Return of the 10′ Rule

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13 thoughts on “Return of the 10′ Rule”

  1. Hey that’s awesome. I was talking to a friend yesterday on the phone and I said ok I have five minutes. She proceeded to spill out ten minutes of intense conversation. I thought at the time it was probably because I said five minutes. I ended up sitting in the parking lot at my meeting talking to her.

  2. I agree about the target language environment setting up a class for this kind of experience: “No one dares break into English, everyone responds to all questions, the conversations become really fun and large numbers of students begin to spontaneously output.”

    I haven’t been doing the 10-minute approach lately, but I really have noticed how qualitatively different my novice class is compared to the intermediate & advanced groups. I’ve been thinking about why. I think a lot of it is because there is big buy-in among the novice students about avoiding English except to clarify meaning, and it seems to be (now, in March) really paying off in terms of students using Chinese and enjoying it. They are cracking little jokes with each other during class — I cannot imagine that would be happening if English were okay at any time. The jokes would’ve been in English instead, like so often the advanced students want to do. There are shining moments with the other classes, too, but it’s more consistent with that level one group. I feel like there is a lot of trust with them. There are other variables, but it’s not just superstar kids doing this now; it’s a general class culture. Their ears seem better tuned in to Chinese as well.

    1. …I cannot imagine that would be happening if English were okay at any time…

      I suppose that depends on how you define “okay.” In classes in which speaking English has a consequence, the “okayness” is different from classes in which speaking English has none. Which kind of class has better results? How comfortable do students feel in each kind of class?

      I had more buy-in when I scaled back the consequences. Others have had more buy-in after ramping up consequences. It’s a mystery.

      Are your students more interested in staying in Chinese because of a rule/something YOU did, or is it so intrinsic that you don’t have to worry about that kind of MGMT?

      I have none of those answers.

      1. When I began doing the 10 minute rule, there were no consequences for using L1, rather a reward for staying in the target language. I think that helped to get the buy-in. And the fact that I asked the kid most likely to break into his mother tongue to be the official timer.

          1. With my particular students, it looks like using the no English rule carefully results in better acquisition of Chinese and seems to correlate to the fun coming from the meaning of our Chinese conversation. Also, it feels more whole group to me, even though some speak more, some are more quiet. With the novice class and the most advanced class, there is very little need to manage this. It’s really lovely. It’s not a tense atmosphere.

      2. Steven Ordiano

        Lance. I do not have a strict consequence for TL or English. Nor do I have rewards other than Praise. I want to develop their intrinsic motivation as much as I can.

        That said, my level ones are the most invested. I have broken into English for cultural
        “anecdotes” as well as working with scripts. I also used HEAVY translation in the beginning of the year.

        I do not know how I started or how I am doing but I see the kids freewrites and say WOW! Now in this later part the output is flowing slowly from the unconscious mind.

        I had a chat with one of my chatty kids about staying in the TL and communicating. She had a freewrite to make and asked me “how do you say — get out?” I was reluctant but started to help her when she answered her own question aloud “allez-vous-en” in one of the most amazing accents I’ve heard a LV1 do. DAMN!

        This work is powerful. No wonder so many are afraid.

    1. Frankly, I’m pretty wowed, too. I am not teaching any differently that I can tell — it’s a buy-in factor, and I associate it with their willingness to play in Chinese and avoid English.

  3. I reimplemented the 10′ rule today during our Monday Star of the Week . It really helped, especially with my two 8th grade classes! I gave the students one minute of free time if they stayed in French for 10 minutes. I found myself looking forward to that free minute also.

    1. Steven Ordiano

      I give them 3 minutes for 10 minutes. I felt like during this time of the year, its hard for everyone to focus while spring break is on their minds.

  4. Steven Ordiano

    Just started this! YES! All my classes were on point today. One of my classes got into it and the output in French just kept pouring out from my star LV1 students!

    I of course implemented it wrong the first time around. I have a timer that does NOT reset. IT just stops and clears. So I use google stopwatch/timer. You can make it full screen and project it. I kept it to myself 🙂 so they never know when it’s over until the timer goes off.

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