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Glue Language is as critically important as the textbook for teaching a second language. The elements in Glue Language (“glue drops”) are the supportive filler words, phrases, and sentences required to “glue” the main teaching topics together in target language during a textbook lesson.
These glue drops are essential in an immersion class, exposing students to vital words, phrases, and sentences far before they are addressed in a textbook. Glue Language thus supplies the “missing link” in second language learning and teaching. From the perspective of applications, there are two types of glue drops: general and specific.
Under the teacher’s guidance, students acquire the general glue drops on a daily basis and then acquire the scenario-specific glue drops before a related textbook lesson is taught. As the glue drops accumulate and are repeatedly practiced, the cumulative effect is that students are able to immerse themselves in the target language. In addition, students are able to assume the teacher’s role in classroom practice and role play to effect student-centered learning. This heuristic technique may further extend to textbook lessons. Glue Language is thus a powerful and enabling tool for creating a successful student-centered immersion environment and developing a winning student-centered immersion curriculum.
How can students understand the content of Glue Language without knowing more rudimentary vocabulary, pronunciation, and grammar?
As shown in the figure, empirical data indicate that younger students “acquire” a language, while older students “learn” a language. A toddler acquires language via conversation with parents or other adults, without having any knowledge of vocabulary, pronunciation, or grammar. Using Glue Language places students in a hybrid mode where they acquire and learn the glue drops via interactive activities such as imitating, role play, question and answer, and other prompted responses, and non-interactive activities such as listening to the teacher, studying the book, and memorizing the glue drops.
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