50th Edition, Global Education

Spanish taught new way: Petrillo heads program

By Denebola
Published: February 2011

By Denebola Staff,
Volume 2
January 22, 1963

What! No homework for Mr. Petrillo’s 1-1 section of Spanish! “You see,” he replied, “The students are learning to speak and understand oral Spanish before they attempt to write or learn the formal grammar of it.”
This method consists of listening to tapes in the language laboratory at least three times a week. Each student, among the 13 participating, has a book which shows pictures of the new vocabulary.
First they learn the pronunciation of the vowels.
Next, several are combined into simple words. After repeating the word, the student uses it in a simple phrase. He has been actively participating all the time, however, by taping his voice after the teacher’s and replaying the tapes.
Starting with one-syllable words, the tapes present questions, answers, possessives, numbers, and other points of grammar.
Because each person proceeds from lesson to lesson at his own rate, his is more able to thoroughly grasp each lesson. In this way, the program enables some students to go farther ahead while others are able to proceed at a slower pace.
On the fourth day Mr. Petrillo sees the students. During this time they can ask questions and he can check their progress. And, occasionally, the period is used for inviting foreign students to talk to the class about the Spanish-speaking countries and their cultures.

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