Speaking With Emotion

I was viewing some of the East High video I took (six classses, all level one) around the time Diana and Linda and Donna visited, but I didn’t get to any editing, so it will be some time before I can put those links up.
Anyway, I could see that, even with those three super teachers there, I didn’t have a lot of vocal expression. Maybe it was a natural reaction to pace myself in the comprehensible input, a behavior etched into my mind over the years, but, all the same, I could have done more of the stuff I talk about in TPRS in a Year! re: the value of speaking the CI in ways that grab the students’ attention.
The main thing that I would have like to see more of (and I say this because we all could probably do more of it during CI) is emotional speaking. For example, if Blue Pig tells me that he hates Red Pig, I should reflect the power of that word “hate” in my speech, registering great astonishment, instead of sounding robotic about it.
It’s no surprise that we would end up sounding robotic, actually, and we can’t blame ourselves. Our time delivering CI is spent almost one pointedly one making sure that we are circling and then adding in a character or event when it gets to its natural point of saturation (Blaine’s magic formula), making sure to point and pause at anything the students give us the fist for, making sure to enforce all the rules, and making sure to go slowly enough, etc.
So it is natural that we sometimes forget how much power there can be in speaking each sentence we say in a way that reflects the content of the line – sometimes secretively, liltingly (the queen of lilt is Lynette Lang in Chicago – you should hear it, her CI style is captivating), in shocked tones, etc.
That is something I am going to try to work on in stories and PQA this month.



1 thought on “Speaking With Emotion”

  1. Changing the voice works especially well, I find, when using adjectives. I use a big mama voice for BIG and a tiny squeaky voice for LITTLE, for example, and use gestures whenever possible. Then I warn them the tone won’t match the word and see if they can still get the right gesture. They love hearing different voices and making them up themselves.
    I know sometimes I forget! Thanks for the reminder.

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