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12 thoughts on “Update”

  1. I went about 60-75% NT since last year in March when the invisibles were first piloted. This year, I am 100% NT. Though, i had mixed success (due to my inexperience as a teacher) I have found that at Level 2 students are able to answer many questions including those pesky PQA ones using the 2nd person.

    Case in point:

    I made a project for French 2 because they were tired of stories. So they need to demonstrate proficiency and comprehension some how. Some student conferred with me for it. I needed my sanity during this last week of finals with a ::SUPRISE!!:: meeting with my instructional coach this week. I can share my “prompt”/assignment. Basically, they neeed to demonstrate proficiency somehow. So in groups of 3-4 they are to create a performance or product. So it actually was output. This is that nudge that is expected from them in high school when they take French 3. One main caveat was that ANYONE who is speaking is comfortable speaking. Well, most were except one group… I digress.

    ANYWAY, one student was absent and her group presented their story as a side show. We all know the pony show we go through but this was for sanity. So I told the student, you have in an informal interview with me in about 10 minutes. She said “what!!” I told her that it was just a one-on-one because she was absent.

    I asked her 6 random questions:

    How’s it going?

    Do you drive?

    Where do you live?

    How old are you?

    what is your favorite class?

    What school are you going next year?

    The student is NOT a superstar but does pay attention randomly. She answered all questions correctly but wanted to verify the last one in English. Also when she looked confused, I would reword it. Amazing comprehension and output. So do stories work? Does NT work?

        1. Thanks Nathaniel and feel free to comment on the document. I personally do not want ANY credit for it… this can be a CYA move when we get into a bind with admin and need to keep our job. Certainly, it was not mandatory for me with my dept. or admin as they are semi-supportive, I needed a break for a few days while kids collaborated.

          So this document can be for this PLC especially those who are under attack or need justification etc…

          In my two french classes, I had 1) two skits 2) a puppet show of a continuation of a story we did in class 3) slide shows of original characters and stories 4) an impromptu story with characters, places and problems pulled out from a hat! (this last one has our fast-processors).

    1. Yes Steven thank you for sharing the six question interview. The child understood the questions and you didn’t target any of the words. This exposes the dark underbelly of the targeted system – they think that unless they target those words, their students won’t learn them. You proved otherwise. With targets, there is a fundamental lack of trust that the language will be acquired unless the teacher plans the instruction. It just isn’t true.

      1. we acquire through compelling messages not the sliced chunks of language we call targets. The thing is “What does compelling mean?” Does it mean interesting or does it mean that students feel like they “have to” listen to understand? Ex: A surrealistic cartoon like story about a story versus a food demo you are doing in front of the kids while they savor the smells and imagine tasting the end product?

        1. Good question. Here is what Krashen means:

          “Compelling means that the input is so interesting you forget that it is in another language.”

          He continues. “It means you are in a state of “flow” (Csikszentmihalyi, 1990). In flow, the concerns of everyday life and even the sense of self disappear – our sense of time is altered and nothing but the activity itself seems to matter. Flow occurs during reading when readers are “lost in the book” (Nell, 1988) or in the “Reading Zone” (Atwell, 2007).”

          And then he makes this bold statement: “Compelling input appears to eliminate the need for motivation, a conscious desire to improve. When you get compelling input, you acquire whether you are interested in improving or not.”

          Evidence for the final statement can be seen in “Justin’s Story: The Origin of Embedded Reading” at the embeddedreading.com site.

          From “The Compelling (not just interesting) Input Hypothesis”

          1. So well said there Nathaniel. It’s my truth, certainly, just the way you said it, all about the flow. All about learning the language even if you don’t want to.

          2. “Here is what Krashen means”

            I just want to make it clear: When I said “Here is what Krashen means” these are his words (in quotes), not my interpretation of his words.

            Btw, we had a chance to hear Dr. Krashen speak on at least three occasions at ACTFL, 1) w/ BVP (Myths about SLA) 2) w/ Carol Gaab (Secrets Textbooks Publishers don’t want us to know), 3) a 20 min presentation of Compelling Hypothesis.

  2. I think part of the reason I love playing w/NT and OWI and stuff is how deliciously subversive it is in the current educational climate, and how head to toe backed by the research it is….

  3. Alisa –

    It is nice to know that a teacher can just take a word like “sandwich” and from that single word get things started on a positive note each class period in their comprehensible input classroom.

    As you imply, attributing human qualities to a sandwich is just fun. The kids can come to class and relax, knowing that they won’t be pressured into saying, “I would like a sandwich, please…” if they ever need to know that later. The teacher can come to class and just relax and see what the kids say in response to her questions. It’s a win-win.

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