Still Circling?

To view this content, you must be a member of Ben's Patreon at $10 or more
Already a qualifying Patreon member? Refresh to access this content.

Share:

Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
LinkedIn

3 thoughts on “Still Circling?”

  1. Not sure this goes here, but related to Udo’s comment, and Ben’s follow -up, I just observed some Spanish classes at the local high-performing high school, where my students eventually attend.

    It’s not T/CI aligned (though some years ago they had some training.) The level of language used in these Spanish 2 -level-3 and Spanish 3 for freshman!! was pretty impressive. The teachers spoke the entire time in the TL, for class content and management, alike.
    But here’s the kicker: Every single utterance was tallied. The conversation was completely transactional – the Ss didn’t say anything without getting ‘credit’ for it (in one instance there was an electronic seating chart with names on the screen, and the teacher tallied responses by name for all to see.)

    In both instances, the T had a tight agenda of activities. In the first class, the imperfect tense drove the theme (‘What I used to do as a little kid.’) The sheep, I mean students, were marched around from partner/pair/share to whole group share to bingo. Every Q the teacher asked (speed PQA) was followed up by 2 extension questions by the T, and then a tally. Onto the next kid.
    Coming in with my elementary rose-colored glasses, I felt both awed at the level and rate of language use, and dismayed by the joylessness. All communication served the teacher, and the teacher served the grade book. No one volunteered unless a pointed question with an opportunity for a tally was on the line. I have only read about this – I have never actually seen it. It was an evidence-collecting machine.
    In the Sp 3 for freshman, they were reading an authentic play called The White Apron (El Delantal Blanco), about classism and prejudice. Very timely. They were working through a packet with comprehension and higher order thinking questions. I didn’t see much extemporaneous speaking cuz everyone was reading their answers from their packets. The whole operation was very robotic and passive, though the teacher was lovely. The Ss weren’t invited to think or create in the moment at all. Neither teacher used her whiteboard/marker because nothing unplanned ‘came up.’ Of course the kids know the drill so they were courteous, obedient and relatively attentive. If they only knew how much fun they could be having!

    Since their language level is prolly beyond Intermediate Low in most skills, I didn’t expect to see many of our T/CI foundational skills, but I was really turned off by the whole experience, though the teachers were excellent and hard-working. There just wasn’t any banter for banter’s sake!

    In fact hard work is how I would characterize the feel in there! And I’ll bet that’s the vibe they’re going for….for the kids, evaluators, etc.
    None of it felt real though – it felt like the language was serving not thought and opinion, but rather evidence for grades.
    I could not even picture any of those kids ‘throwing’ their teacher in the trash bin and then all having a great laugh and a fun story to repeat later….

    1. “Since their language level is prolly beyond Intermediate Low in most skills…” I would question this evaluation however. This is because while going through the ACTFL performance descriptors, I notice that formulaic, memorized language can falsely counts towards a better score. Just like parroting can make it seems like students know. It’s sad to see it encouraged. That is exactly it is… participation through tallies, points and grades. Here the teacher is treating learning another language like another subject. There is no building of intrinsic motivation.

  2. Alisa said:

    …[I was] dismayed by the joylessness. All communication served the teacher, and the teacher served the grade book. No one volunteered unless a pointed question with an opportunity for a tally was on the line. I have only read about this – I have never actually seen it. It was an evidence-collecting machine….

    Sounds a bit dystopian to me.

Leave a Comment

  • Search

Get The Latest Updates

Subscribe to Our Mailing List

No spam, notifications only about new products, updates.

Related Posts

The Problem with CI

To view this content, you must be a member of Ben’s Patreon at $10 or more Unlock with PatreonAlready a qualifying Patreon member? Refresh to

CI and the Research (cont.)

To view this content, you must be a member of Ben’s Patreon at $10 or more Unlock with PatreonAlready a qualifying Patreon member? Refresh to

Research Question

To view this content, you must be a member of Ben’s Patreon at $10 or more Unlock with PatreonAlready a qualifying Patreon member? Refresh to

We Have the Research

To view this content, you must be a member of Ben’s Patreon at $10 or more Unlock with PatreonAlready a qualifying Patreon member? Refresh to

$10

~PER MONTH

Subscribe to be a patron and get additional posts by Ben, along with live-streams, and monthly patron meetings!

Also each month, you will get a special coupon code to save 20% on any product once a month.

  • 20% coupon to anything in the store once a month
  • Access to monthly meetings with Ben
  • Access to exclusive Patreon posts by Ben
  • Access to livestreams by Ben