The card catalogue is a set of cards for the words used most frequently in connection with teaching young children a foreign language, and covers the vocabulary used in textbooks for the young beginners/starters.
The card catalogue covers different topics, and has 700 most frequently used words. However, it can be purchased in four separate sets of 175 words, each containing all of the topics listed here but with different words.
The basic set of cards includes the words that are usually introduced to a beginner-starter, words that are also used in textbooks and workbooks for young starters. Additional sets are upgraded with new words that are often included in textbooks and workbooks in higher grades of young learners at elementary levels.
There are three different types of cards for every word, in different combinations of the word and its illustration. Therefore, every word has five cards, with the word being written in both capital and small letters. Some examples of how different parts of speech are combined with the matching illustration can be seen here.
Various combinations of a word and an illustration, as well as the card’s shape and size, enable many different types of didactic games and structures of cooperative learning (Kagan and Kagan, Kagan Cooperative Learning, 2009). The games provide the basis for any kind of learning, as they promote interaction, socialisation and communication between children. As such, they facilitate recognising, learning and memorising words, as well as encouraging speaking.
The unique feature of the cards is the simple fact that they are meant for children’s actual use in their activities.
Card type A demonstration:
Card type B demonstration:
Creating sentences with the help of the CoolTool and the CoolHouses is the first step towards 'real' reading and writing.
Based on the created doodle, tailored individually to the certain topic, the sentences that describe the doodle are put on the board. With Visual Sentences word order, articles, the plural of nouns, question words (Who? What? and Where?) and some parts of speech are introduced.
The upgrade of the Visual Sentences is the Visual Story. The plot of the story is put up on the board, also with the help of the CoolTool and CoolHouses.
By reading the pictures, different sentences can be created. Reading them chronologically, a story is created. In addition to what Visual Sentences introduce, the Visual story upgrades the grammar by presenting some other parts of speech, affirmative, negative and interrogative questions, auxiliary verbs, time and tenses, and the structure of the text. Visual Story is also a good start for an independent story-writing.
The CoolTool and The CoolHouses together form a unique Picture Dictionary, which provides the opportunity for children to self-check their spelling.
CoolTool is used to create sentences in such a way to help children consciously comprehend the grammar.
The actual writing is introduced through writing texts on posters. It can be fun once the topic of the text is well comprehended and the children dictate the text while the teacher is doing the writing. For that the global approach is used.