Project Based Learning

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

45 thoughts on “Project Based Learning”

  1. Oh and he also mentioned that the TPRS demo he’s seen (the one I did for the department) is very teacher-centered. I don’t think there’s any way to get around that really, but I also think CI requires the teacher to do most of the “visible” work. We can’t have students teaching students how to speak a language neither of them speak! Doesn’t make sense to me.

    1. I had a misinformed parent say I was a “teacher-centered” teacher. I tried to demonstrate through examples of what happens in class how that is not the case. Teaching from a textbook would be textbook-centered and that’s worse; could be teacher-centered, too, but not student-centered in any real way. Would someone say a band director is “director-centered” because they must give students a lot of input about how to play? I think we are less teacher-centered that that necessarily is. I think we also must show how we are constantly engaging students and seeking their input into the direction & shape of the lesson by:
      – looking them in the eyes to see if they are understanding;
      – their demonstrated understanding through answering questions & suggesting cute ideas;
      – their drawing, acting, of content;
      – any written prep they do for stories, free writes, etc.
      Students, if they will, are really engaged in a meaningful way – not the way that partner speaking practice exercises “look” student-centered but really are uncreative and textbook-centered.

      By the way – I’m writing from San Francisco. My 8th grade (oldest) class is here for a Chinese culture/language trip, and I am really loving hearing their Chinese! They are understanding people with Cantonese accents and everything. It is so much better than my pre-CI years’ kids. They tried, and some excelled – now they are all really doing well. I’m thrilled.

    2. Your administrator needs to be taught the difference between teacher directed and teacher centered. He has been trained to think that having students do pair and small-group work is student centered. That works fine in other classes where students can get information on their own.

      It doesn’t work in a language class where students don’t have enough knowledge or skills to get information on their own. Besides, the important thing is not “information” per se but Comprehensible Input, i.e hearing and reading the target language in a way that it is understandable and compelling (or at least interesting) to them.

      How is TCI, and specifically TPRS, student centered? During PQA students provide information about themselves that leads the teacher to explore their lives and their interests, irrespective of lesson plans for that day. By providing students with the opportunity to explore a topic in depth and sustain focus, the teacher not only allows students to direct instruction but provides academic rigor to the class. (cf. the Department of State’s comments on academic rigor) During Story Creation (aka Storytelling and Storyasking), students provide detail that drives the story that is based on the teacher’s chosen structures. Those chosen structures are also student centered because they are chosen based on the following criteria:
      – high student interest in topics that arise from these structures
      – teacher’s assessment of the student’s language needs
      – high frequency for the students’ demographic

      This way of teaching is far more student centered than any textbook could be because it plans and modifies instruction according to the needs, strengths, weaknesses and interests of the class. Contrast this with the standard textbook that has a scope and sequence based on a program of grammar instruction over two to three years, is edited so as to “appeal” to a broad section of the educational community and meet the highly divergent requirements of the major purchasing states Texas (the real driving force), California and New York, is prepared and published years before your unique group of students has entered the classroom, includes generic cultural items unrelated to the real interests of your students, presents the grammar and culture through the lens of fictitious characters whose alleged interests may or may not coincide in any way with those of your students, and is aimed at a non-existent “average” language learner whose profile none of your students match.

      When you really consider it, following a textbook has got to be the least student-centered way of planning and organizing instruction on the planet.

  2. I do an annual writing project. I’m not required to do this–I created the project because I like to give my students the chance to create something wonderful that will be a souvenir of Spanish class. Most are proud of their end products.

    Step 1: timed writing on a given topic (Spanish “My family,” Spanish 2 “When I was a child.”

    Step 2: I look over the TWs and clarify or do stories on whatever I see the class is having problems with.

    Step 3: Another TW, write same story (or a new one if they didn’t like the first)

    Step 4: 10 minute editing session with a partner–suggest ways to clarify, expand story, correct (final story will be 100 words, 10 pages.)

    Step 5: I use the computer lab one day and have them type their stories and email them to me. Why don’t they do that part at home? Google Translate. I want to make sure it is all their own work. I also give a quick lesson on how to type Spanish characters and accents.

    Step 6: Print out their stories and peer edit, again, only about 10 minutes.

    Step 7 (difficult part, due to time constraints): meet with me 1-on-1 outside class for a 5-minute editing session. I email the edited version back to them which they print out, and they have an error-free story.

    Step 8: Illustrate book. (This year the art department is illustrating the books.)

    Once it is finished, they take turns reading each others books or I have them read them out loud to the class. We display the books at the annual Educational Expo, along with the science projects, etc, so I guess a second benefit is having something to show to other students and parents.

    It may sound like a lot of output, but it’s little bits of time stretched over many weeks. I keep the books for one year so I have some for the next year’s students to read. I keep copies of the best for my library. This year the art teacher is going to e-publish and we may make some hardbound copies of the best ones.

    I like this project because everyone succeeds–all books are perfect Spanish–and because it gives the upper students a chance to do the output they want.

  3. The class competitions that Ben has set up are also projects and you’ve already done a video, so it should not be difficult to do another one for that and label it project number 2. Rita’s book project sounds great.

    I got kudos for having “advanced” students give a walking tour of the town in English to some British ex-pats. The preparation was all CI since I had two different people give the students the tour first and they had material to read and then they designed their own tours. In class we practiced asking questions about family, interests, how long have you been living here? etc. so that they were prepared to chit-chat from one monument to the next. The student tours were two or three students to two or three “tourists”. It just happened that the inspector showed up then and he still talks about my “project”. The student tours were two or three students to two or three “tourists”. My real goal was to give the students an opportunity to use their English in an authentic situation with authentic speakers. No one was listening in to know whether or not they were making grammatical mistakes. I gave the “tourists” satisfaction questionnaires to fill out in order to find out how well the students had communicated information.

  4. Kristin, I am in the same sort of bind – not in school, but with my MAT. To punch final ticket for the MAT at Rutgers, I have to design four units based on the IPA – the three modes, etc. It is not representative of the way I teach anymore, so I am dragging my feet getting started. If you poke around on the NJ Standards site for wl, you will find a list of CI strategies that you may be able to incorporate into a CI friendly unit. I am still trying to think this through. There are units developed by the COACH group in California. Robert may be able to tell us if those units are TCI friendly. It’s been a long time since I looked at one. Rita’s story book creation and Judy’s guided tour sound interesting too.

    1. Ah, I finally found this note.

      The COACH materials are a mixed bag, reflecting the evolution of the group and the desire to provide materials for a variety of teachers. So we do have some materials for grammarians (ser vs estar; preterite vs imperfect) that were created at least 10+ years ago. We have other materials, particularly cultural materials, that lend themselves much more to a TCI classroom. Our newest effort is the “COACH story” as it is currently called. We sat down to write a TCI/TPRS story for level 3. It began in Spanish and was a crime story about a theft in the Prado. I adapted it to the Cultural History Museum in Vienna under the title of “Der Fall des sauren Kunststudenten” (The Case of the Angry Art Student), and my French colleagues adapted it to the Musée d’Orsay in Paris under the title of “Vol au Musée d’Orsay”. They are the ones who really ran with the ball on this one and have done a great job. The story is four chapters long, and one of the teachers who piloted it said it takes about three weeks to read and do the various activities – mostly cultural items in the target language.

      COACH also has books on different subjects. The very first book, and the project that launched COACH as it is today, is called “All About Me” and consists of “culminating activities” that can be used to give students the opportunity to use the language – and satisfy admins. It was, as you may guess, done during a time of emphasis on the communicative approach. This one is in English, French, Spanish and German. We also have books on classroom management and the proper use of games as vehicles of comprehensible input, practice and assessment.

      So, if someone is looking for materials, COACH has some good resources, but not everything is TCI; the newer things are, and the cultural PowerPoints have always been unconsciously TCI friendly.

  5. I have my students create video stories using only the words that are in their dictionaries. (My students write down the phrases/words that we learned in each lesson in their own “dictionaries”). I only allow those words to be used in the video project. I explain to them that the other students watching cannot enjoy the video if they try and use words that are new to them. Many times the students will base their story on a story that we’ve already done, but put their own twist on it. My students love to make videos so this works for me, but I’ve also had some of my drama students act it out in front of the class like a play. I’ve also allowed students who are camera shy to make a story book. I hope this helps!

  6. I love this idea of a video project. I have several 7th graders who who love this-thanks for this idea. Every year I have my 6th and 7th grade students take one of their free writes, I edit it, then they turn it into a comic strip. Then I color copy and bind all the comics into a book (Staples)-students can then read this during Free reading. It’s not a huge project, but it passes as a project and it’s used in the future, doesn’t just sit on a teacher’s shelf.

  7. If you are familiar with piZap.com you can have kids import images or use their own pictures and superimpose their heads on it. The presentation I saw had a picture of a charioteer in the Colosseum with the kids head on top of the driver! Cute.

  8. For the schools who like technology:
    The students can make prezi or power point presentations of different stories created in class. They can animate them, maybe use the IM Translator and record the sound using whatever the technology is now available(garageband?) and use the sound in the power point. They could animate their stories, etc. You can then use those as homework in future years for students to read along with if you use Blackboard, Edmodo or some site.

  9. Could you make a digital portfolio with you leading the student-centered class? You could then record students doing retells. That could bolster your portfolio.

    Or, perhaps your PBL class is one where the entire class co-creates a story. That way you are in control of the language but everyone is involved in the process of brainstorming characters, plots, etc. You can use their ideas for the plot to control the target structures.

  10. Good suggestions! I have my students pair up to write and illustrate a children’s book that they then read to Kindergarten students. I ask them to use familiar vocabulary and I edit it before it is “published”. It is wonderful to see them read to the little ones! My older students create a cooking video in groups. I keep a library of previous class videos and my students in the other grade levels always look forward to seeing the new cooking video additions. I scrapped most of my other project ideas because I found that students wasted too much time just chatting in English or using Google translate for home based projects.

    1. Write something for younger students – what a great idea that will be wonderful in my preschool-8th school. We have kids in SK & 1 learning the same language I teach to 4th-8th graders. The 7th & 8th could do that.

      I agree about them wasting time talking in English. I am mostly convinced that opportunity was why they wanted projects.

    1. My experience is that teachers greatly UNDERESTIMATE the true time projects and technology take away from CI. I feel badly that teachers, who are big, bold, round CI pegs, feel they must jam themselves into these project-based square holes in order to keep their jobs. It is truly a losing proposition all around in my opinion. The teacher ends up diluting the very thing they say they stand for (comprehensible input instruction) and the students lose time receiving what they need (comprehensible input instruction).

      Drew’s suggestions, to keep the project in the CI area instead of the output area, seem like a good idea to me but is not really what THEY are looking for.

      My personal experience, and that of colleagues, is that most projects require “editing by the teacher”. I recoil at the thought. 🙂 However, I believe it’s probably ok at upper levels, end of 3 and 4, to do these things. I really don’t like them at 1 and 2 at all.

      I know, I know. Kids like these. There may be some confidence-raising value for the student. I’m not knocking that. I still think “projects” are a throw back to instruction that doesn’t work and a way to placate higher ups (not to mention giving the teacher a break from the draining work of “being on” for CI).

      Doing the frustrating, time-consuming work of educating the higher ups and parents about how language is truly acquired is difficult, but a better use of our time in the end. I feel like every time we have our students do a project, we undermine what it is we say we believe. Is we is, or is we ain’t?

        1. Yep. Me too. And I thank my lucky stars that I don’t (at least so far) have to make myself appear “project-y.” So I totally feel for everyone who does. I guess all of that said, the simplest way to keep CI going and “do a project” is to use the class created stories as the foundation so that the students don’t “create” new material but they add detail and/or image and/or video and/or sound effects (garageband). This way they are simply getting more reps while they create something out of the story.

          One thing I would throw out there is an extension of the projects like the comic strip / illustrated story book idea. Last year, we took a few of the class stories and illustrated them to make books, and then added another twist, which was to translate them into English so that we had little bilingual books. I took these with me to Batey Libertad in the DR so they could use them in their literacy center. They were a hit because they were simple enough to actually use for literacy purposes in Spanish as well as ESL. AND because they were handmade they modeled the idea that kids can write their own books, with no fancy equipment. We did laminate these so they would last longer in the tropical climate.

      1. Jody, maybe you think “editing by the teacher” means the teacher rewrites what the student wrote. In my book project, students have a 1-on-1 editing session with me. It’s a lot like doing pop-ups, but on a personal level. There is no question whether they are listening or understanding, as there may be in a group setting. I think it is a very helpful experience for my students. And when the books are done, there is tons of highly personal and interesting CI for the whole class. So I still like this activity.

        1. I meant sitting down and correcting their mistakes with them as you describe. Doing that with 50+ kids makes my socks do the Ben Slavic dance. 🙂 The other 100 kids would have to do something else, or I’d lose my mind.

          I used to do easy, structured book projects with end of Spanish 1 students. No more. My experience was (and that of my colleague who did structured autobiographies every year with the Spanish 2 kids) that even with the personal “editing sessions”, they still didn’t correct all the errors, and the teacher had to decide whether to leave the errors in, have another editing session(s), mark up the text and threaten the kid with some kind of grade reduction if the errors don’t disappear, or correct the text her/himself from their flash drive or Google Drive. I, also, found that students spent more time on their artwork than on their text.

          My other dilemma always seemed to be how to keep everyone occupied in meaningful activity while all this was going on. I felt like the queen of fake busy work. My faster worker bee kids always finished their really lovely books quite quickly (rarely wanted to do another one however), and my slow kids (even with modified assignments) struggled to get it done and managed to get off task easily. Have you found some good solutions for the above? Having them do these at home only seemed to work for the kids who were already using class time wisely–putting them even farther ahead. Slow kids felt pressure to “get help” at home/google instead of doing their own work. Can you feel my angst?

          CI instruction delivered me from this output torture (it was for me). This is one of those activities that I would only do in order to keep my job, but I’m glad you enjoy the process and find the books to be helpful in your classes. They are pretty cool to look at–just not worth the work for me. Teacher sanity should be high on the criteria list for projects. This one sends me over the edge. However, my CI-clueless boss thought they were wonderful.

          1. Jody, I totally get why this project would not be worthwhile to you. I may see the day when I decide not to do it. But I do a few things differently.

            1) They type their stories from the longhand TW during a computer lab session. We edit the digital copy, which I email back to them, so that they have a perfect draft. I tried helping them make corrections on hard copies and found, as you did, many errors don’t go away.

            2) Editing sessions are outside class time–no way I can keep the rest of the class doing anything worthwhile while I’m helping individual students for 3-5 minutes each. That right there may be a deal-breaker for most teachers. However, I see it as a chance to connect 1-on-1 with my students, so it’s valuable to me in that way. It’s not just editing, it’s checking in with how they are doing in Spanish in general. I do this over a couple weeks–no way I can meet with 50 kids in a couple days.

            3) No artwork is done during Spanish class time… ever. Well, almost never. Occasionally they illustrate a structure or story, but so rarely my crayons and markers last for years and years. This year the advanced art class is doing the artwork for the books, except for a few students who want to do their own (on their own time).

            Again, this project is probably not something most teachers would want to do, and I probably won’t do it with Spanish 1 this year.

  11. oops!

    I’ll finish here.
    My goal is to maximize time where I provide CI to my kids ( I’d like to think it s CI and not ci but that may be wishful thinking).
    However I understand that Kristin is under pressure and wants to keep and preserve her job, therefore needs to do whatever she needs to ….

  12. But I think, have noticed, that teachers have a tendency to overeact to all the bullshit they have to do. Being four percenters, they take things seriously that they should take lightly. I do all the data collection work at Lincoln, the heaviest in DPS, and I keep a nice looking gradebook, but if you look at the time and effort involved, I am a total liar on every level. I rarely do much of anything but hang out with the kids in the language. I recommend Kristin take that approach. And, like you say Sabrina, she should do it to keep her job. But take it lightly. These people evaluating us don’t know what the hell they are doing and thus are easily fooled.

  13. What we should do is call them on the project based learning. Re-educate them. But that must come later, when there are more of us. We can’t take that on now and still keep our sanity. Knowing when to fight and when to comply. Sometimes it sucks to be in on the early part of this change.

  14. A number of years ago I decided that if our dept. had to do a project, I darn well was going to tie it to input whether the powers that be liked or not. So far, I’ve been winning. :o) Here’s an example of the first-year projects:

    Project A Intro level Poster
    In class the students create a “poster” on the SmartBoard. They choose a sentence from Pobre Ana that describes Ana. Teacher asks “How would we write this if we were Ana?” and all sentences are changed to the first person. Students then use the information on the SmartBoard, the book Pobre Ana, and their own “notes” to hand write 15-20 sentences in Spanish about themselves. They get 30 minutes in the computer lab to type and print out their own.

    Project B Intro level Mini PowerPoint.
    In class, led by the teacher, the students find sentences from Pobre Ana that describe Mexico. The teacher (or a reliable student volunteer) then puts those sentences into a simple PP presentation. Each student is given a template with 10 sentences in Spanish about a town / city. (ie _______es un pueblo mexicano. La poblacion de _____________es ______________. Esta cerca de___________________) Each student is given the name of a different town/city. They get ONE HOUR in the computer lab to create 5 gorgeous slides in Spanish using those sentences. The slides must include pictures of those places, the websites where info/pictures were found. The slides are saved into a shared file. The teacher has the option of combining those slides into a giant PP which can be used in class, used as a reading activity in the computer lab, shared on the school website.

    Project C Level 1 Music
    We use the song “Aqui Estoy Yo” in level one. There are four different male pop stars who came together to sing this song. We read about each of them in a PP or reading. The same “template” is used for each singer. (original name is, was born, has recorded, has won, likes to, wants to, etc. ) It’s about 15 sentences. We read and discuss etc.

    Each student gets ONE hour in the computer lab (because not all of our students have the internet) to research ANY musical artist of their choice (any genre, any language). Using the template from the other singers, they type up a piece about their chosen artist in Spanish, add a picture and print it out. We display them in the room and the teacher can create a small group reading activity using them if desired.

    See how they have to read in order to create? It’s been working very well. Every single project that we do is based on a reading or series of readings that we do in class. Every one. We also clearly identify the amount of class time that will be “lost” to the project. If a student wants/needs more time for a project we’ve solved it one of two ways:(this only happens if a student comes to us and requests additional time!!)

    1. If it is an electronic piece, a copy is submitted “as is” for grading. If the student submits a revised version within a few days, we’ll accept that.

    2. If it is not electronic, they must take pictures of it on their phone/using the school camera and email them to us to grade the project “as is”. Again, they can submit the finished project (poster, book etc.) in a few days.

    This prevents having no project to grade when a perfectionist can’t get the work done.

    If you aren’t sure how to attach input to a specific project, ask!!! This group should easily be able to help.

    with love,
    Laurie

    It’s helped us feel much better about projects!

  15. I want to echo what Jen said about taking the class stories you’ve already created, so that it is something fairly familiar to them, and have them use a computer program (i.e. Garageband, but there are others… Audacity??) to add sound effects, music, and images (clip art or hand-drawn illustrations). Tons of CI (no output necessary), and perhaps not a minor point, they are also learning the ropes to a really powerful computer program.

    I have some notes somewhere about how to do this project with a class, if you’d like to see them, I would be happy to share them. trippatmail2jim.com

      1. Ha… I know… nudity at the beach!

        (That is a reference to the name of a story we Garagebandified last summer in Breckenridge 🙂

        I’ll see what I can find, but I don’t have the time to write it out at the moment… muy busy.

        1. Here’s the topic notes (no details though, sorry!) from the session, this might help a bit. I’ll look for more stuff I might have.

          ——–

          Garageband Stories
          Jim Tripp
          iFLT 2012

          Make audio/video podcasts of your class stories. Learn the ins and outs of the process, and why it is worth doing in your classroom. Bring a computer if you have one… and start your own podcast the last few minutes of this session.

          1.About Garageband (and similar programs)

          2. Record your voice (the RAW audio)

          3. Incorporating the Illustration, a “croppy” process

          4. Fade in/Fade out, Sound Effects, Music, and more

          5. Loads of CI

          6. “Save As” and other ways to keep things simple and organized

          7. Flashdrives (how to not waste time on the handoffs)

          8. “¡Silencio!” and Headphones– Making things work in a group setting

          9. Trials

          10. Peer Editing

          11. Exporting the Podcast… the final product

          Total estimated project time for a beginner Garagebander – 2 to 4 hours

        2. Here’s something I give to my students. It has an Excel spreadsheet on the back for peer editing comments. There are four columns… Name of the peer editor, Time on the podcast track where the recommended revision will take place, Brief description of the revision suggestion, and a Yes/No for the podcast creator to say whether they did the revision or not.

          —–

          GarageBand Podcast
          Project Timeline

          1. Re-read the story and brainstorm ideas for your podcast.

          2. Make a QUALITY podcast of the story.
          (Should have all components: voice, images, sound effects, music)

          3. Have 3 people view your podcast. They will make detailed suggestions for improvement using the Garageband Peer-Editing form.

          4. Make revisions based on suggestions from classmates.

          5. Give podcast to Profe on a flashdrive (*Include your name and the story name in the name of the document using “Save as”. Example: “Tramposas – Mike Smith”). Also share with Profe the Garageband Peer-Editing form.

          6. Make final revisions based on Profe’s suggestions.

        3. This didn’t copy well from Excel, but you get the gist I’m sure. I don’t really use it anymore, but I do post it in the classroom so they have an idea of what I’m looking for. I would add a category for images… I’ve recently realized how important the use of images can be for the final product. (I say something like, “remember, these will be watched by other Spanish learners like yourselves, so give them hints with your sound effects AND images as to what is going on in the story).

          —-

          CATEGORY 4 3 2 1
          Syncronization Sounds effects match up with the events in the reading Sound effects mostly match up with the events in the reading Sound effects kind of match up with the events in the reading Sound effects do not match up with the events in the reading

          Accuracy Sound effects reflect the events in the reading Sound effects mostly reflect the events in the reading Sound effects kind of reflect the events in the reading Sound effects do not reflect the events in the reading

          Awesomeness (Creativity) Totally LIGIT! Sound effects are good Sound effects are ok Sound effects are totally lame

          Completion The recording is complete with sound effects and music. (There are no “voice only” parts for longer than 10 seconds, unless it makes sense to do otherwise) The recording is almost complete with sound effects and music. (There are no “voice only” parts for longer than 15 seconds, unless it makes sense to do otherwise) The recording has some sound effects and music. (There are no “voice only” parts for longer than 20 seconds, unless it makes sense to do otherwise) There are very few if no sound effects and music

          Audibility Spanish voice is perfectly audible (able to be heard) Spanish voice is audible, for the most part There are several spots where the Spanish voice is not audible. Spanish voice not audible is many parts

          1. Jim,

            Thank you for sharing those notes . Remember that I wanted to go to your session last summer in Breck and I ended up in the wrong place.
            How did your adult class work out BTW?
            Karen still hasn’t gotten back to me regarding Fluency fast.
            She must be a busy woman……..

          2. It was cancelled, only a couple people signed up, needed at least 6 to go ahead with it. Since that time however, I’ve had 4 people approach me expressing interest in a similar format in the future. Bad timing, bad publicity. Next time will be better (I hope!).

  16. Don’t you have professional autonomy? Here in BC, we do: my dept head can suggest all s/he wants, but I call the shots. As long as I teach the curriculum, I make all instructional and assessment decisions.

    Fact: language acquisition works via masses of comprehensible input. PBL does not provide that– it is a (great) strategy for socials, science, etc, but an atrocious one for languages. I use PBL in my Social Justice classes and it’s brilliant but your dept head/admin needs to learn that NOT ALL STRATEGIES WORK IN ALL SUBJECT AREAS.

    Using PBL to teach languages is like having a bunch of people with sports injuries try to do physio for each other: you need that one fit and skilled person to model what to do, over and over, and to gradually modify the exercises as the patients improve.

    If you can’t (or aren’t allowed to) stand up to this dept head/admin, think of some kind of “culture” project– e.g. “Given a budget of $__ per day and atotal of $__, which Latin American country would you visit, and what would you see/eat/do there etc.” That kind of thing works well for PBL

  17. …using PBL to teach languages is like having a bunch of people with sports injuries try to do physio for each other….

    LOL and so true! This image conveys it. How can they learn a language by collaborating on a project when only one person in the room speaks that language? What if a child when growing up did nothing but mostly output projects instead? Aren’t the 125 hours we get per year kind of important if it takes up to 10,000 hours required to get to even a relative degree of control over a language?

    Great point, Chris. And a great image.

  18. Adminz and Headz (and the rest of us) really need to keep in mind that you don’t put horseshoes on cows.

    IE, an instructional strategy that works wonders in one subject may well be a disaster in another.

    CI– via teacher input, reading, and PQA– along with learner interest and comfort (Krashen’s affective filter), is an essential feature of any language class. It’s also important in an English class, which is why I long ago stopped making kids read Shakespeare plays (now we watch them), or the Novels That I In My Infinite Teacher’s Wisdom Thought Important.

    Student practice is barely relevant in a language class for the first while. In my view, the only major benefit of students’ praticing speech (and to a lesser extent writing) early on is that they get to hear the language a lot…this, however, being somewhat offset by learner errors. Language learning is at heart a memorisation game.

    In a P.E. or math class, they need VERY little input, but LOADS of practice, with a bit of metacognition (what are my free-throw issues? How do we shut down their defence? Where do I screw up with negative numbers?).

    You don’t learn (much) basketball by watching videos, and you don’t learn (much) Language ___ by practicing sayingv30 words on one topic in the present tense, over and over.

  19. the feedback that was happening today in all the workshops was having the kids use the language in authentic ways, and level appropriate. Novice = striking up “spontaneous” greetings with each other.
    “Circling” greetings with each other by going around room asking from a “cheat sheet” with both english and spanish questions on it: What is your name? Where do you live? how old are you? how are you? what are you like? then another with “Bingo” sheet with questions like: Are you studious? Yes No if no, then say no, s/he is opposite.
    Are you tall? then same as above; Are you blond? same as above? on and on using various adjectives.

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