Mimi Met

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14 thoughts on “Mimi Met”

  1. Alisa Shapiro-Rosenberg

    Ben, I feel your pain, though since you instructed me to see those 20th Century teachers for what they were, and what corner of the market they were protecting, I have been able to let it go. I hope that I can keep an open mind and tweak my practice according to the research and what works best for acquisition. I feel as though the textbook panderers are one BIG part of the reason we don’t have more traction among the WL teachers, and another is the lumping of immersion settings into WL classrooms as all one practice. Helena endorses (I assume she still is) immersion practices which aren’t feasible in a 3 x 30 min or 90 min program – lots of expectation for thematic study; authentic texts, output, etc. That’s all I wanna say about that.

    Another factor weighing us down is the General Atmosphere of Evidence and Accountability, which makes tight curriculum, Formative and Summative Assessments, observable partner & sm group activities and dialogues/practice seem like an expedient way to get evaluation boxes checked.

    Related: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0MK7qz13bU

    1. Dude you scared me. You and Harrell are the brains of this group and when I saw that you had posted a comment on what I wrote about her my heart got nervous. Maybe I was wrong! Then I read what you said and feel better. Thanks. I am not trying to be mean – Mimi and Helena and I are old people now – no reason to. Except as I said in the articles, we must protect anything that could hurt children, as per:

      …when I was very young, most of my childhood heroes wore capes, flew through the air, or picked up buildings with one arm. They were spectacular and got a lot of attention. But as I grew, my heroes changed, so that now I can honestly say that anyone who does anything to help a child is a hero to me….

      Fred Rogers 

      1. Sorry about the scare. Just recapping the story with a play on words. I am glad that you see it as so much water under the bridge. As an illustration, it could be any number of people who embody that scenario.

  2. TPRS, Story Listening, Class created images…
    The are not tools. They are blueprints for language acquisition. They start with meaningless sounds which are made meaningful and are connected to written symbols which learners start to recognize as meaningful representations of the sounds. They take advantage of the two channels for massive language input. Like you said in Portland ME, Ben, “everything we do is to get the kids reading.” It is what the three have in common. (Note that the acronym is the reverse order (1. Story 2. Reading 3. Proficiency–SRP).

    1. …they (CI activities in any form) start with meaningless sounds which are made meaningful and are connected to written symbols which learners start to recognize as meaningful representations of the sounds. They take advantage of the two channels for massive language input….

      Wow.

  3. You know what the crazy thing is? At my school I am still trying to rid my department of the Vista Higher Learning Textbook. Somehow years ago they got some postitive quote of my (TPRS/CI) colleague and they were using her quote in their emails without her permission. She had to contact them to stop it. We are charging kids $60 a piece for an online textbook that not only is crap from the acquisition standpoint, it doesn’t even work!

  4. With the Invisibles, One Word Image, Matava Scripts, and persona especial there is no need for a textbook. Senor Wooly.com is super-cheap- $75 a year for 150 students. (Compare that to the $60 PER STUDENT of Vista Higher Learning).

    I think you are right, Ben, this is the REAL reason that ACTFL doesn’t promote CI more.

  5. Alisa Shapiro-Rosenberg

    As compelling and intriguing as Conspiracy Corner is, I think the ACTFL situation is worse – it’s not that there’s a conscious effort to repress the ‘real’ way Ss acquire; rather it’s utter ignorance and stubbornness – unwillingness to acknowledge that what most are doing now is hardly different than the ole’ audio lingual method. How can a WL teacher respectably ‘cover’ all 5 C’s and still get in enough real TL at the discourse level? How can a teacher be successful without knowing how to scaffold language for beginners? How can we expect acquisition if our corps don’t know what that looks like and how to get there? How can we hook and maintain interest, and attention to the message, if it’s dead on the page, and/or we don’t know how to manage the group?

    1. Excellent point there. It’s out of touch with reality which is ironic — like Orwellian double speak. Communication is neither static nor superficial. It is dynamic and hits home like an old song that can take you far away from the drudgery of this elitist, dangerous and cruel world.

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