Question for the Group

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8 thoughts on “Question for the Group”

  1. What about MovieTalk with the TV show? I mean the way that Ashley Hastings designed MovieTalk: using a full-length film (or in this case, TV show). Show a scene with sound on. Show the scene again with sound off, and narrate AND describe the scene comprehensibly for your students. Sometimes ask a question as well – involve student predictions about what’ll happen next, their assessment of the characters, etc.
    That’s what I would do. They may catch some of the original soundtrack on the first pass — awesome! But the real aim with the first pass is to get a sense of what’s happening so the second pass narration & description is much more comprehensible. They’ve seen the action and now can concentrate better on hearing the description in the TL.
    I really love doing this with upper levels and Chinese movies. Students have loved it, too. It takes something still too advanced for them and makes it real for them. And when they do understand the original dialogue, it’s a celebration.
    The original MovieTalk idea is described here:

      1. Thanks for asking, Ben. None of my department wanted that change, and it happened over the summer. Some of us feel it shows some current blind spots about world language’s value to the mission of the school, a mission which is in fact very world-language-friendly. I have an amazing sense of thankfulness and respect for our department members; found this week that we have a like-minded sense of purpose & approach, more even than I knew before.
        My room is smaller than other classrooms because Chinese has the smallest classes. No desks (not practical with the size, but I wouldn’t want them anyway). It’s waaaaaay better with full spectrum lights. The first week, I had claustrophobic reactions in there after an hour; better light changed that. Now I am beginning to like the room. I bought a virtual window stick-on poster that looks like a big window overlooking the Great Wall. It does a lot to add a sense of distance and beauty. I also bought a negative ion generator, which makes the air more like outdoor air. If I could raise the ceiling, I would. The ceiling is lower than standard classroom height. Sabrina saw my room after the improvements & loved it, as have a lot of returning students. I also brought a plant light from home & I’m growing several kinds of vegetables in pots, including several Chinese vegetables. The students have been enjoying watching the sprouts grow as much as I have. I plan to let them taste them when the plants are mature.

  2. Hi, I haven’t used JoJo yet but I’m planning on it this year. It seems that all the episodes are really short, like 10 minutes or so. You could definitely do a movie talk, like Diane suggested. Most of the episodes follow a certain theme, so you could also pick out the most HF structures and PQA them. You could follow it with a short story that might follow the story line of what the kids are going to see in the episode. I would think that it would not take more than two class periods (regular, not block) to get them ready to watch the episode. Plus, they will have the visual to go along with the audio, which always makes it so much easier.
    I will chime in again, once I have had a chance to work with the show with my students (we only started this week).
    Good luck!

  3. I feel that the narrow and deep does come with Jojo particularly in the second and third seasons. The first season was very much designed with the vocabulary and structures in mind first. I feel that the plot was totally built to match that. In the second and third seasons, I feel that they started with the plot and then worked at what the best structures and phrases would be to do that. I get pretty good comprehension from Jojo episodes once we get into it. I do some of them twice in different ways and I definitely pre-teach some of the phrases and spend go back, re-explain and play it again if I need it.
    Some of the episodes in the first season can be skipped entirely (this may be my dislike for most of the first season) I have also considered skipping the entire first season. With last year’s group I believe I only did some of them.
    The website also has questions related to the episodes that they can do online if you wish. I do not do them often, and I tend to skip the ones that are not comprehension based, but they would be a reinforcer you could have them do after. I also ALWAYS show them the subtitled version, because the speed can be the main thing, not the actual words themselves.
    It is really important to do some work with the kids on who the characters are especially if you are skipping episodes. Again, the main reason I skip is because I do not like a number of episodes in the first season.
    I hope that this helps and if I get a chance I will look once more and see if I can think of anything else.

  4. Kristy Placido and Carrie Toth use a Spanish Telenovela, El Interned Laguna Negra on Fridays in their classes. I learned so much from them at iFLT in St. Paul this summer! They tell me that their students can’t wait to watch the next episode. They use movie talk, but also just sometimes let it play. I will report back on Jojo once I have used it.

  5. Diane and Brigitte,
    Thanks for your advice. For some reason I have this mental block in my head that divides how I am “supposed to” teach 4 or AP vs. 1-3. I’m working on conquering this divide. Anyways, PQA-ing the structures in advance makes perfect sense and will absolutely work! I was missing the obvious. I will try to prepare some movietalk like questions to fall back on too.
    Eric – Thanks for giving me permission to skip a few episodes if I want!

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