Report from the Field – James Hosler

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25 thoughts on “Report from the Field – James Hosler”

  1. James,

    I love this. LOVE this. It’s the perfect thing to put into the hands of those beginning, and I will be doing that this summer in a couple of workshops. Full credit to you, but consider this stolen.

  2. Where do you get the clacker? I know, silly question, but I need one 🙂 This is a great way to show these jobs. Visuals + description =Simple. Effective. Genius.

  3. James – This is extremely helpful to see.

    A quick question on the rep counters. Is there a point at which you tell them to stop keeping a tally? (For instance, after 100 reps or 150…)

    1. I’m not very good at getting about the 40-50 range in reps, and that’s even if I try really really hard. I would never ask students to stop counting, though, for the same reason as Ben. Those reps are like my paycheck at the end of the day.

  4. Thanks so much for posting this. Great to see physical examples of what others are doing in the classroom. Reminds me that this really can be done all the time, and that having jobs is one of the elements which really makes the difference between student buy-in, and students checking out. It takes more organization, but it is so worth it, because it works so well when you take the time to set things up. I know you can’t really show it in a picture, but I would only want to add the gesturing to this: either having certain students designated to gesture certain words whenever they are spoken, or setting up gestures for most/all of the words in a story. The kids love it.

  5. Thanks for all the positive feedback guys. Of course I didn’t invent any of this; I’m just giving a visual into my world.

    One thing I really like about this setup is that I get to collect all the stuff they make (especially the pictures and story) and use it in later classes. I can use them in the next couple of weeks especially as part of our review/final.

  6. This is great stuff. I have questions about the clacker. I would really like to increase my students’ sense that they need to stay in Chinese (and me too). I tried early in the school year to have a couple students be “police” who would say “police” in Chinese when they heard inappropriate use of English. The kids who were the police loved it, but that very quickly decayed into chaos, and there was bad feeling from other students. (The police got really obnoxious.) Suggestions about this job and getting it to work?

    Are there other jobs that have potential to help ensure higher percentage of class staying in the target language?

    1. I’d leave the monitoring of student English use to the teacher and the monitoring of teacher English use to the clacker. Student management is my job–my opinion.

      1. Give the clacker to the right person, a class clown, so when they clack other students it’s funny but still an effective reminder. I use the clacker for a deadpan humor effect that nevertheless reminds everyone to get back into L2.

        1. Class clowns I definitely have. They are the worst about using English in class… so?

          I see Jody’s point, too. I feel like that’s such a constant battle that I would like to spread out the sense of accountability — if it would work and not cause new problems.

          1. Well I guess it needs to be that guy who likes attention and likes to talk but doesn’t really think about the rules when he does so. He just blurts because he’s got a huge heart and wants to be with everyone in the room. I try to find that guy–or the stoic, tough guy–to be my clacker because he will play along and take the job seriously. His heart is big, remember? I don’t know how else to say it.

            Don’t get me wrong. There is a ton of English thrown around my room, especially by me. I am by no means an expert. I have just found this semester that getting that right clacker guy has helped limit it. I have to remind him often times to clack–just by looking at him and miming the clacking motion with my empty hand–and when he clacks there are laughs and we’re off topic for a second, normally with some English comments quickly passed around. But after that initial din dies down, everyone remembers what the clacker was for and often times that leads to more focus.

            And I’ve had to stop and get the clacker clacking dozens of times in a single class period, and use all that time in the transition I’ve just described, but it’s all about being consistent.

            I guess I try to use humor in this clacker way to correct the English problem. Maybe that’s a terrible way and I’m fooling myself. If I need a second layer of correction that’s when jGR comes out.

          2. Thanks for your explanation. I have a goofball who fits that personality profile. I’ll think about it.

      2. I agree with this point Jody because I tested this all out in Feb/March and in point of fact the clapping on students by a student left a sour taste in the classroom. Not always but often enough. Now I have to go fix the description of the Clapper Kid in the jobs description.

        I might also add, importantly, that if the wrong kid does the clapping at the teacher, then it can get ugly fast. This is an art form that I consider worth the potential fails, but, as an art, it has to be done with care.

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