I’m just not into giving classroom instructions in the TL. I know many of us do that. It just seems artificial to me. My focus is on the CI I am preparing to do in that class and I don’t want those weird confused looks on my kids’ faces when I set it all up. I know I’m in the minority on this. But how many times are people in France going to tell my students to take out a sheet of paper when they get over there? Concerning those for whom I work who have a passionate need that I teach my language students classroom directions because it’s in the scope and sequence, I don’t give a rat’s ass.
The Problem with CI
Jeffrey Sachs was asked what the difference between people in Norway and in the U.S. was. He responded that people in Norway are happy and
3 thoughts on “Classroom Directions in TL”
De acuerdo. I think we underestimate how much students understand instructions in L1 in their other classes (or whether they take the time to listen to them at all!). You don’t want to end up with someone mentally checking out from something right from the start just because they didn’t understand the instructions.
I often (but not always) say it in Spanish and then repeat in English. Same with directions on quizzes and tests. Lead with Spanish/English directions follow. This may not make much of a
difference, but it makes me feel better, and that’s a valid enough reason because if I’m less stressed even a little, good things can more easily happen.
I’ve been trying to practice the regular routines only using TL. I find that it’s like everything else – if I use/circle enough, it gets acquired. I do much less complicated stuff than you HS Ts, but distributing/collecting materials (a coveted job) all happens w/TL instructions. So is turning on/off light; opening/closing door, lining up, etc.
But if it were specific and detailed instructions about gluing stuff in columns in a notebook, etc., I’d give those in English, unless it was a daily affair. Then I’d introduce and circle and practice and TL all the way…