John Bracey on controlling blurting during Look and Discuss classes. Bold words mine:
Here’s my L&D procedure with student artwork in class:
1) Have the first, or only, drawing projected on the board as students walk into the room. (This usually gives kids time to get used to the artwork and talk about it in English before the bell rings).
2) Remind the students of the rules of L&D. A) We talk about the pictures in LATIN ONLY. B) It’s okay to laugh at funny pictures, but not okay to comment in English. C) We NEVER talk about the quality of the artwork.
3a) When a student blurts something negative…I stop dead and laser point to the “Goodwill Attitude” classroom rule and look sadly at the student. (The slower and more deliberate the body language, the better).
3b) When a students blurts something benign in English…I do the same thing only point to “No English during Latin time” rule.
3c) When EVERYONE starts blurting…I say very calmly, “Timeout. Our artist has done some really amazing work, and I am as anxious as your are to talk about it. Let’s have this conversation in Latin and Latin only. If this becomes an English conversation, it is my responsibility to change activities. I personally would love to spend class talking, laughing and having a good time in Latin. Wouldn’t you? Let’s try this again.”
4a) If civility has been restored, we have a good old time talking about pictures and laughing.
4b) If the mass blurting continues, I fall back on the the following activity: 1) Read a paragraph of a class story aloud and have them write the whole thing down as a dictation. 2) Project the paragraph on the board and let them correct their spelling. 3) Have them translate that paragraph into English silently and hand in their translations for a “quiz grade”. (I never actually grade this. However, I will count this as a “homework assignment” and put it into my grade book to keep administrators off my back.)
5) Try again next time. I make it point NOT to mention the previous L&D experience whether it was positive or negative. I want them to have a fresh chance to enjoy how much fun the conversations can be without all of that English and negativity ruining it.
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3 thoughts on “L and D Blurting Plan”
This is a particularly strong use of dictee. Here it is being used as a hammer to instantly quiet a classroom and send a message. Very well done, and thank you for the detailed description, John. This is getting taped to my board next to where the image is projected.
Both Lance and John address blurting. Lance implies that”discussicide” is a teacher issue. John addresses blurting by students. In both cases, ego is at the root of the disturbance of the calm waters of CI. People have an idea and want to be heard. Teachers who interrupt their instruction with English (moi) are shooting themselves in the foot most of the time. Teachers who allow the blurting because they don’t have a strong plan won’t get any good CI going ever. CI needs to be uninterrupted or it can’t cut through down into the unconscious minds of the students. Our troubles are our own fault. We allow both ourselves and them to blurt. The finger is pointing back at us. Ego strikes fast and often in CI classes. We must be vigilant.
Thanks, Ben! I’m glad this plan resonated with you. At this time of the year in particular managing blurting can be a pain.