Change in Point and Pause

When we write something new or that they are weak on on the board in the form of Point and Pause, most of us write the TL word next to the English and connect them with a dash or an equal sign. I’ve been leaving out the TL word lately. It builds better accents and it is not really necessary to do, since all we want to do in Point and Pause is establish meaning of the sound. They can see what it looks like in the TL when they do the Step 3 reading later. This idea was a one day blip in a thread about two months ago. Thanks to whoever it was that brought it up. I finally got around to doing it and I like it, but since I’ve been doing it for fifteen years the other way it is hard to remember. Is anybody else doing it? What are your thoughts?



17 thoughts on “Change in Point and Pause”

  1. French is on my mind, obviously (see Red Alert 2 post), and I was thinking about how shocking it is to finally see a French word spelled out that I’ve mentally represented otherwise.
    “au revoir” comes to mind. I just assumed it was spelled “auvoua” or something, but no. Is this a big deal? Probably not. I think we should look to the actual process on this one…
    I asked Eric H. about Spanish pronoun use. Yes, I understand they’re about as necessary as Latin ones (which is “not very” since the information is contained in the verb), but I have to consciously choose whether or not to use them. In his reply, he mentioned that by omitting the pronoun, “yo,” for example, students would have to get the information from the ending “-o” on the verb to convey that “I” am doing the action. Although it’s up for debate as to when students will begin noticing those endings anyway, when they do, their attention is drawn to the ending and not a separate word.
    By speaking the TL and pointing just to an English word, students’ attention is drawn to the sound of the TL. As long as they end up reading that same word in Step 3 reading, I think it has potential to be an effective strategy. Smoke & Mirrors…the clever kind?

    1. “In his reply, he mentioned that by omitting the pronoun, “yo,” for example, students would have to get the information from the ending “-o” on the verb to convey that “I” am doing the action.”
      This combats the Lexical Preference Principle right?! Practicing for when I get to take the SLA challenge on Tea with BVP some day… 🙂
      (Lance and Eric are the only ones to play, and win, so far right?!)

    2. Adding the pronoun puts the focus on the doer/subject of the action and serves to create emphasis/contrast with another does/subject.
      In writing in English we might underline or italicize the pronoun to get the same effect. In speaking, we create a contrast/emphasis by dragging out the pronoun and put more energy into pronouncing it.
      The subject pronoun is Spanish is also used to clarify which of two or three subjects are being talked about when the verb ending allows for ambiguity. Is Spanish “va” “he goes,” “she goes,” or “you (teacher) go”? This occurs more in French and English. In French, without the pronoun, we cannot hear the difference among the following “I / you (ami) / she / he / they speak.” In English, without the pronoun we cannot read or hear the difference among the following”I / you / we / they speak.”
      Again, in English, if we drop the subject pronoun (except with it/she/he) we end up with the command form (I go => Go!). French pretty much follows this pattern.

  2. In small class sizes I could see this working, but I have 38 students and anywhere from 5-10 absent each day. Removing the English can be very difficult.
    When I do this, I have so many students (especially those with IEPs) check out. Also, if I have a student that has missed a day having the english next to word is very helpful. I will probably continue putting English next to word because I have too many miscommunications when I leave them off.

    1. I think he’s talking about removing the TL word and leaving the English word up there, so they see the English and hear the TL.

      1. Thanks, I shouldn’t post anything right now 🙂 Getting married next week and I’m not very good at reading at this point in my life 🙂

          1. How’s the work load Paul? Short sentence will do but we haven’t forgotten your situation and would like periodic updates. And all the best of everything to you and your bride!

  3. Paul, if you teach Spanish, you would ONLY write the English on the board, and say the Spanish.
    If you teach English, you would ONLY write the native language, and say the English.

  4. Yah I have no horse in this race. It’s worked pretty well for me over the years to put the TL word on the board with the L1 word. Just exploring, wanting to think what y’all think about it. Thanks for those comments.

  5. I’m forever thinking about more ways to make sure students see both pinyin spelling of new words (like this situation) and later, characters for words they’ve heard a lot. So I’d lean towards writing the pinyin of any unfamiliar word that comes up. In fact, did so earlier today. I also wrote characters for words that were familiar but used in a new combination – plus their English meaning.
    My French teacher dept. chair says she tries to reduce the writing of French words too early. French lacks something phonetic like pinyin, though. I wait to show them characters in the same way.

  6. A few years ago, some students stayed after school, and I taught them the bit of Greek I had picked up. I did not bother with the alphabet at first. We just kept it spoken, circling with stuff in the room “What is this? That? Where is ? How many? Is that the window or the door? etc. Anytime there was a new word introduced they wrote it down in their own phonetic script. This reminded them how to pronounce the words when they reviewed them. We only met a few times per week for about 30 minutes. Later, I began writing the spelling on the board with Greek letters and their good pronunciation carried over into the reading of the Greek letters. When we got to Greece that April, they were able to pronounce words on signage, although the tricky part was the abundance of completely capitalized words.
    (As an aside, Lance recently witnessed how much I have lost since then . He asked me “Pos se lene?” (what is your name). I could not construe a meaning although it sounded so familiar it almost hurt. He reminded me of the meaning and it is currently there for instant use. The language is still there, but needs to be sparked with more input.

    1. So, as I meant to say above, I think the idea has merit, with true and false beginners. My experience with book and worksheet students is that it is best to withhold the written form as long as possible in order for them to gain some oral memory of the spoken form. And then let them see what they heard and are often able to correctly pronounce.

  7. A tiny detail – some of us in our district changed the establishing meaning written format to:
    The TL word written in black and underlined; the English translation written below it in red (or other). These look like short manageable chunks and can be stacked. Also if arrows need to be drawn to reveal word order differences, it’s more clear. We are pretty religious abt always doing it this same way, for the brain’s sake.
    As for posting the written word/translation, I can vouch for the importance of the massive auditory input first, as many of my beginning of yr 1st graders are pre-literate. I still can’t count on reading with all Ss in that group. I do a bit of pause & point for differentiation, but I don’t expect it’s use or rely on it.
    When I’ve done French lessons at t/CI workshops (because I don’t speak French), I find the written piece extremely challenging, and while I like to see the words, I have a hard time pronouncing/reading them afterwards. The sound to symbol correspondence doesn’t stick (yet) due to lack of auditory exposures. So yes, I say err on the side of offering the written code (I don’t think it hurts, does it?), but not at the expense of the massive aural input.

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