When I first signed up for Project Moving Forward, I had never taught in a certain specified way before. I had only explained and hoped that the student would understand. As an intern for Project Moving Forward, I was taught to use a new and well thought-out way of teaching. It is called The RULE of 3 or RAP. When hearing about this new method and the science to back it up, I knew I needed to start implementing as much of this method into my teaching as I could.
The method is: REHEARSE, ANALYZE, and PRODUCE. This method not only worked incredibly well with every student, but also with English learners. Students would start by rehearsal which includes recognizing the word and its meaning. Then I would make sure to have them repeat it by spelling, saying, and writing the word down. This is the REHEARSE part of the method. After this, they would ANALYZE. In this step, the student would identify each word’s roots, suffixes, prefixes and other phonological features. After identifying how the word is used in context, the student moved on to PRODUCE the word. In this step, the student produces his or her new understanding of the word: pictures, sentences, strategies, and concepts. By following these steps I was able to have the student fully understand every part of the new word and its meaning.
The student I worked with had emigrated to the U.S. from Mexico no more than a month before I started working with him. Christopher was in the 3rd grade and was very shy. He was embarrassed about his English skills. This is what made him motivated to learn. He no longer wanted to look confused or have nothing to say when a fellow peer would talk to him. I started off by having him feel more confident about himself. I told him that the best way to learn a language is through conversations and practice.
I helped him with his English by having him practice high frequency words and write and repeat sentences I taught him sentence patterns that he could use in class and outside of class. He would ask me how to say something and I would tell him how to say it in English. He then would write it down and repeat it back.
We would have conversations using his newly learned words. In this way, he put what he learned into play. I encouraged him to communicate in sentences and repeat these sentences for his teacher. For example, when he wanted to ask for a new piece of paper, we practiced the sentence together until he felt prepared to ask his teacher without a translator by his side. Learning by practicing makes students more confident about speaking. Christopher began to have the courage to step out of his shell and to learn by having interactions and learning from them. He no longer was too shy to ask or respond to his teacher. Finally, he asked questions which he created on his own.