The “Album Moi, je” (“Me, I”) is a tool used in Preschool to jump-start language learning. It is based on repetition and mostly oral learning. The teacher uses pictures of the student in action and of himself/herself doing the same action. As the teacher and the student work in a 1×1 setting, the teacher starts by saying what he/she is doing. For example, the teacher says, “I eat” followed by the question “what are you doing?” The student then repeats “I eat”, re-using vocabulary used in class. It will be done regularly so the student becomes familiar with using the pronoun + verb.
In a bilingual setting, we use this approach in the strong language of the student with a native-speaking teacher. We then do the same activity in the language he/she is learning. It is mostly oral.
In the movie below you can see an example of “Album Moi, je” with a distance learning student in PK1. The pictures have been created from the pages of a known book, re-using the vocabulary of actions related to planting. Note, the help of the gestures for each action and the skills exercised, listed at the end of the video
The logical continuation of this preparatory work is the album ECHO. It can use the same pictures, but the teacher’s pictures disappear. The “album ECHO” stands for echoing the students, reinforcing the language through the activities they have done previously. It has one or two goals grammatically (the use of a certain pronoun, of a particular tense, preposition, or language complexity). A written trace is kept by the teacher and strengthened as the 1×1 sessions occur.
In a bilingual setting, those albums are an opportunity to bridge the gap between languages, to build meaning for children who are just discovering the language. Later, they are a tool to exercise and acquire targeted grammatical structures and vocabulary.