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 Reinforcement: Non-verbal Prompts

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Nilubon054
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PostSubject: Reinforcement: Non-verbal Prompts   27th November 2015, 3:41 pm

Key to any teaching strategy is how the language is reinforced after the initial introduction and practice. A problem with verbal prompts is that they easily become "feeds," where the prompter may unconsciously give away the language to the student. Students can quickly figure out that eventually the teacher will feed them the desired answer, and will come to depend on the teacher rather than try to remember the language themselves.

Non-verbal prompts can help remind students what expression the situation calls for or recall the language, while also building student confidence and the spirit of helping each other. Below are some forms of non-verbal prompts.

A. Visual Prompts
Pictures illustrating situations such as "I'm sorry" can be reviewed regularly and posted. When needed, the teacher can point to them or hold them up.

B. Reading Prompts
Students comfortable with reading can have a list of useful phrases which can be posted and/or glued to the inside cover of their textbooks. I've posted numbered lists with large letters, and have sometimes held up fingers to indicate the number of the expression they should be using.

C. Gesture Prompts
Shrugging can indicate "I don't know," and outstretched hand "please," a hand cupping the ear "Can you repeat that?", and so on.

D. Pronunciation Prompts
Especially in classes paying close attention to pronunciation and phonics, such as those using the "Finding Out" series, I've sometimes mouthed the expression, and let students deduce the sounds.

E. Clue Prompts
Rather than the entire phrase, just the first word or first sound can be given, or blanks can be written on the board with the first letter of each word. This takes a little time, so I've usually used it in situations where the phrase will be used several times, such as reminding students of "What's next?" during a game.


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