Mystery Picture

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14 thoughts on “Mystery Picture”

    1. And the worst is that she isn’t at fault. She was taught that way and at the University of Kansas went through the entire teaching training with what appears to be little to no awareness of comprehensible input. It’s because the universities don’t teach it either, which is why Krashen is so dismissed by them and, to speak truly, by ACTFL. It’s a form of unintentional theft from young teachers – a sin of omission by the universities, who are real culprit.

  1. The universities are the real culprit and yet nothing is being done about it. I was once observed by a teacher trainer at Metro State University in Denver who was working with a student who was becoming a French teacher. She was mystified in class and after the class my conversation with her made me feel as if I was talking to a fence post.

  2. No one is to be blamed, of course, for this entire travesty/nightmare in the language community. It has been going on for so long. Textbook companies made a fortune from this situation, this ignorance/closed mindedness of what comprehensible input really means*. We’ll keep pecking away. Maybe in fifty years….
    It’s just so odd that I was sitting there teaching my son about adjective agreement, irregular adjectives, etc. today and it just seemed so damned stupid! Like, why did I ever do that? But I can’t blame others. We’re all in the same boat. But certain parts of the boat really stink.
    *What don’t they understand about the word “unconscious”?

  3. Wow. So frustrating. You’d think the teacher would at least get up to speed on technology and have the students do something like Duolingo for homework.
    You should speak up, Ben. Even if she gets defensive, like I would if any parent criticized my teaching, at least you’d plant a seed.
    Maybe turn it into a critical thinking moment for your son, on why sometimes we are given tasks that aren’t helpful and what to do about it.
    Sigh.

  4. I know exactly what your are saying, Sean, about contacting her. But I think to protect my son’s experience with her I’ll stay quiet. There are so many of those young university trained teachers out there, doing their best, oblivious of the research.
    God bless us all. One day, just like what happened with me and a lot of us, the sun will rise on the research. I feel as if this is one big divine joke, and it is best if we just let things play out naturally as they are meant to.
    What won’t be missed by my son is this person’s awesome enthusiasm and that is more important to transmit to young people than knowledge.

  5. Jennifer Goldszmidt

    I’ve been teaching for 24 years, and this is the first year I’ve actually used CI. I’m not even doing it yet for my Spanish classes — I’m focusing on the French classes first because my language is more developed in French.
    I totally understand your frustration with your son’s teacher. I just hope I haven’t screwed up too many kids in all the time I’ve been teaching.

    1. …I just hope I haven’t screwed up too many kids in all the time I’ve been teaching….
      Me too! Some day there will be a “Me Too” movement for language teachers. But we all have done our best, and the prevailing thinking at the time was as it was, so there is no blame. It fans fires of anger in me, though, and I have tried to temper them by writing books. This site, also, has been my place to keep my sanity, to know that I am not completely alone in my “radical” thinking. So t’en fais pas.

      1. Jennifer Goldszmidt

        One of my Spanish 1 students from last year decided to take French 2 this year (he took French in middle school and now he’s in 10th grade). Today, I had the students draw people I described (Family Guy characters), and then I made up a story and used my quiz writer and my recorder and my counters… (I have to make sure the students know how to describe people this quarter, and how to invite someone to do something — “essential curriculum”).
        The lesson went pretty well. I asked my former and now current student on the way out if he felt like he was OK in this class. I’m nervous for him because everyone else at least had French 1 last year and he didn’t. He told me, “I feel better in this class. I understand what’s going on in this class.”
        Made my day.

  6. Alisa Shapiro-Rosenberg

    When the WL teacher /parent worlds collide and we watch our kids taught traditionally, it’s a real test of patience and self-control. A few years a go my son was taking Latin at a small private progressive school (the only middle school language offering, BTW). It was HIDEOUS – completely grammar translation – now, new & improved with iPADs!! I tried to plant a CI seed with the teacher during P/T conferences, inviting him to come see the CI transformation in our district and I followed up with a diplomatic and non-threatening email that had links to blogs and conferences, etc w/ some of the Latin superstars – Justin, Keith, etc…
    No dice.
    Just a plastic “yeah whatever I do it MY WAY” smile…
    The horse has to be looking for and want to drink the water….

  7. I would befriend the teacher. Just in a hello type of way. Keep the conversation going. Don’t describe any concerns. Then invite her to a conference/workshop at a discount. The very worst is that she checks out your profile and finds out you are a CI teacher.

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