Grammar

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2 thoughts on “Grammar”

  1. Funny you should ask. This year I taught several different groups of students. My juniors had a CI-based class last year, but with explicit and direct instruction about the preterite and imperfect tenses. My sophomores are a a different breed of animal and since they were my students last year and will be my students again next year, I decided to stay away from all explicit instruction/practice on the preterite and imperfect (especially the preterite vs. the imperfect!!) However, the majority of our work used the past tenses with pop-ups ( I have to admit here that I am not as pop-uppy as others are…)
    On the final exam, the students were asked to choose two of three essay topics. NONE of the essay topics required the use of the past tense specifically. At least two-thirds of the sophomores wrote completely in the past tense, with highly accurate endings (including imp vs preterit) The other third wrote in the present tense, except for certain verbs which were frequently used in the past (era, tenía que, quería, fui, vio, decidió, intentó)
    The juniors were all over the map, still trying to decide which endings to use where…..and stopping during their writing to figure it out…my sophomores didn’t realize that was an option lol, they just wrote what they “knew.”
    I’m not saying that direct instruction isn’t helpful….it may be that the juniors just hadn’t had enough CI before they got to that stage…but it was very interesting to see the difference.
    The other interesting observation? The juniors are a pretty strong group academically and the sophomores are not. From the beginning I have had to sloooooow way down with them. The benefits to that are very clear!!!!!!!!!!!!
    with love,
    Laurie

  2. Got it. Loud and clear. That’s all I needed to hear. Old habits die hard. Especially when they allow us to feel and act smarter than everyone else in the room, which is what they told us when we became teachers.

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