Winter Survival Guide – 6

To view this content, you must be a member of Ben's Patreon at $10 or more
Already a qualifying Patreon member? Refresh to access this content.

Share:

Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
LinkedIn

4 thoughts on “Winter Survival Guide – 6”

  1. This became my Facebook status: “I totally believe that language teachers who don’t know about comprehensible input are going to go the way of the dinosaur” and it already has 3 likes 😉

    I’m lucky not to have any students resistant to CI, I think mainly because I teach elementary. Last year was the first time my students had CI instruction and for the most part, the students welcomed the transition. But the only thing that had been “acquired,” and only by a few in each class, was an attitude of “I can’t do Spanish” and most everyone had an expectation that they would get to play fun games that would allow them to speak English the whole time. Now, a year later, they tell me how they know so much more Spanish than they they ever did before and I get to joke with them about how little Spanish they used to know. And we’re having as much or more fun than they did when taught traditionally.

    “on those happy days when I actually want to do an entire class of CI (if I slept well the night before)” – There are certainly days when I’m not in the mood or rested enough to provide aural CI for the kids. The PQA and Storyasking can really tire you out if you have to do it in 5-6 classes a day! I think more than anything it is the enforcement of the classroom rules and efforts to be compelling that make the PQA and Storyasking a tiresome process. Having said that, I feel these are the best things for my beginning students and need to spend more time in these activities. My new class routine includes starting class having students read a class story or movietalk from the reading folders and I then have a student time me for 6-10 minutes of R&D – I ask some really simple questions and do some slow circling, which I feel is also good to build everyone’s confidence and give them all a chance to respond chorally. It sets a good tone for the rest of the class (I need to carry these student and teacher behaviors over to the rest of the class).

    In hindsight, I should have spent more time in the beginning of the year norming the classroom, aka personalizing the classroom with more CWB-like activities. But I didn’t always have the energy to deliver that CI, so I bailed out to activities more inherently engaging and/or easier on me and the students (MovieTalks and R&D). MovieTalk comes easier to me, I think because the kids love being in front of a screen and/or I’m not requiring enough interaction. I think that I sometimes don’t circle enough or ask enough questions, because I know it means I’ll have to require everyone to respond, and that means I’ll have to grow a thicker spine. Actually, since I always have students in every class that have not had Spanish before, I have to go slower than I would like. Then, I may go too fast for all students to be able to process and respond. Additionally, these “new” students are more likely the ones to be unmotivated (they were pulled out the year before for extra math and/or reading help). I need to suck it up and teach to the barometers.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’ve still done some great CI, hitting a lot of “home-runs,” but when I tried to do a few stories in the past 2 months, it didn’t always go as smoothly as I hoped. It’s not too late. I’ll probably try and do more PQA and Stories next semester, but I also need to commit to doing quizzes, even double quizzes, and make sure to enter jGR grades or have kids self-evaluate more frequently. That said, I HATE grading, and I also do not like to spend 5-10 minutes of precious CI time on a quiz and jGR. But I’ll have to do it, at least more frequently at first. A big part of our job is to train these kids in human interaction, as hard as that is.

  2. …so I bailed out to activities more inherently engaging and/or easier on me and the students (MovieTalks and R&D….

    And you can always personalize things via those two things. It’s not like those early year things are all that important in and of themselves. it’s our attitude, our intention, to involve lighthearted funny things about our students in all we do all year. You’re clearly doing that.

    …I have to go slower than I would like….

    In my view there is no such thing as going as slow as we like. If it’s not painful, and if it doesn’t feel much slower than we like, it’s not slow enough.

    …A big part of our job is to train these kids in human interaction….

    This should never be the case in true language instruction but it is always the case in schools, where false things prevail.

    And also Eric when you say you hate grading, we all do, and I wonder how many of us let a student do that. I never have, but I would start now if I didn’t have scantrons. Have a Quiz Grader. I know our bosses say we can’t but these are the same people who give us absurd amounts of busywork, so I say ignore their admonition and find a trusted kid and let them do it. Frequent quizzes are in my view as important as any other thing we use to manage our classroom and keep kids focused, like the Classroom Rules and jGR.

  3. Eric said:
    “I’m lucky not to have any students resistant to CI, I think mainly because I teach elementary.”

    I am in a similar position. The younger students require more norming, and more reminders about blurting, etc. But I think there is more goodwill at this age-group, because they generally respond more positively to genuine human interaction–in my experience at least.

    This also supports the notion that the kinds of reforms we are making is most effective when started in the lower grades, working its way up as students in HS and college begin to expect, and ask for, comprehension based instruction. This is certainly the case with Latin, where middle school teachers have more support from their administrators for doing “less rigorous” activities and curricula, and therefore can take more risks trying out CI. But having people in high places (department chairs, principals, superintendents, etc) is also great, though perhaps less frequent. If we can have the dinosaurs surrounded, it is only a matter of time before they get it and either change or leave.

Leave a Comment

  • Search

Get The Latest Updates

Subscribe to Our Mailing List

No spam, notifications only about new products, updates.

Related Posts

Stendra Super Force generico all’ingrosso

Stendra Super Force generico all’ingrosso Valutazione 4.6 sulla base di 352 voti. Nome del prodotto: Stendra Super Force Categoria: Disfunzione Erettile Nome commerciale: Extra Super

The Problem with CI

To view this content, you must be a member of Ben’s Patreon at $10 or more Unlock with PatreonAlready a qualifying Patreon member? Refresh to

CI and the Research (cont.)

To view this content, you must be a member of Ben’s Patreon at $10 or more Unlock with PatreonAlready a qualifying Patreon member? Refresh to

$10

~PER MONTH

Subscribe to be a patron and get additional posts by Ben, along with live-streams, and monthly patron meetings!

Also each month, you will get a special coupon code to save 20% on any product once a month.

  • 20% coupon to anything in the store once a month
  • Access to monthly meetings with Ben
  • Access to exclusive Patreon posts by Ben
  • Access to livestreams by Ben