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4 thoughts on “Nenêwâki”

  1. What a great job they did! I am so proud of them! Way to go tech team! And far more than I could even begin to take in.
    Simplicity. Just a few words at a time. Student directed. Compelling input. Lots of repetition.
    So as a learner trying to get the dialogue in my head, the assignment was to do something about spiders. I wrote 5 sentances, just 5 using my dictionary and grammer book. And then out to the wall with my 5 sentances to work them as I did what I described. I figured that would nail them to my brain.
    I swept the sticky cobwebs as I repeated over and over–cobwebs are sticky. (2 weeks later I don’t remember the word cobweb or sticky). I saw a big black spider with her nest. (you guessed it, I would recognize the words typed out, but I don’t remember them to write them or say them to you). I spent 2 hours working on these 5 sentances. They were compelling at the time. The cobwebs needed to come down (and did).
    And when I went to speak to my Master, luckily the cheat sheet was nailed on the wall behind the computer so that I could skype them but they didn’t stay in my brain past the moment.
    It takes a very long time of HEARING IN CONTEXT words before we read them and a long time of use before they are comfortable in our mouths and as a part of our language experience.
    Good luck at Sauk my friend.

  2. It’s all about going so SLOWLY that it is painful for us as the instructors. Add in the no-English rule and we have a plan. Perhaps the biggest counter to inappropriate behavior is to slow down, because once it is compelling, they will listen. If they understand, they don’t act out, esp. at middle school.

    1. I think that if you started out every single post with the paragraph above, we might finally find the meaning of life in a CI classroom. I marvel that, in some ways, it always seems to come back to this. Powerful.

  3. Jody remember the posts here from around 2007/2008 when we talked about that? I bet I could find them if I searched the word SLOW. I do have to tell you, though, that the meaning of that word has changed for me in the past four years. It used to mean to just to speak more slowly. Now for me it means speak more slowly but also “arc” into their minds to try to feel what each one of them is feeling while I am going slowly. It’s like with some of the kids, there is no arc, no neural arc into their brains. That information, their level of engagement and my part in it, my awareness of how slowly I am going, is readable in their eyes. It is a dance of trust. I earn their trust by being aware of what they are experiencing and going at a slow enough pace that they can jump on the train. When I thus become more aware of what they are actually hearing from me, being aware of that mental arc connection between us, it increases my awareness of how slowly I am speaking and greatly increases the vibration of awareness of what the language means in the classroom. The SLOW train plugs along and they behave, also, because they are engaged in something meaningful to them. The language seems to come more to life, the class moves better on the slow train.

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