Reading Stevick 5 of 10

Cuisenaire-Rods

Celcom CC BY 3.0 Wikipedia Commons

From drills, Stevick moves to memorisation: love those traces of the audiolingual approach! To memorise dialogues, he suggests using an interesting technique called ‘Memorising in 3D”. It’s done with a set of small objects, e.g. Cuisenaire rods, and there is a whole range of activities to choose from (I’ve reduced it and picked my favourites: you can go to the book for more):

  1. Build a copy of the dialogue with the rods together with the students, choosing different lengths and colours depending on the word.
  2. Build a copy of the dialogue or sentence from the end backward.
  3. Point at a word at a time and call out a student.
  4. Have students put words into phrases or ‘single breath-groups’.
  5. Remove one word/rod at a time and write it on the board, until the whole dialogue is on the board.
  6. Remove one rod at a time and have the students reconstruct the whole dialogue.

And the benefits are: better concentration, teacher’s silence, visual impact, better memorisation… Nice, isn’t it? It’s good to go back to older sources sometimes.

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