Output

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12 thoughts on “Output”

  1. Sometimes it’s easy to second guess the research and not fully trust what we know is true. It is a process of breaking down old ideas and happens little by little. It’s a running joke with some of my classes when they say something that I didn’t focus on. I always ask “Where did you learn that.” Even though I didn’t realize that I said it a lot, they had acquired it. I also find this with myself and some students when reading for fun. I find myself saying something that I didn’t even realize that I knew. I almost exclusively read in Spanish, especially since you can get books on kindle in many languages. Input seems too easy and I believe that’s why it is so hard to accept.

  2. “Input seems too easy and I believe that’s why it is so hard to accept.”
    The comment above aligns perfectly with the recent post “Toughness and Kindness” re: Laurie Clarcq’s blog post “Kindness: Why It Matters At The High School”. I think Melissa is dead on.
    This is why if I had said to any one of my former supervisors or fellow colleagues “My class is REALLY hard”, their reactions would probably be that I must be a “good” teacher, when in fact the more appropriate reaction would be for them to think “Oh, he must be doing something wrong.” Luckily, my class is not hard. The only thing thing which should ever be hard for my students in my view should be resisting the urge to speak L1. But even that should be a non issue after a bit of classroom norming as long as I things varied and centered around my kids’ interest.

    1. Greg,
      Your comment makes me think of one of the most brilliant quotes I have heard. Mike Peto said,
      “If you want to criticze me, look at my results, not my methods. If you want to know how I got those results, look at my methods.”

      1. Great quote Michael. Perfect for what we do and a nice request to kindly make to people we come across who don’t like CI methods – to look at our results.

  3. Ben,
    I agree with everything you said. Maybe I am reading the request wrong… or we don’t have enough information but I think this request is legit.
    “…I am interested in seeing CI activities and or videos for upper levels. I teach Spanish III and AP. I am somewhat familiar with CI/TPRS for lower levels and am always working to incorporate these into my upper level classes…”
    I love watching other TPRS teachers in action. I learn from what they do well, I learn from what they might not do well, and I learn from how they share their gifts. I think we have a fair amount of beginning examples of what a TPRS class might look like. The request to see AP classes could be helpful to others.
    Dramatizing a poem by Gustavo Adolfo Becquer or a short story by Julio Cortazar could be tremendously helpful (and fun) for an AP Spanish student…
    On the moreTPRS group there was a discussion about this in upper level classes and I think upper level teachers often DO miss the point of the purpose of TPRS. For this reason you are right on with your rant. TPRS, as stated in the moreTPRS group conversation, is a specific tool with a specific purpose…building language proficiency or communicative competency.
    https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/moretprs/conversations/topics/143015
    I think having a collection of videos of “advanced” classes could be helpful. They won’t look, feel, act, or be the same as a level 1 or 2 class. Conversations, literature, and the general routines 4 years later could be useful to see.
    When I saw Joe Neilson last year in Tuscon he talked with me about the modality of TPRS to be his biggest problem from year to year with students. Some of us lack the creativity to inject novelty into our curriculum alone. Adapting upper level curricula for TPRS is a need.
    Maybe others can discuss how they do this…

    1. Yes, post those upper-level videos if you can (I mean – with permission to have students in view, or not showing students in the video).
      I have some video from Chinese 4, but my level 4 class this year isn’t CI until now. With them, I do the same activities as in level 1 & 2 because they are new to CI. Actually, I try to provide a variety of activities in steps 2 & 3 for all levels so nothing feels tedious or too frequent.
      Playlist of those level 4 students (very small class of 5) doing Listen & Draw, Look & Discuss, Read & Discuss: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1la7H23RQ4&list=PLCaX8Z4AkGZq7T84uFVcsgotUN5OjANqO

      1. Diane,
        I have been watching some of your videos since joining the group. I love watching you in action. I took two summers of Mandarin with Linda Li…you are GREAT! Also your students stay with you the whole time. Their comprehension and output is so impressive.
        I hope someone tags you to present for other teachers at one of these conferences!

  4. I would LOVE to see videos of upper level classes!
    I am struggling with what I perceive as the HUGE amount of vocab that students need in all areas of the AP exam, but specifically to do well on the reading comprehension section. I fully admit that the current lists of vocab I am giving my hard-working students are not anywhere near great, so I would love to hear, or see, specific ideas from you all. My current understanding and experience of CI at the lower levels is not translating for me into upper levels. I feel like I am giving me upper level students good exposure to input of grammar but not nearly enough exposure to vocab.

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