Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Why use Real Language? Part Three : It’s accessible to everyone!


This is the last post of a three-part series about the benefits of implementing the Real Language right away program.  We have already discussed our students’ increased motivation and improved proficiency, but perhaps the most unexpected change we have seen is how Real Language right away has opened up successful language learning to learners of all types.

When I began teaching 8 years ago in our K-8 French program, the lower school program was focused on vocabulary and the middle school program was guided by grammar study.  When we evaluated the middle school students, quizzes often involved filling in the blank with the correct verb form or writing the adjective that agreed correctly with the noun.  Students who weren’t strong spellers weren’t strong French students, because the majority of evaluations involved correct spelling.

The result of this type of evaluation was that the weaker students sometimes fell through the cracks.  They did not feel successful, and sometimes they would decide early on that French just was not for them.

The variety of activities in the RLRA programs caters to many types of learners, and the Partner Conversations have strong visual and auditory components.  Many times, we bring in a kinesthetic aspect as we do charades or make up gestures for vocabulary.  The evaluations in the program are balanced, and students are assessed on many different aspects of language : grammar, writing, speaking, and listening. 

Something else that is much smoother now is integrating new students into our program.  For more on this, you can read more here.  RLRA allows language learning to be intuitive, and students can jump in easily at different points.

For those of you using the program, we hope you have had similar successes.  If so, you can always share your experiences with us at hippocampepublications@gmail.com