They Sense Your Truth

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6 thoughts on “They Sense Your Truth”

  1. I would agree with everything…except that it does not need to be lighthearted…just heart-connected. Humor heals the heart. We all need that. Life is heavy. Humor, the lighthearted, heart-healing kind, is a daily gift.

    However, the language can be acquired in conversation and stories that come from the heart or express the heart…even the heaviness within it.

    Occasional forays, via stories then PQA about the real things in life: fear, loneliness, boredom, depression, anger….can be very powerful.

    with love,
    Laurie

  2. What a wonderful first thing to read on a Monday morning. I’m still waiting on the coffee to make while reading this, Ben. It’s just so right on. And, second week into summer break, so encouraging to keep doing this work the way we do it.

    It’s also provocative (in a way that feeds my soul). I want to copy it to every FL list I’m on, but I know that most wouldn’t hear it. They’d just be pissed at me. I give them enough reasons to be pissed at me without quoting this, so I won’t, but I want to. I want every FL teacher to consider the difference in REAL language experience that every kid can learn through, and shrapnel. Shrapnel! Whoever would have imagined. But it is.

    Put me down as opposed to shrapnel, and for CAN!

    Coffee’s ready. Thanks. Good Monday everyone.

  3. Annemarie Orth

    On the subject of speaking too fast for our students-we were talking about bad habits in class today in Spanish and when I asked what the teacher’s bad habit was, one of them said speaking too fast in Spanish! I love it-it was funny AND honest. Ah, I love my students!

  4. Powerful words to end the year/begin the summer with, serious food for thought for next year. Crazy to think that what goes on every day for years, decades, in many language classrooms basically amounts to nothing more than shaming and domineering over students, making them believe they are nothing without the “benevolent” assistance of the all-powerful all-knowing oracle. But this is how most of us learned our languages (and all Latin teachers): we were good at playing the game, solving the puzzles, being compliant and therefore winning approval and good grades. But as you mention, Ben, many kids see through this game, they see that teachers are setting up a power play, and they respond either by submitting, or by saying “f*** this.”

  5. I am working all this week still! Happy summer to those of you enjoying the coffee each morning. I will join you by this weekend.

    I am reflecting on the ‘magic’ that is reading and storytelling. I am looking forward to starting over again next year to see how much more magic I can muster, and to increase the light-heartedness, slowing down even more!, conversations and increased % of time in the language (I dropped down from 100% this year-wanting to figure out how to get back up there next year).

    My Level II students are completing their final projects this week. They are writing storybooks. I began that project with trepidation. I am now loving it. They are writing with fluency. They are using transitional phrases from the readings this year! They are making errors between past and present tenses. They are NOT making errors between the preterite and imperfect (the two past tenses in Spanish). Many of them are writing better than my Level IV students. I am so excited for them, but nervous as 74% of them move on to Level III.

  6. It is really weird that kids with two years less exposure to the language write better, and much better than the other older kids. It just happens. We have ample proof of this all over the place in DPS now.

    But it certainly is no mystery. Writing is, in its base form, nothing more than speech. One who has not heard speech can hardly be expected to write, I would assume. I mean, I can’t write in Polish but I think I might be able to at least try if I heard it and knew what it meant. Just seems logical to me.

    Krashen’s sentence that “robots don’t converse” is still true, even with the new machines that “can” converse. If that is conversation, I don’t want to be in it. I prefer Stendhal’s claim that happiness is “an endless conversation in the presence of those one loves.”

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