As an introduction, we can say that the “Artigal Method” is a method designed for infant and primary students. It tries to teach a second language through stories, with no visual support but body language.
It’s called the “Artigal Method” because its creator, Josep Maria Artigal, who is a Spanish teacher, developed an innovative resource for the learning of second languages in the EYFS (Early Years Foundation State) and Infant school especially.
The reason why Artigal decided to find a new way of teaching second languages was that the students didn’t learn how to use the language in a real context, even though they has spent many years learning it at school. Because of this, Artigal proposed his hypothesis: “Languages are not learned first and used later. Languages are acquired when used”.
The method is quite simple. It is based on the storytelling technique, using simple stories and very practical contents full of meaning for our pupils. In addition to this, the students must take part in the story in an active way.
Telling the story is coordinated with actions (body language) to understand the meaning of what is being said and to remember it easily later. This allows our students to access the foreign language without even having basic notions of it. Sing language, along with repetition, is going to be the best way of telling the story.
The CLIC method has enormous value in this methodology because the second language is the language used as the only way of communication by the teacher. This will help to learn everyday expressions easily in stories with characters who move in environments with which students are familiar. It is not only vocabulary, grammar and communicative skills that are learned, but the acquisition of social and cultural values.
The whole class takes part actively interpreting all the roles of the characters that are in the story. Also, the teacher will be the model to imitate and will use a lot of repetition. Therefore, through repetition the teacher will invite the students to join the reproduction of the story.
At first, the teacher does not use any complementary material but later, when the students are more familiar with the story, flashcards, murals, songs and drawings… will be introduced. In this way we want to be able to let the children’s imagination to take off and see them learn the language without any type of visual support or other help. Otherwise, they may be tempted to read only the images offered to them, forgetting to listen to the oral language.
You will find an example here where you can see a video about this method.