May The Circle Be Unbroken

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2 thoughts on “May The Circle Be Unbroken”

  1. I am also starting to realize that my goals as a Latin teacher are different from what they would be if I taught Spanish, French, or whatever other language. Our tests (AP/IB) are just qualitatively different. At least in Spanish the test is supposed to be about being fluent in Spanish. Even when they re-write the IB and AP Latin curricula, they are both still just about memorizing stuff in English.

  2. I have been following this advice lately as well-much more than my first two years practicing traditional “TPRS”. In fact, my student teacher and I have been starting with our opening conversations and something interesting has been coming up in each class and we just go with it and talk. The past two school days we have both been able to do this for the whole class which is 84 minutes! We are doing exactly what Ben described here…we follow the energy of the class. If it’s interesting to them, we talk about it. Why not? If for that moment they prefer to talk about a big hockey game between our school and our rival across town (as we did in one class), why not do it? We spoke about this in one class for at least 20-25 minutes in Spanish. Actually, I feel that I know my students so much better now because we are talking about real things that are happening in their lives at the moment. In two of my five classes, I heard kids saying to each other after the bell has rung to leave “This was so fun.” “Are we supposed to be doing this all class? It’s so cool to just hang out and talk.” “This was so interesting.”, etc.

    In their minds, maybe they feel that we are off topic but the best part of it all is that we stayed in the TL the whole time. Well, of course there was English here and there but really not much at all. They are very accustomed to the “only 2 English words at a time” rule and they also are very competitive about which class will win the donuts this month for staying in the TL the longest. In one class, a student started speaking and said 2-3 sentences in English and the rest of the class glared at him and yelled “Español! Queremos donas!” = “Spanish! We want donuts!”

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