In this practical guide to teaching beginning language learners of all ages, Calhoun encourages us to begin where the learners begin--with their developed listening and speaking vocabularies and other accumulated knowledge about the world. Engage students in shaking words out of a picture--words from their speaking vocabularies--to begin the process of building their reading and writing skills. Use the picture word inductive model (PWIM) to teach several skills simultaneously, beginning with the mechanics of forming letters to hearing and identifying the phonetic components of language, to classifying words and sentences, through forming paragraphs and stories based on observation.
Built into the PWIM is the structure required to assess the needs and understandings of your students immediately, adjust the lesson in response, and to use explicit instruction and inductive activities. Individual, small-group, and large-group activities are inherent to the model and flow naturally as the teacher arranges instruction according to the 10 steps of the PWIM. Students and teachers move through the model and work on developing skills and abilities in reading, writing, listening, and comprehension as tools for thinking, learning, and sharing ideas.