Lexicarry – How to Use in Language Learning
This is the best all-in-one language learning resource.
– Social Situations Accessible for Language Learning: The first lengthy portion of Lexicarry contains comic-style story strips. Typically there are three frames per story, and the stories have comic-style bubbles with the words missing. The stories illustrate approximately sixty common language functions and communication situations.
– Variety: To keep language sessions interesting for learners, it is wise to include multiple activities in each session. Lexicarry can help you plan in this variety.
– Language Helpers Like Lexicarry: Lexicarry techniques make sense to language helpers and are easy for language helpers to learn how to use.
– Adaptable: The pictures are plain enough that in many instances culture-specific changes can easily be made using a pencil and/or whiteout.
– Good Tool to Fall Back On: Whenever you feel discouraged about slow vocabulary growth, in later stages of language learning you can return to Lexicarry situations to add more vocabulary.
– Expandable: If you need to add your own Lexicarry-like drawings for culturally unique situations, “triangle people” with “bubbles” are easy to draw: (example, a sad woman on the left and an angry man on the right).
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The sections of Lexicarry are:
* Functions – expressions and phrases used in everyday life shown in dramatic contexts
* Sequences of actions
* Related actions
* Topics – vocabulary items related to one theme
* Places – both scenes/rooms and the things we find and do there And a new section in this 3rd edition of Lexicarry illustrating 54 common
* Proverbs and Sayings – a dynamic way of sharing both language and cultural insights
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1. Use For TPR Activities
TPR can be done with real objects, toys, pictures and photos, and Lexicarry cartoons.
Example: TPR with objects
Learning names of objects. Take twenty objects and put them on the table in a clump. Remove two from the clump. Your friend tells you, “This is a glass and this is a spoon”. You are now understanding the language. She then asks “Where (or which) is the spoon? Where is the glass?” You respond by pointing. Then you take a third object from the heap, add it to the first two, and continue in the same way. Pretty soon she is asking you randomly to point at any of the twenty objects. You now have a (weakly implanted) vocabulary of twenty words.
Example: TPR with Lexicarry
You can use the story strips in the manner of simple TPR: Your native-speaker friend begins by telling you what each person might be saying in the cartoon strips and then asks you questions like “Who is saying, ‘May I help you?’; who is saying, ‘I’m sorry’?”. In response, you point at the appropriate picture. This way, in a few moments, by using simple TPR techniques with the Lexicarry, you will learn recognize ten new useful expressions.
How can I get enough repetition with these simple activities?
It may take many times hearing a word and associating it with the mental image before both the memory for the sound-form and the link to the mental image will be strong. There is a Russian proverb which says that repetition is the mother of learning. At first, your native-speaker friend will have a hard time believing how many times you need to understand a word in a meaningful context before it becomes strong enough in your head to function properly there. (They also may get bored with much repetition.)
There are ways to increase the amount of exposure you get to whatever you are learning.
– It is vital that you record sessions with your helper, so you can have the material repeated hundreds of time during private listening time.
– If you have language learning sessions whcih involve more than one learner, your native-speaker friend can do everything once with each of the learners, while the others watch and listen intently.
– Then the learners can engage in a “race”: Your friend says the word and the learners race to see who can point the most quickly. This provides a lot more repetition.
– Finally, during community time, make sure you have more than one friend whom you visit, and do the same activities with different friends.
2. Use for Simple Talking Activities
After building a large vocabulary of words that you can at least understand when you hear them in context, you have a good foundation to rest on as you learn to say some practical things to.
You can begin the Lexicarry activity simple TPR style, and then add a talking step.
First learn to understand half a dozen new story strips (the number that can typically be viewed at once). Take your turn at pointing in response to your friend’s questions. Then have your race with the other language learners.
Finally, (this is the new step), each learner takes a turn at trying to tell each of the half dozen story strips. You don’t tell them verbatim from memory. Rather, you tell them in your own words as best you can. It is a struggle, but your native-speaker friend helps you out at every step by expanding or recasting your broken utterances. Actual communication is taking place, building essential language-building connections in your brain (rather than memorizing phrases).
If you have several learners sharing the session, you get to do listen to the attempts of others – more listening practice. If you are all alone, then you really will want to have three or four separate friends to visit and do this with. And/or you can tape-record your session and listen to the tape over and over. (Above ideas from A Few Simple Ideas for Language Learners, by Greg Thomson and family)
Lexicarry: Pictures for Learning Languages, by Patrick R. Moran. Beginning to Advanced. Primary to Adult; Price: text – $15.00, ISBN: 0-86647-123-5
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You can download the original document here — Use of Lexicarry