How Much of Your Language Should You Speak During Your Sessions?
(Hint: the answer is . . . Earworms )
My answer to this question may surprise you.
First off, this answer is perfect for you IF your language sessions are for children who have no exposure to your language outside of your sessions. That is, if they don't speak the language at home, and are not spending substantial amounts of time with other native speakers.
If that's you, listen up . . .
You're going to speak mostly English & then create Little Language EARWORMS.
How cool is that?!
Have you heard of the term, earworms?
This term relates to bits of songs or advertising jingles or rhythms or rhymes that get into your brain and turn around and around and around . . . like when you can't get a song out of your head. But it's rare that you consciously sing the entire song in your mind, from start to finish, right? It tends to be just a phrase or two, or part of the melody, that just plays over and over in your head, like a little worm wriggling around.
That's called an Earworm.
Sooooo, I recently had a lightbulb moment when I was going live in my CLUB Cocorico membership group . . . a name for what I've been teaching and sharing with everyone for years suddenly popped into my head: Little Language Earworms.
Here's how it works:
In order for the children to enjoy their session, they'll need to understand you.
So if you speak 100% in your native or second language, it's going to be a challenge, both for you and for them.
So here's what you do . . .
You speak mostly in English (or whichever language is the community language).
And then you want to add Little Language Earworms to all of your games and activities.
So these earworms would be words or phrases in your language that are repeated (and that the children say) regularly throughout each game/activity/story/book etc.
To make this truly effective it must be done in a really fun way; you'll want to turn those words or phrases into a rhyme or a rhythm, preferably with gestures.
Like this (French words in pink):
From a bee game:
Fell down today
He landed on the ground
With a BADABOUM-bay!
From a duck game:
Coin coin, le canard
Shake your bottom
Oh la la!
See how that works?
Each of the ditties rhymes AND has a rhythm.
We say each one a bunch of times throughout the games (which they are very enthusiastic about doing), and then the children leave with these chants in their minds like earworms, and in the following weeks they love to remind me of them (proof that the rhythms got into their brains)!
Tadaaa! They take their new language home with them.
And you've won some new fans of yourself and your language!
Try it and let me know how it goes inside our free Facebook group, Cocorico Collective.
See you in there!
Find your voice. Be your voice. Create earworms.
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Cocorico Collective Facebook Group
Join myself and other wonderful bilingual women who are looking to start their very own language sessions in my FREE Facebook Group, Cocorico Collective.
Access long-term support to start and grow your own sessions in my online membership, CLUB Cocorico.
Do you tend to be very self-critical? It's soooo common, but it's going to STOP you from enjoying your language sessions and discovering new and exciting ways to totally engage the children. In this episode, you'll discover the simple mindset secret that will have you feeling fabulous as you arrive at your sessions, and fabulous after you've finished!