Limited Early Output

Liam wrote the text below in a comment here yesterday. We can use what he wrote in the spoken output game in our own classrooms.

Now, we all know and have stated many times here that forcing early speech in students is not good. I liken it to taking a car as it sits in the very first stages of an assembly line and expecting it to function – it can’t.

However, we have also mentioned that it is not the worst thing in the world to occasionally put the kids in a position where they feel like they are practicing speech, just for the confidence and pleasure it gives them, if for no actual pedagogical reasons.

It is in that interest that I repeat Liam’s comment here. It is a good plan for making kids enjoy that feeling (that’s all it is) that, by practicing, they are learning how to speak the language. The key sentence from his comment is here:

 …it provides a nice break from the routines of CI and almost always invigorates and encourages…. 

 Liam says:

In my first year of TPRS I did not make a big deal about drawing pictures for homework. But this year they’ve been more or less a routine for each story we come up with and they have proven to be very powerful.

Students will draw a 4-panel cartoon depicting the events and details of a story. I encourage fancy but don’t require it: hw is done/not done in my grade book. The next day, they discuss/describe it with a partner, briefly.

I collect the fancy drawings, and usually there are a lot, scan them and some time down the road pull up a picture on my projector. Oodles of circling and retellings ensue.

I also take a sampling of these pictures and upload them to VoiceThread. Once a month, at all levels, students are given 3-6 minutes to spontaneously record, for as long as they can, a description of the picture of their choice. Students love the speaking practice and seeing how much language they have acquired. It provides a nice break from the routines of CI and almost always invigorates and encourages.

A nice scanner in the WL office has made all the difference. We might print and bind the best pictures with the stories at the end of the year, making little booklets for the students. Great summer reading!   Liam

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1 thought on “Limited Early Output”

  1. Right, the pictures are powerful. I just handed some back without making copies. I can recollect and scan. The artist job has already become one of the most popular. Easy homework too. Good, good, good!

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