This year, I added another comprehensible input element to my classroom –The Picture Dictionary. I had heard about it for the last few years and considered it a great idea, I just never implemented it. Over the last few weeks, I have seen how useful this can be for acquisition as well as the overall atmosphere of the classroom.
- Sets the tone that in this class we are here to work
- The work is not always hard, but can even be therapeutic
- Practices the expectation of working quietly
- Promotes sharing, if students need a color that they don’t have
- Students think about the word multiple times as they are writing it and designing a representation
- Students get an initial feeling for how the word is spelled
- Students are personalizing the vocabulary to bind it to their memory
- The use of color makes the vocabulary come alive
- Students make a table of contents [This is a list of the words with their definition]
- Students construct the form of the dictionary [Simply just draw the lines on their paper]
- Students write in the word and draw a picture
I have seen an improvement in recall as we start to play with the words. The Picture Dictionary is yet another way to prepare the table for the meal that is to come when we tell the story and the students are blitzed with action and meaningful repetition. It seems that more I prepare them for the story time, the more opportunities there are for the language to be subconsciously imaged into the language acquisition device. Plus, for many of the students the Picture Dictionary is just fun! They spend all day getting lectured and then they come to Spanish and it is creative and focused.