Carol Gaab Slide Show

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31 thoughts on “Carol Gaab Slide Show”

  1. Awesome! Thanks for sharing this. Now, some questions:

    What are some examples of the following? (I’m curious)

    Joe Dziedzic – crude humor
    Paul Kirschling – intellect
    Mark Mallaney – fun

    I’d imagine that the Ben Slavic -BS refers to how in PQA we basically BS the entire time. I think PQA is a misleading name, actually, I think it is better titled BSITL (bullshittin in target language)

  2. You’ve uncovered the secret to the whole thing Chris. I will see those guys later today and try to ask them directly for examples.

    One example on Mark is that there is a guard on the Thomas Jefferson High School basketball team who is Mark’s best superstar in Spanish class and his hair goes up in the air quite a way. It’s not a mohawk but more of a mass of hair but nothing on the sides. So every once in a while Mark measures the length of the hair in class to teach numbers. It’s a running joke that he is only 6’2″ but on the court appears to be 6’7″.

    1. The difference between PQA and what’s being called here BSITL is very interesting to me. I feel I am constantly tied down by being too literal in everything. The next step I need to take, I think, is learning how to BS and get the kids to BS.

      1. It’s a wonderful step to take. And that’s the problem I have with the term “PQA”. When I first heard of “PQA” I took it literally and I asked repetitious, boring “personalized” questions to and about students. If it wasn’t for being mentored by Ben, that’s what I’d still be doing and it would be awful and it would probably be more fun to go back to the textbook. Since I took the leap to looking at it as BSITL, my class is much more lively……….actually, too lively because everybody wants to one-up each other on the creative answers. And since I”ve begun looking at it as BSITL, I actually dislike doing stories now. I’d rather BS the entire period, letting the CI just flow instead of doing a story which is always hit-or-miss. I’m really starting to understand now why so many people are calling this method TCI rather than TPRS. TPRS is just something that fits under the wide TCI umbrella. Teri Wiechart, here in Ohio, always tells people at workshops that they don’t have to do stories………and it’s completely true. I’m at the point where I just don’t like stories right now. Maybe after another workshop or two I’ll change my tune and I”ll be gung ho over stories again but as of right now I’d rather just let the CI flow and see where it goes. I actually really like Ben’s idea of a novel and PQA/BSITL based classroom. In my level one, we’ve been doing a boat load of reading lately. I could do reading everyday for the rest of the year but I know that’s not the best idea as there are some things I have to make sure they can do before they go to level 2. I probably won’t go back to stories in my level 1 class this year though because they can’t handle it. I only have one or two who are kind of behavior “problems” but it’s really just that my level one class is a high school credit class in middle school and it’s basically seen as an “honors class” here so it’s a bunch of serious 4%ers who are too serious for stories.

        To get kids to BS, I just tell them that lying is encouraged in Spanish class. That may or may not work in others’ classes depending on the relationships you have with students. Saying that “lying is encouraged” may not be the best word choice for some, but it works for me.

          1. We’ve read Pobre Ana as a class and we are currently reading Esperanza as a class. This is in addition to 10 minutes of FVR novel reading that they do everyday. I have some kids who have now finished 4 or 5 novels. Some have only finished two or three, but still. I do expect a lot of surprising vocabulary gains as a result of this much reading. I should probably start incorporating more writing in my class but I’m just enjoying the easiness of the no-planning-necessary reading. I will also need to start “preparing” them a little bit for the National Spanish Exam. It’s part of my Master’s Project this semester, I’m doing a paper on comparing TPRS/TCI with an eclectic, output-based approach and student performance on a nationally standardized test.

          2. I am absolutely stunned that a level 1 class is able to read through a novel and get something out of it. The model of delayed gratification is so engrained in me, I suppose. I would love love love love love to get my kids doing this.

          3. Careful on those standardized exams. Too much to say but they can give false reads. I know they are changing however. You may want to search the term here – there have been articles on it in the past. Ideas from others are welcome. We don’t want Chris to walk into a grey area here since it is connected to his M.A.

        1. What I tell students is “imagine.” (I put it in Chinese on a bulletin board, too.) Sometimes it happens that a student protests some detail (“That’s not possible!”) when there were already 3 or 4 impossible things in what we were making up.

          But I also need to use that “imagine” a lot more and when it still doesn’t happen, make stuff up. Some kids don’t “get” it. PQA becomes dry then.

  3. I am completely on board with BSing. For the past two days we have been doing one word images in my Spanish classes after 3 weeks of reading El Nuevo Houdini. I feel like I do when I let my 1.5 year old dog off-leash – they are just off and running and so happy to be freed from the constraints of a pre-made story. The one word image has basically been extended BSing. The first day I chose “cosa” (thing) and today I did “hombre” (man) because despite 1.5 years of Spanish, and the fact that those are both in the top 10 most frequent nouns, my kids have/had no idea what they meant. Plus it was so open that we could just create anything out of it. After only 5 months of TPRS they are so used to BSing and inventing crazy crap that they just eat it up and run with it. We created class pictures on mini-whiteboards as we went and of course every class wanted to top the previous one in the sheer outlandishness of the ideas.

    I really enjoy the free-flowing BS without the constraints of a story, and I think the kids do as well. There was no need to threaten them with a quiz or turn it into a reading. When they are eating it up so intently that they don’t even notice it is another language, that’s the time to just roll with it and see how far I can take it.

    All that said, I feel like reading the novel for 3 weeks was really priming them for this with so much high-quality written input. I asked them to do a 15 minute freewrite as well – to write Chapter 11 of the novel, and they went wild with it. The book really tethers the class to reality but it gives them vocabulary to soar with their imagination.

    man, I wish I could BS in Latin…

    1. Thanks for sharing! I’m tempted to try some OWI’s now. That sounds pretty fun. I feel like BSITL is the next frontier and is where FL classes should be going. I think it aligns closer to Krashen’s ideas than TPRS and it gets us closer to non targeted input than we’ve ever been.

      1. Chris I have lived this drama for twelve years and thought of little else than free form CI vs. the Three Steps of TPRS. Many articles, hundreds, here on that topic, but more like in 2007-2009. In one sentence, free form CI/PQA needs tracks to travel on.

  4. Ben,

    I am just getting around to reading this now (It was one crazy second semester). I don’t even know if you see the comments come through on the older posts.

    Anyway, if you see this: You say ‘CI/PQA needs tracks to travel on.’ That is very intriguing to me. What do you mean, exactly? I think that there are numerous members of this group who are trying to lay those tracks each day. Maybe we should open up the factory this year and start production.

  5. Shannon I address this question in the latest published article here on the PLC about not saying anything that the students don’t already know, with the exception of the target structures for that day. Please read that and get back to me if it is not properly explained there. Thanks.

  6. I saved a copy of the Powerpoint on my school computer. Feel free to email me for a copy (assuming that’s ok with Carol Gaab).

    Hi Linda! I teach Chinese too!

  7. Martin thank you. I took the liberty of updating the link with the one you sent. How big is that dropbox in Germany? (I know, I know but I like to think of it in Germany.) Could we use it for file sharing if I made the hard link on this page to it?

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