The blogs focused on OneNote's potential in the classroom keep coming. Today, Bisera Ristikj, a teacher of English as a Foreign Language wrote a guest blog for the OneNote Team. Ristikj works at Goce Delchev Primary School in Negotino, Macedonia where they teach English to students between the ages of six to ten. In the First and Second Grade, they focus on receptive vocabulary while they implement it in the Third Grade with sentence structure and understanding. The major Learning Tool in One Note that Ristikj has found most useful was the Immersive Reader.
Mastering a foreign language is never easy, particularly when young students are still learning their own native tongues. Ristikj believes, however, that there are three basic stages to teaching and learning a new language:
- Learning the sounds of the language through phonemic awareness.
- Learning new words and increasing the vocabulary to establish the sounds' meanings.
- Learning to string sentences together into complex thoughts.
The Immersive Reader completely disregards the need for auditory tools such as CDs or Cassette Tapes. Utilizing it, the teacher can set up the text in OneNote and let Immersive Reader to read it aloud to the students. Students that are having difficulty keeping can pause to reflect on what they are learning so far. Not only that, students can adjust the Reader to speed up or slow down which has proven to be useful for Ristikj's tongue twister activities.
The tool also helps students with correct and precise pronunciation, an essential component for learning any language. Once the word is typed in, Immersive Reader can help the student perfect the sound of the word and letters within.
Another major feature of the Immersive Reader Learning Tool for OneNote is that it can act as a grammar and spell check. Placing the emphasis on sentence structure, it can highlight nouns, adjectives, and verbs to help students recognize the difference between each. The Reader combines learned vocabulary together into a cohesive statement, allowing them to learn from their mistakes and to view the correct application.
The Immersive Reader on OneNote has powerful potential to help not only students learn second, third, or fourth languages, but to learn their own. As more technology is being added in the early classrooms, children are developing skills and using tools that can be useful far later into their lives.