A Blow To His Confidence 29

Well, good things are certainly worth waiting for. For those who kept up with the other 28 blog entries from K from last year (none this year until now), we can finally get an update on how French 2 is going for her. For the other ones from last year, just search “A Blow To His Confidence” and they will all come up. Here is the most recent missive from this most extraordinary human being:
Dear Mr. Slavic,
My sophomore year has been going great. French has been wonderful. I’ve had the opportunity to reach out to some great kids who have exposed me to some real world education. We are telling several stories, and I have become a well trusted “teacher”. We  are speaking French as often as possible, roughly 95% of the time, unlike other classes. One girl was acting in a story the other day, when she suddenly stopped and said “Pas de anglais s’il vous plait ” to the wall facing the other class. It was great! I have been doing some “undercover” work, so to speak, during my free time by observing traditional teachers and asking their students questions. The results are amazing. According to the IB French 2 curriculum, we are supposed to be speaking French 85% of the time. However, according to students, French is spoken no more than 10% of the time. There is so much English that “I think I signed up for an ESL class” one girl told me. We have also been incorporating the imperfect into stories and class readings. The other class is “learning” the same tense by memorizing verb charts, and then forgetting the entire thing. I know this is true because I’ve been talking to them using the imperfect and they just look confused. I then write what  I said down, and they look at it, open their textbook, study it, nod as if they get it, but then give me a deer in the headlights look. One of the worst comments I’ve heard about this was from a teacher. The teacher had on the French news, and the students were listening. They all looked confused and were trying to read the subtitles on the screen. One frustrated student said, “I’ve taken French for three years, but I don’t understand any of that”. The teacher replied, ” You need to listen and read more then”. When the student asked if they would practice those skills in class, the teacher said, “No, we have too much grammar to cover”. Comprehensible Input works so much better, as you know, because the students understand and feel welcome, a concept that this teacher does NOT understand…. I hope that all is well for you. Thank you again for transforming my world, and of course teaching me French. 
For the other ones, just search “A Blow To His Confidence” and they will all come up



1 thought on “A Blow To His Confidence 29”

  1. Thanks for the update. I had just been wondering how she was doing. She has such a clear and true vision. How wonderful for you (and us!) to see her thriving and sharing her love of language learning.

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