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Reinforcing Receptive Language Processing in the Classroom

Instructor: Lauren Posey

Lauren has taught intermediate reading in an English Language Institute, and she has her Master's degree in Linguistics.

In this lesson you will learn about receptive language processing, including what it is and what methods you can use to reinforce it in a classroom setting.

Language Processing

As a teacher, you know that talk, and students' reception of talk, is a vital part of any classroom. When students listen and absorb information through talk, this is called receptive language processing (RLP). This processing functions at different levels for every student and it is easier for some students to absorb information simply by listening to it than for others. This is particularly true in special needs classrooms, but applies to any classroom type.

Since teachers instruct all day long, RLP is highly prevalent in classrooms. As teachers, you are experienced with this skill. However, students have had far less practice with verbal instruction, and it's important to remember that even though it seems easy to you, it might be very difficult for them. This is useful to keep in mind when students are misbehaving. They might be acting out of frustration because they can't understand what's going on, rather than simply being 'bad' students.

In order to make sure all your students are learning from each lesson, and minimize frustration, you need to reinforce their receptive language processing by using a variety of activities in the classroom. Of course the activities you choose will vary somewhat, but the general methods can be applied regardless of classroom type or level. Before you can properly choose activities though, you should identify what types of learners you have in your classroom.

Learning Styles

Think of yourself as a student. Do you prefer listening to directions? Or would you rather read them off the board? When designing activities, one thing to keep in mind is that each student has a different learning style, and different activities that will work best for them. There are seven major learning styles:

-Visual/spatial: Students prefer pictures and images

-Aural: Students prefer sound and music

-Verbal/linguistic: Students prefer working with words, both speech and writing

-Physical/kinesthetic: Students prefer activities involvement movement and touch

-Logical: Students prefer using logic, reasoning, and systems

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