My Experience with Preview-View Review
I am currently working at a bilingual school in which all the subjects are taught in English (besides Spanish, religion and physical education.) For teachers, the policy of the school is to try to use as much English as possible while teaching, which makes sense since it is a bilingual school. I started as the preschool assistant and I had a chance to observe a lot of teachers during their teaching practices. The only time a teacher spoke in Spanish was to ask the girls to please sit down and be quiet. There was never an explanation of the topic in Spanish nor at the beginning, nor during the lesson or at the end. This was ok for me since I had study in this school and this was the way I learned.
Sometimes I could see on the students faces how lost they were when the teacher was talking to them in English. Even though the teachers used different techniques to explain what was expected, she hardly used Spanish, and because of this when it was time to execute the activity the students did not follow the instructions correctly.
I have realized, since I became an English teacher, that it is very difficult to make yourself understood when you only use the L2 (second language)with your students. Reading this article, and some others that I have read for previous lessons, have made me realized and convince myself that the use of the L1 when teaching an L2 is should be mandatory. I think that using the preview; view and review technique will facilitate and enrich my teaching and the relationship with my students. I have seen that when students do not understand what is said in class, they tend to start disliking the class, the subject and a lot of times the teacher. I am convince that if students see that a teacher uses Spanish during the English class it means it is OK for them to use it as well. Plus, they need to understand that using Spanish is a tool, (just like their book, or their flashcards) and not something that is prohibited during the English class.
"I think that I have been using the Preview-view-review technique without knowing it had a name or that it was something others have implemented".
Ever since I read an article that showed that it was OK to use Spanish during an English class in order to clarify concepts and explain activities to student I started doing it during my classes. I start my lesson with a participation activity. Since they already know that this is what we do everyday, it has become a routine so Spanish is not necessary. I use this kind of technique (p-v-r) when I use the workbook in class (with the only difference that I do not use the review step). All the activities in this book are different so I have to explain it every time we use it. (I explain this to you because when we use the practice book, most of the activities are very repetitive and the girls know what is that they have to do.)
Once I give the instruction in Spanish, I say it again in English. At this point I can see that my students know what is that we are doing in the class. Before, when I only gave the instruction in English I would have at least 3 or 4 girls asking me or their classmates what was it that they had to do. Now, the number of girls asking is minimum, and we have a more productive class and have enough time to finish the activity during the class.
This technique has save me a lot of time. It makes the girls start working as soon as I finish retelling them the instruction in English, which did not happened before. I tell the girls that if they pay attention and behave during class they will be able to finish the work during the class and they will not have to take it for homework. What they do not know is that is thanks to my explanation in Spanish that they will be able to finish during class time. I like them to think that is because of their good behavior that they finish in time.
"I have realized that with me giving them the instruction in Spanish and retelling it in English has make my teaching practice and their learning process better and } more enjoyable".
By: Ana Maria Rojas English Teacher in Preschool