-a-Glance

Remember to record each activity.

Language Activity Description Materials to Gather
Activity 1: Phonetic practice (listening) Do some activity such as choosing among pictures for words that sound similar, or listening to the wordlist watching for specific sounds. This should be continued briefly at the beginning of each session.
Activity 2: Lexicarry
Activity 3: Things people need in the town Builds on Session 13 and Session 12. Tell each other things that the people don’t have, “The sad man doesn’t have any toys.” Tell each other where to go.

Of course, the GPs will get stuck at many points in the activity, and the Nurturer will help them along in their efforts to speak.

Once things are going more smoothly, the responses can be extended by adding, “because he doesn’t have any X.” The exchanges now run as follows. Statement: “The happy man doesn’t have any carrots.” Reply: “The happy man needs to go to the vegetable section of the bazaar, because he doesn’t have any carrots.”faces depicting emotions, drawing of townActivity 4: (dirty dozen) Water, water everywhereLearn words for “full, empty, half full, wet (piece of paper and/or cloth), dry (piece of paper and/or cloth), cold, hot, dripping, splashing, drips, ice, melting, warm, boiling, cool, spill, flow (run), puddle, etc. Refresh: drink, pourPitcher of water. Three glasses (one full, one empty, one half full) other containers (e.g., a bowl, pot). Some ice. One container has ice-water. More ice is sitting on a plate. Cups of hot water, warm water.record


Session 15 at-a-Glance

Remember to record a sample of each activity.

Language Activity Description Materials to Gather
Activity 1: Phonetic practice (listening) Do some activity such as choosing among pictures for words that sound similar, or listening to the wordlist watching for specific sounds. This should be continued briefly at the beginning of each session.
Activity 2: Lexicarry Go back to some strips that are familiar. The Nurturer says why people are saying different things: “He is saying ‘good morning’ because it is morning.” “He is saying, ‘Who is thinking about you?” because he sneezed.”
Activity 3 : Water for the thirsty (and the dirty) One GP makes statements to another such as “The woman is thirsty” (or not thirsty) and the other responds, “Give her the half glass of water.” “The woman is very thirsty.”—”Give her the full glass of water.” “The man is dirty.”—”Give him a lot of water/all the water.” You should come up with creative variations. As many words as possible from Session 14, Activity 4, should be included. “The girl is cold. The boy is hot.” (The girl might be given hot water, and the boy cold water, or ice.) Pitcher, empty glass, half-full glass, full glass. Dolls (man, woman, boy, girl)
Activity 4: Water for the thirsty (and the dirty); if…then You can also use more complicated questions, such as, “If the man is very thirsty, then give him the full glass. He needs a lot of water.”

In addition to talking about the dolls, GPs can talk about themselves and the other GPs, “You are thirsty.” Reply “If I am thirsty then give me the full glass from the table.” GPs might be assigned imaginary kinship relationships: “If mom is not thirsty, then give her the empty glass.”

If the form of sentences meaning “If…then…” is too overwhelming, then this form can be readily abandoned for the time being. It is an advanced kind of language in general, but if it is simple, it can be useful, even early on. Including it in this activity is intended to lead to exposure and awareness, not mastery.SameActivity 5 : doll and waterTake a single doll and continue the previous activity, including some of the other water-related concepts: The water is dripping on him; splashing on her; there are drops on her. These actions can be demonstrated by the Nurturer or a GP, and then the appropriate statement can be made, “She needs a towel; Give him a towel.”

The GPs can also describe their own actions as they perform them in this activity and many others. There is a great need for GPs to talk about themselves, and others (first, second and third person, singular, plural, etc.) in the here and now context. record  Activity 6 : (Dirty dozen) names of the days of the weekIn cultures which have experienced only limited aspects of world culture, there may not be names for days of the week. This will be rare. Use TPR with a calendar to learn days of the week.  If names of the days of the week are “cognate” [loaned from a language you are familiar with], you may add in words like “yesterday”, “today” and “tomorrow.”A local calendarrecord  Activity 7: Weather and daysThe Nurturer makes statements such as “On Tuesday it will be cold”. Point at the day on the calendar, and at the appropriate drawing.A local calendar, drawings depicting a hot day, warm day, cool day and cold day.record  Activity 8 : numbers 11-20If the numbers 11-20 are not obviously related to 1-10, then learn them now, using TPR first. For example, the Nurturer can call out numbers and the GPs write them outSomething to write on, such as paper or a slaterecord


Session 16 at-a-Glance

Pushing The Envelope Of The Rate Of Learning

We have recently introduced “If…then”, and will soon throw in “able to, not able to”. In some languages the necessary forms of sentences will seem simple. In others–not so. Remember that language learning is a gradual process. Mastery is not expected the moment that something is introduced. All that is aimed for initially is initial awareness. We have attempted to introduce new sentence patterns in comprehension activities before including them in speaking activities. In some cases their use in speaking activities may be too difficult for GPs at this time. However, awareness will have been raised. Meanwhile, “mastery” improves in other areas. If a GP attempts to say, “The happy man cannot see the sad man because between them is a wall”, even though the GP struggles with parts of the sentence, other parts might be much easier. Progress happens. Perfection is not the starting point.

Language Activity Description Materials to Gather
Activity 1: Phonetic practice (listening) Do some activity such as choosing among pictures for words that sound similar, or listening to the wordlist watching for specific sounds. This should be continued briefly at the beginning of each session.
Activity 2: Lexicarry
Activity 3: seeing and hearing or not; able to; not able to The GPs learn the words for “wall/fence”, “together” and “separate” “same (side)” if they have not yet done so. The Nurturer asks, “Can the sad person see the crying person?” If they are on the same side of the wall, the answer is “Yes. Because they are on the same side of the wall.” If on opposite sides, “No, because there is a wall between them.” “Can the hungry man hear the thirsty man?” “No. Because they are far apart.” “Is the tired man speaking to the sleepy man?” “Yes. They are together /on the same side of the wall.” “No. They are apart/ separated”. Other recent vocabulary that may be applicable: Inside the wall, outside the wall. The Nurturer can reply to the GPs’ responses with a more complete statement, “No. They cannot see each other because there is a wall between them.”

Hopefully, the GPs clearly understand that they often cannot easily say the things they are attempting. The Nurturer supports them in their efforts. (Remember what was said about initial awareness—not initial mastery.)a set of drawings faces depicting emotions; a small “wall” made from a folded sheet of paper. The faces are arranged as follows. Some of the people are on each side of the wall. They are grouped in pairs. Some pairs are near the wall, and some are far from it.

If the GPs are getting their fill of emotions, other toy animals and dolls can be used.record  Activity 4: (dirty dozen) higher numbersLearn 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100, and then 200, 300, 350 etc. Add a thousand, and perhaps a million.Money works well for this activity (especially if the local currency commonly is spent in units in the hundreds or thousands). Otherwise, slips of papers with the numbers printed on them (or tally marks grouped by fives) will do.record  Activity 5: buying and selling books- a minimal role-playThe Nurturer says such things as, “Suzy. Buy an easy book from John and pay 5 pesos”. “John, sell the book about horses to Suzy for 100 pesos”. “Pay him 100 pesos”. This can be primarily a comprehension activity.The old, new, thick, thin, difficult, easy, etc. books, book about the monkey, etc. (Optional money)record


Session 17 at-a-Glance

Remember to record each activity.

Language Activity Description Materials to Gather
Activity 1: Phonetic practice (listening) Begin word dictation by this point, if the writing system is “phonetic” and not overly complicated. If it is complicated, for example, Arabic-based, a day might be devoted to learning the letters and corresponding sounds in a Dirty-Dozen style activity, followed by lots of word-dictation activities. This can run into glitches if there are some sounds that are represented by more than one orthographic symbol, but that will just be part of the learning process.
Activity 2: Lexicarry
Activity 3: simple here-and-now descriptions actions This harks back to Session 1 of Phase 1a.

GPs all engage in a different activity (in some cases with two doing the same activity). One GP addresses another, describing all that is going on: “We are walking, you are standing, and you guys are lying down.” Then the GPs shuffle, adopting different combinations of activities and people, and the GP again describes the situation. All GPs take a few turns. Talking about “you” and “me” is important from the earliest stages! Activity 4: Paths of movement, Over, under, around, throughLearn the expressions for paths of movement. These can be given in the form of commands, to which the GPs respond by tracing the path with their finger through, under, over, around, past, away from, toward, out of, into.Drawing of a simple building with passages through, under, and lines depicting moment through, over, under, around, past, away from, toward.record  Activity 5: Driving through a building, etc.Continue the previous activity with the car going through, under, etc. the “building”.A toy car. A simple imaginary “building” made from a small cardboard box with two open ends.record  Activity 6: Making it personalThe GPs now perform the actions and describe what they are doing.  This represents a departure from the earlier pattern where new vocabulary is not produced in speech until a later session than the one when it was introduced in comprehension. This can be considered an experiment. If the GPs are now finding it fairly easy to move to the talking stage with new vocabulary right away, then this practice can be continued. We are assuming that they are hearing the sounds more and more accurately by now. Activity 7: (dirty dozen) Sending, taking, etc.Learn: Take, bring, lead, send, follow.

The places in the house can be used as destinations. “Take the plant to the bedroom. Lead John to the window. Send Bill through the door; around the table; over the stool”

When the command is to “send”, then the GP being addressed by the Nurturer needs to tell the person he is sending, where to go.

The GPs describe what they are doing as they perform the actions.There are, no doubt, a number of objects that some GPs still know fairly weakly. The GPs can each choose two or three objects for this activity.record  Activity 8: Role-playMore buying & selling. Like session 16, adding “How much is it?” Review expensive, cheap. The Nurturer says, for example, “Suzy, buy something from John.” Suzy tells John what she wants, describing the object (colour, size, interesting, new) and asks John, “How much is it?” (which has been heard in the Lexicarry activity)? John shows her the object, describing it, and states the price. Suzy may comment on the price and buy or not buy the object. (It might be easy to learn expressions like very expensive and too expensive at this point.)books, a few other objects


Session 18 at-a-Glance

Remember to record each activity.

Language Activity Description Materials to Gather
Activity 1: Phonetic practice (listening)
Activity 2: Lexicarry The GPs are familiar with what characters are saying in many Lexicarry strips. If the language makes a distinction between direct discourse, “He is saying, ‘I am sorry’.” and indirect discourse, “He is saying that he is sorry.” the Nurturer can find various strips where he can ask, “Who is saying that X?” using indirect discourse, and the GP can respond by pointing. If this is confusing drop it. Remember that such activities are for initial awareness, not mastery.
Activity 3: water again (Warm-up activity) Do things with the water and describe what is happening. “The water is dripping from the screwdriver.” etc. Take turns, trying to strengthen as much of the water vocabulary as possible. pot of water. Some other objects
Activity 4: What people like in the town Decide in advance which places or things different GPs (or GP and the Nurturer) like and dislike, which ones everyone likes, and no-one likes. Then the Nurturer begins asking about things GPs like or dislike, “What does John like? What do I like? What do we all like? What does no-one like?” Answers include, “I like to go to the restaurant. John doesn’t like milk. We all like to eat carrots.” Etc. Again, kinship roles can be included, “What does papa like?” etc. Drawing of the town
Activity 5: more basic actions, commands (TPR) Learn 10-15 more commands for actions: work, rest, dig, build, make, sew, chop (with axe), use, sweep, pound (with hammer), fix, plant. A word meaning “something” can be frequently used for the object, “Plant something, chop something, use something.” Some local tools: hammer, saw, knife, screw driver, axe, scissors, needle, shovel, spoon, broom.


Session 19 at-a-Glance

Remember to record each activity.

Language Activity Description Materials to Gather
Activity 1: Phonetic practice (listening)
Activity 2: Lexicarry
Activity 3: Warm-up Activity GPs comment about things they can see and hear in the room, through the window or door, etc.
Activity 4: review previous sessions’ actions (Here-and-now) Perform one of the actions from session 18, Activity 5, and the GP to the right tells the GP performing the action what he or she is doing. “you are digging.”
Activity 5: More basic human experiences (TPR) Cough, sneeze, breath in, breath out, wink, spit, blow your nose, smile, frown, wink, kiss somebody, hug somebody.
Activity 6: Maybe they can: seeing and hearing around the town The Nurturer asks if the GPs can see each other. They answer with yes, no or maybe, and justify their answers, as in Activity 3 of Session 16. Now the explanations are more complicated: “The sad person can’t hear the happy person, because the sad person is standing by the bazaar, and the happy person is near the mosque. Between the mosque and the bazaar are many stores. The sad person and the happy person are far from each other.” Town drawing; faces with emotions. Place the faces in various spots around the town


Session 20 at-a-Glance

Combining Two Sessions Worth Of Actions

GPs often need a lot of experience with actions. At this point, there may be a need for a lot of basic actions for awhile yet, but we want to avoid barely getting exposed to them and then leaving them. Session 18 introduced some actions that describe activities, while the actions in session 19 are mostly in the nature of brief events. We take advantage of that by staging the events before or after the activities. In fact, these ideas are not commonly expressed until the GP is at the stage of telling stories. Still, there is nothing wrong with gaining familiarity with them, as they are likely to be encountered fairly often in speech that the GP hears.

Remember to record each activity.

Language Activity Description Materials to Gather
Activity 1: Phonetic practice (listening)
Activity 2: Lexicarry Once expressions have become familiar for all of the Lexicarry cartoon bubbles, the Nurturer can begin narrating the Lexicarry strips as simple stories, integrating what the characters said into the stories. GPs should be warned not to get hung up on mastering every detail of what they hear. Rather, they should attempt to follow the overall gist of each little story.

This activity can be spread over several days. recordThis makes a great video-recording. Activity 3: after this, do that (TPR)The Nurturer gives two-action commands, always in the form: After you do X, do Y, where X is drawn from the first list, and Y from the second list. “After you rest, sneeze. After you fix something, breath out.” etc.The Nurturer should make two lists of actions [or she can use two stacks of action picture cards from the resource kit]: one from Session 18, and one from Session 19. Other appropriate earlier actions–those referring to activities–can be added to the first list, and other earlier actions referring to brief events can be added to the second list. These should mainly be actions that the GPs feel they still know only weakly and that need to be strengthened.record  Activity 4: after this, do that (GPs talk)As in activity 3, but the GPs now do the talking (to one another) rather than the Nurturer. If they are having trouble with the actions, they may need to do an activity such as Activity 4 of session 19 (here and now descriptions of one another’s actions.) Activity 5: before this, do that (TPR)Like 3 and 4, except that now the command goes, “Before you do X, do Y.” Before you work, sneeze”. etc. record  Activity 6: before or after (TPR)Now the Nurturer mixes the two types of commands (After doing X, do Y. Before doing X, do Y). This forces relatively deep processing of the actions, which may be helpful to learning. record  Activity 7: while doing, doIf there is time left, another form, “While you are doing X, do Y” can be added to the mix.

If this session is starting to feel overwhelming to GPs, they should be reminded of the goal of initial awareness. record  Activity 8: Filling out the basic set of names of outside objects. (dirty dozen)As we approach the 600 word mark, we want to ensure that the GPs have a healthy set of vocabulary for the most basic objects and actions of everyday life. At this point, it may be easier to come up with new actions than new basic objects, but it might be a strain to them to learn only actions. Try to learn at least ten basic objects.A book or magazine with pictures of outdoor scenes. Find one or two relatively rich pictures with various objects that have not yet been learned.

Alternatively, the Nurturer and GPs can go outside and find a dozen objects, substances, place, activities, etc. that have not yet been learned.record


Session 21 at-a-Glance

Plan this one yourself. To be realistic, we allow at least one of the forty sessions to be of the “let’s-try-that-again” variety. It may not happen at this exact point. It may happen more than once. If it is never necessary, then chalk up a free session.

New Activity Re-Run, Review, Filling In Gaps!

Occasionally a session will be a disaster. Just relax and carry on the next day. If lesson 20 basically needed to be redone, it would take less time on the second attempt than on the first attempt. The extra time might be filled out by extra Lexicarry activities, phonetic activities, or reviewing earlier activities involving items that need strengthening. It may also be a relief once in awhile to not have to cope with a new set of vocabulary.

Earlier it was easier to include most earlier vocabulary in later activities with new vocabulary. However, now the vocabulary is nearing 600 words, and it might soon be necessary to have a daily brief activity that is basically a quick repetition of an earlier activity if it is felt feel the vocabulary of that earlier activity is still weak. The more of these “brief activities” there come to be, the less time there is for the main activities, so make sure that each session also includes one main activity involving talking, and one for learning at least ten new vocabulary.

Remember to record each activity.

Language Activity Description Materials to Gather
Activity 1: Phonetic practice (listening)
Activity 2: Lexicarry
Activity 3: Catching up on Session 20
Activity 4: Catching up on Session 20
Activity 5: Note: This is an example of an input oriented grammar-highlighting activity that was relevant to Kazakh. It is presented here as an example only.

(Of course for those using these session plans in learning Kazakh, this is a great activity!)

Arrange a row of individual animals, one of each (dog, cat, chicken…) and a parallel row of corresponding animals in groups (dogs, cats, chickens…). Cut Post-it® notes into thin strips so that they can be stuck to individual animals, or larger strips that can be stuck onto groups of animals.

The Nurturer gives “instructions” which rely on the forms of the nouns or noun phrases, without actions to give added clues. If the Nurturer says, “Dog”, the GPs simply indicate where the dog is, or if “dogs” where the group of dogs is. If the Nurturer says “on the dog” (or “dogs”) the Nurturer indicates where the appropriate Post-it note is located. If she says “to the dogs” (or “onto the dogs”) a new Post-it note is attached to the dogs or simply given to them. If she says, “From the horses” a Post-it note is taken from the horses. Forms for the simple name of the animal, along with forms which translate into English as to, from, with, and on the animals can be used, as well as possessive forms (the cow’s paper) and also object forms (the GPs respond by stroking the appropriate animal or animals). In this activity all case and number forms were combined. The GPs can eventually take the Nurturer’s role in giving the “instructions” to the Nurturer or to one another.A large collection of toy animals, with several of each animal.record


Session 22 at-a-Glance

If someone is simply using these session plans as a sample, but largely preparing their own sessions, they may note the following: As the GPs know more and more, they are getting more flexible. You may have moved into a fixed pattern of certain activities every day, e.g., 1) Phonetic practice (listening); 2) Lexicarry, 3) Here-and-now with yesterdays actions; 4) major talking activity; 5) Major listening activity for new vocabulary learning. It is important to keep activities such as 1)-3) relatively brief.

Return to Earlier Topics; Synonyms

Working toward 600 words, and even going on to 900 words, we are trying to learn the most basic vocabulary for the most common experiences of everyday life. Our activities generally assume that there is just one word for each concept. It might even be difficult to learn synonyms or near-synonyms in the same activity.

However, two synonyms might both be basic vocabulary. For example, in our emotion words, for English, both “sad” and “unhappy” are basic items. Therefore, once the word “sad” is well-known to the GPs, activities with emotions words might begin to use “unhappy” as the designation of the sad person. (The exact nuances will be sorted out with growing experience with the words in context.)

If there were several such synonymous basic emotion words, a dirty-dozen style activity with the drawings could launch the initial learning of them. They can then be used in TPR: Be sad, be happy, etc. However it is recommended that synonyms be tackled only after the original words have been learned well.

Communicative Grammar Activities

The point of early communicative grammar activities is for the GPs to reasonably aware of the major aspects of grammar that are an essential part of “here-and-now” communication, to begin using much of it in their own speech, and to gain initial awareness of some less major aspects of grammar that naturally occurs in such communication but that may still be very difficult to make sense of. We aim to achieve this by the time the GPs have an auditory recognition vocabulary of 600 to 900 vocabulary. As the GPs attempt to talk in various activities, they should become aware of aspects of grammar that need to be emphasized. Further activities can be planned in which an important grammar issue gets a lot of emphasis. The key to such activities is that the GPs are forced to use the particular forms repeatedly to express real meanings. They don’t need to be profound, life-changing meanings, but they should involving real talking about real things.

These might often constitute the main talking activity at this stage. These cannot be specified here for all languages, as the activities will depend on the grammar of the language.

To use a specific example, in Kazakh, there are different forms for possessed nouns, such as “leg” in the phrase “my leg” depending on your role in the sentence. Thus today’s activity might put a GP at the centre, addressing a second GP, and also talking about a third GP. The GP can point to various parts of the body, pointing to his own body parts, to those of the GP he is addressing, and to those of the other GP, describing the body parts by saying, “This is my nose. This is your nose. This is his nose.” Then the GP doing the speaking performs a motion like washing the body parts, “I am washing my nose. I am washing your nose. I am washing his nose.” you each have the opportunity to be the speaker. This is a useful activity for Kazakh. It would not be a particularly helpful activity in many languages.

Such activities can be used occasionally in Phase 2 and beyond, each time GPs feel a need to emphasize some aspect of grammar that is causing difficulty to them when they talk.

Remember to record a sample of each activity.

Language Activity Description Materials to Gather
Activity 1: Phonetic practice (listening)
Activity 2: Lexicarry
Activity 3: “Yesterday’s actions” Whenever a new set of actions are learned, typically through TPR, the following day it is good to quickly strengthen them. At this stage, a good activity is that of Session 19, Activity 2, since it provides opportunity for meaningful use of here-and-now language involving, “I, you, him,” etc.
Activity 4: (dirty dozen) more basic human movements Climb, fly, swim, drive, ride (e.g. in a car), ride (on a horse), pedal, jump, crawl.
Activity 5: (TPR) movements in directions Combine the new words for the motions with the words for directions of paths of movement from Session 17, Activity 4. Use places in the room as starting points and goals.
Activity 6: If the Nurturer says, “Swim under the bridge” the GP concludes that she is talking to the fish, and makes the fish swim under the bridge. “Fly through the building on the right” would lead to using the bird. Etc. The commands can also be given related to places in the countryside drawing: Drive along the road. Drive across the road. Drive away from the river. Two food product boxes for “buildings” with ends removed (so that they can be travelled through) and a paper “bridge” between them, paper road/street/sidewalk/stream. Motions can now go between them, through them, across the bridge and along the bridge/road/sidewalk (see resource packet);

The countryside drawing from earlier sessions;

Toys: child, horse, bird, fish, airplane, car, other conveyances (e.g., a tiny toy stroller, bicycle).record  Activity 7: Here-and-now descriptionsUsing the materials from Activity 6, one GP will have a toy travel along a path, e.g. the toy child riding the horse around the building. The GP on his or his right describes what is happening, “The boy is riding around the building.”


Session 23 at-a-Glance

Remember to record each activity.

Language Activity Description Materials to Gather
Activity 1: Phonetic practice (listening)
Activity 2: Lexicarry
Activity 3: review previous day’s new vocabulary
Activity 4: Negation-listening Point at drawings and make false statements. For example, a GP might point at a boy who is playing (perhaps with a toy airplane), and say, “This boy is running.” The Nurturer replies, “No, the boy is not running, the boy is playing.” and/or the GPs do an action (a known action for example, swim) and make a false statement. The Nurturer says, “No, you are not flying, your are swimming.” The GPs thus have a chance to freshen up on a number of the actions, while hearing many times how to say that someone is not doing something. drawings or pictures in book of people engaged in common well-known activities: walking, running, lying, playing, eating, drinking.
Activity 5: Negative commands, etc. Using the actions from Session 22, Activity 4, the Nurturer tells the GPs either, “Climb” or “Don’t climb”. In case of “don’t”, they do nothing. This activity can have the quality of “Simon Says”, especially if the part meaning “don’t” happens to follow the action.

This can also include forms such as “You must jump”, “You may jump”. “You need to sit down.” “You don’t need to sit down.” record


Session 24 at-a-Glance

Experience has shown that the goal of 600 words was probably reached somewhat ahead of Session 24. Sessions 24 and 25 can be used for going over large portions of the material of earlier sessions.

Remember to record each activity.

Language Activity Description Materials to Gather
Activity 1: Phonetic practice (listening)
Activity 2: Lexicarry
Activity 4: Descriptions with “relative clauses” “Relative clauses” is in quotes, because in another language, the patterns in question may look nothing like relative clauses. It can be quite helpful to raise awareness in this area. The Nurturer instructs GPs to point at people or things that she describes: “Show me a man who is walking. Show me a tree that is beside a house.” (In these cases, the man is the subject of the walking, the tree is the subject of is beside the house. In this activity the aim is to have only relative clauses where the one described is understood as the subject of the relative clause.) In Kazakh, it turns out that there is a key difference between someone who “is doing X” (right now) and someone who “does X” (in general). This can easily be worked into the activity. “Show me someone who eats.” (Response can be anyone in the picture, since everyone eats in general.) “Show me someone who is eating”. (Response must be someone who is eating in the picture.) This distinction may not be relevant in most languages, but technique for highlighting difference that are there can still be applied.

Don’t forget: not mastery, but awareness raising. If GPs can understand enough to carry out the instructions, they understand enough for now.A picture or pictures in which lots is going onrecord  Activity 4 :The word log can be used for this. The Nurturer can read words from the log, and the GPs can attempt to make true statements using the words.word log


Session 25 at-a-Glance

Remember to record each activity.

Language Activity Description Materials to Gather
Activity 1: Phonetic practice (listening)
Activity 2: Lexicarry
Activity 3: Negation-talking Like Session 23 Activity 4, but the GP trades roles with the Nurturer.
Activity 3: (TPR, dirty-dozen) common actions Learn to understand the words for these basic actions (break, bend, stretch, squeeze, push, press, fold, tear, sprinkle, shake, grab, smell etc.) something breakable (e.g., match sticks), bendable (a coat hanger), stretchable (piece of elastic), squeezable (ball), push-able (button on a Walkman), foldable (paper), tear-able (paper), sprinkle-able (some rice in a jar), shakeable (some rice in a jar).
Activity 4 : More “relative clauses” Add relative clauses where the person or thing described is not understood as the subject of the relative clause. The Nurturer can give instructions such as “Show me a woman that a man is helping.” “Show me a table on which there is some food.” “Show me a boy who is being given a parcel.” “Show me a shovel with which a man is digging.”
Activity 4: The word log can be used for this. The Nurturer can read words from the log, and the GPs can attempt to make true statements using the words. See session 24. If there is not time to get through all six hundred words, the Nurturer can read through the list aloud, stopping at words that GPs feel they do not know very well. word log


Going On

The first 100 to 120 hours in a new language are unique in many ways. They are based on the belief that the most important activities for learning are ones that involve the GP, in interaction with a host person, in either comprehending real speech or producing real speech about real objects, actions, situations and experiences. It is through comprehending speech and producing speech that the skills involved in comprehending and producing speech are further developed.

The activities above are examples of ones that allow the GPs to comprehend and produce speech at the beginning stage. Such activities can require a lot of planning and preparation, especially if they are to have the characteristics outlined at the beginning of Phase 1a. Form this point on, however, planning language sessions becomes much easier, since the GP now has a lot of skills to draw on, and can thus take part in communication that becomes more interesting and natural as time goes on.

How will the GPs go on?

Some may have been so frustrated by the idea of gradual progress (as opposed to step-by-step “total mastery”) that they feel they want to slow wa-a-a-y down now and really start mastering things they were exposed to. Warning: languages are big. GPs probably shouldn’t slow down too radically for too long. We feel that “mastery” cannot be done in the way that many people wish it could. A language learner may memorize a verb paradigm and drill on it until he can do the drills quickly and easily. However, when he goes to use the forms in communication, they may not be there when he needs them. There seems to be no substitute for struggling to talk and gradually improving, no matter how much some people may feel the must learn to talk well before talking.

One of the authors memorized the eighty verb forms marking person and number of subject and object in Blackfoot independent indicative verbs. He drilled exquisitely. He then discovered what many GPs have discovered: the forms weren’t readily available for use in communication. Over many months, one-by-one, the various forms became part of his speech. After that, we have found that we can leave out that memorization and drilling phase, since it wastes a lot of time. If a GP has completed the 100 to 120 hours of Phases 1a and 1b, and has listened to the recordings a reasonable amount, he should have enough awareness to get on with serious, relatively unstructured communication, and let forms he is now aware of gradually become a secure part of his speech. He makes a stab at saying something; part of his effort comes out right; and the Nurturer helps with the rest.

Thus, rather than contracting in their learning at this point, we encourage people to blossom out. They have lots of language in them now that they can use to communicate with the Nurturer, and with other acquaintances. Every language session should now begin with some effort at “small-talk” aimed at strengthening the personal relationship between the Nurturer and the GP(s). A good strategy is for the GPs to attempt at the beginning of every session to learn something about the Nurturer that they did not previously know (the assumption being that they learn it entirely in the host language). Another strategy is to have on hand a large supply of photos from the GPs’ lives and from the Nurturer’s life, and to spend a little time each day attempting to discuss them, and in the process, learning to discuss them better. Pictures from the GPs’ lives can then be used as objects of discussion with additional host acquaintances. This will make informal conversations more rewarding than they might otherwise be at this stage.

For Phase 2, we have a core activity: discussing picture stories with the Nurturer. Children’s picture stories with few or no printed words, in which the plot is visible in the pictures, are the central physical resource. (Other, peripheral resources might include picture dictionaries with rich scenes illustrating different domains of life, “busy books” like Ed King’s Waldo Wanders Off, the Lexicarry, other sources of drawings designed for GPs, such as Action English Pictures, by Takahashi & Frauman-Prickel. (1985. Prentice-Hall) and magazines with lots of photos).

Phase 2a can last for perhaps fifty hours. During that phase the GP is in charge of talking about the pictures in the picture story, with the Nurturer assisting and supporting him in his efforts, and enabling him to learn new language in the process. There should continue to be a healthy hourly vocabulary goal (still defined in terms of auditory recognition vocabulary—not production vocabulary) such as eight new words per hour of language session. Picture stories provide rich content for interaction with the Nurturer, and the GP will be able to grope for words and sentence patterns, relying on the Nurturer to aid him as needed. As a GP discusses what is happening on each page of a picture story, he can be very imaginative, for example creating conversations between characters or attributing thoughts or feelings to them. He can describe the pictures in great detail, for example, commenting that the little girl’s legs are very skinny. Most of this interaction with the Nurturer is in the here-and-now form, since it involves discussion of what is going on in each picture as the Nurturer and GP look at it. Once they have gone through the entire picture story, the Nurturer tells the story to the GP as a normal narrative, but attempting to incorporate all the details they have discussed (such as the girl’s skinny legs). This makes a nice video recording, although an audio recording is also adequate. It will be profitable for the GP to listen to it occasionally for many months or years.

A purpose of Phase 2a is to get the GP talking much more freely. However, the GP isn’t primarily interested in learning to talk based on the things he might naturally say about the pictures, but rather, wants to re-learn the world through they eyes of the Nurturer. Therefore, in Phase 2b, rather than the GP taking the lead in creating the stories, the Nurturer takes the lead. Experience has shown that Nurturers can get stuck trying to figure out what is happening in a picture, and so the process will probably go more smoothly if the GP interacts with the Nurturer when the latter gets stuck. Whenever the GP doesn’t understand something that the Nurturer says, he needs to tell her. (The Nurturer’s explanation should be in the host language!) Many Nurturers are tempted to immediately translate host-language words and phrases that the GP does not know, but this short-circuits the process of negotiating meanings. After a picture story session, the Nurturer should make a recording incorporating all that she said in describing the individual pages and what was happening on them. The GP can go over the recording with her in a later session to clarify things he doesn’t understand (a process we call “massaging the text” where by “text”, in this case, we mean the story that the Nurturer told).

Phase 2 is a bridge phase from here-and-now language to narrative language. Through discussion of the pictures, the GP will become familiar with new vocabulary and so on. Then when the end of a picture story is reached, the Nurturer will go back to the beginning telling the stories as continuous narratives.  In this way the GP will hear the familiar vocabulary in forms appropriate to a story as opposed to the here-and-now descriptions of the individual pictures. Various other aspects of grammar related to story-telling (as opposed to here-and-now communication) will start to emerge. However, the full riches of narrative language will really come into play in Phase 3.

[1] Research conducted among immigrants in Canada (for English or French GPs) and European countries.

Original Document: Phase1B Guide 22Sep09


2 responses to “First Hundred Hours (Phase 1B)

  • abel

    where can we buy materials for growing participator approach? we need to have picture books so that we can start learning but we don’t know where to secure them.

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