Report from the Field – Chris Stoltz

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

11 thoughts on “Report from the Field – Chris Stoltz”

  1. Thanks for the report, other Chris. It has me reflecting on my own practice. For example(s):

    -I do not go slowly enough, no doubt about it. I know that it’s one of the most important skills in CI teaching but it’s so damn hard. I go fairly slowly and it’s not quite excruciating, but almost. But I know that I’m going probably 3 times the speed that I really should be. It’s definitely something that I need to work on and perhaps the best way to work on this would be to count in my head? Hay (1) un (1) chico(1). Give myself a second between each word? Does anybody do something like this?

    -Oh boy, I better chill out on the compound statements. I do a lot of because statements “she is sad because she wants a cat”, “she doesn’t have a cat but she wants a cat”. Yikes!

    -Point and Pause. I do a pretty good amount of pointing but not necessarily pausing. And it doesn’t help that those kids who don’t understand don’t bother giving me the damn signal.

    -I actually ended up doing a story this week, 2nd week of school. The CWB was running out of steam already towards the end of week 1 and for some reason, while last year I was a PQA>Stories kind of guy, I’ve kind of flip-flopped right now. It’s just that the beginning stories need to be EXTREMELY simple. And I haven’t been doing a whole lot of TPR because my room is very, very hot and my students were hating the stand up-sit down gig. I’m going to wait until it cools down and throw in some TPR in the fall and winter to mix things up.

    -When it comes to circling, I suck big time. I do everything you mentioned: skip parts, use question words too soon, introduce details too soon, don’t get nearly as many repetitions as I need. Circling is my weakness. I get so into asking the questions that I end up asking a whole bunch of “no” question mixed with with a few yes questions and a “who” here and there.

    -During a coaching portion of a workshop I went to over a year ago, there was a Japanese teacher. You’re right, it’s EXTREMELY DIFFICULT. It’s nearly impossible to try to get used to the sound system and then the weird word order all at the same time. I think with a language like that, you need to do TPR for a few weeks before getting into PQA or anything.

  2. Thanks for the reminders to go slow Chris. I too, although I think I did a good job last year, have just been running too fast and probably too much vocab.

    Maybe it’s because I have big classes and I’m trying to do about 20 min. per card I end up putting out more vocab than I should.

    Good to remember how important it is to remember that everyone is getting used to the sound system in those first 20 hours. I’m going to try and put on the brakes.

    1. David there are enough new people in our group to mention or, if you can find it, repost the information about your sound system to save your voice. At least I remember something about this last spring.

      In three days of classes I have done two cards in my French 1 class. Of course, there was lots of norming the class to the rules and jGR in English, but I was happy that I went so slowly. It was because of Robert Allen Hong Kong and working with him in San Diego. He taught me slow this summer. Just to quote Chris from his comment here tonight:

      …I do not go slowly enough, no doubt about it. I know that it’s one of the most important skills in CI teaching but it’s so damn hard. I go fairly slowly and it’s not quite excruciating, but almost. But I know that I’m going probably 3 times the speed that I really should be. It’s definitely something that I need to work on and perhaps the best way to work on this would be to count in my head? Hay (1) un (1) chico(1). Give myself a second between each word? Does anybody do something like this?….

      And just to respond to Chris I have a kind of internal four second count between each word, at the start of the circling, and then I rely on what I see in their eyes to speed up the circling of the target* or not. It’s a slow dance is what it is. I’m dancing with my own ego and if I start jitterbugging the people watching, my students, get really weirded out because they like and need and must see the slow dance. Even if I have to squeeze my ego to a stop. CI teachers don’t do the jitterbug in class. It’s just not allowed.

      *in CWB the target is what the kid does on the card; in stories it’s the three target structures, of course. In OWI it would be the prompt (rich, intelligent, blue, big, etc.)

  3. One other neat thing. One of the TPRS rookies was practice circling in French and said this:

    “There is a girl. She is tall.”

    She circled for a bit (first girl, then tall– maybe 6 reps on each) and all the non-French ppl followed along– and then she asked this:

    “Class, is the girl pretty?”

    …and with that she lost us. There was about a 5 second delay before half the people said “oui” and half “non.”

    Why? Because she was asking– without knowing it– for a new detail. What was the right answer? Well, since she had not *said* anything about “pretty,” it could have been either.

    Simple but crucial point: if you fish for details before the facts you are circling have been properly established, you will majorly confuse people. We need to have some kind of cue where the kids know, “OK, now we can guess.”

    chris

    1. chirs (is this chriz?),

      I really like this example of a poorly chosen question. It gets to a finer point of what we do, I think. When she asked, “Is she pretty?”, at that point the answer would have been “no,” because it would be set up in contrast to “tall.”

      Q1: “Is she pretty or tall?”
      A1: “Pretty”
      Q2: “Is she pretty?”
      A2: “No.”

      It’s like she skipped Q1 and A1 and went right to Q2.

      Maybe it’s worth mentioning, too, that she used a strange question as a “fishing” question. It doesn’t seem right to “fish” for adjectives like that. Maybe “fishing” should only be done with questions from the question posters? That’s what always feels most natural in my classes, and those are always the kinds of questions that students can understand very early on are just open ended. I mean questions like “where” and “with whom” can FEEL very open ended to students so those are the kinds we should use to fish.

  4. ^Yeah, good point Hosler– she hadn’t established that. I know french well enough that I don’t have to think when I hear it in a classroom setting…but even so the question threw me.

    It also brings up another good point: when circling, you need PAIRS of things (nouns verbs adjective adverbs). In the above example, if the kids don’t know what “pretty” means, you can’t really do “no” questions and your circling is limited.

    I discovered this on my first day ever with TPRS: introduce opposite vocab items. If you wanna teach “tall” you do “short” at the same time, etc. You circle “tall” a few times, then “short” and only THEN you can properly do either/or, no etc questions.

    Just goes to show how much even advanced people (Michelle M. and Adriana R. noted this too) and barely-experienced people can learn from beginners. Cool.

    Chrisz

  5. So many good things here Chris!! And YES!! There is a difference between asking questions about already established details and asking questions to get new details!!

    One way it start by teaching the phrase Do you think that …or In your opinion..
    and pointing out that they will hear this when you want a suggestion…not an already established fact.

    It is a lot for new people to “acquire” at once isn’t it?!!

    with love,
    Laurie

Leave a Comment

  • Search

Get The Latest Updates

Subscribe to Our Mailing List

No spam, notifications only about new products, updates.

Related Posts

Stendra Super Force generico all’ingrosso

Stendra Super Force generico all’ingrosso Valutazione 4.6 sulla base di 352 voti. Nome del prodotto: Stendra Super Force Categoria: Disfunzione Erettile Nome commerciale: Extra Super

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

$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