Upper Levels – Some Ideas

I had asked Melanie to summarize the changes she made in her upper level classes as a result of a recent thread and here is what she wrote:
After I sought advice from members of this blog about problems in my level 4 German class, who had already had 3 years of TPRS, I learned that at a certain point in the upper levels, it is time to transition to more output.  I also learned that it is important to expand the field from just personalization and the students’ experiences to learning about and discussing a variety of topics from the world outside.
I was following the 3 steps of TPRS which  had worked great for the last few years, but now they were tired of it.  I thought they were just bored, but really they were ready to move on.  Now, I am just doing two things:
1. reading a variety of things with a little pre-reading PQA, pop up grammar and discussion.
2. output activities, such as writing and role plays or discussions.
I plow through the reading, picking up speed and just defining words we don’t know.  I spent a month on my last textbook chapter that I had prepared with stories, but now I will probably only spend 2 weeks per chapter, just reading something everyday, and then output at the end with what we’ve learned, instead of spending a few days on each reading following all the steps.



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