We come and go with different threads and ideas here. My attention has again been snared this week by the importance of highlighting, focusing on, spending extra time doing TPR on, etc. VERBS.
Eric shares a useful idea about that topic:
I would like to share images to use for Visualization during PVA. I have images for the 52 highest frequency Spanish verbs all within the 220 highest frequency words.
In addition to gestures and word associations, visualization is another powerful learning strategy. I say “learning” and not “acquisition.” But, I do think this helps to create that “movie in their minds.” Furthermore, the visual can help keep the images in the working memory, until enough reps have been had from CI to cause acquisition.
I first felt the power of a visual in Laurie Clarcq’s workshop in Maine this past Fall. She had us look at a picture associated with a structure, then close our eyes and visualize the picture as she said the target structure. The visuals stuck with me for a long time after that short demo. I think the visual may even stick in the mind longer than the associated word. By presenting a visual without text, we can get students to go directly from target language to meaning, rather than target language -> first language -> meaning. There is nothing wrong with translation, because it does help us accurately establish meaning, but then the visual helps us skip over the translation.
I printed the images out without the text and laminated and wrote on the back of the cards the first person and third person present tense forms. I use the cards to introduce a new verb, to review, and to informally assess. By showing students an image and asking students “How do you say ‘he goes’?” and asking “How do you say ‘I go’?” the conjugation patterns became clearer to my students, especially for those irregular patterns. I also ask what letter gets added to say “they,” “we,” etc. This is grammar instruction, but without the grammar terminology. It is important students grasp that “va” doesn’t mean “goes” but rather it means “he goes.” I think reviewing the images builds confidence, because the kids see how much they really know and I get to tell them that they know the most important parts of the language! I wouldn’t waste time on this if it were not for all the CI reps my students have already received on these verbs.
I’ll be adding more images as I find time to search on Google Images. You can download the PPT, modify any images (maybe you don’t like that I included the Yankees choking in 2004 to the Red Sox as the image for “loses”, haha), and change the Spanish to whichever language you teach.
[ed. note: Catharina adds to the available sites for good images. She says:
I’ve used the book “Chalk Talks” by Norma Shapiro and Carol Genser. Half the book is dedicated to a “dictionary of symbols” with drawings that are easily re-created and recognized by the kids. Also “1000 pictures for teachers to copy” by Andrew Wright, an excellent resource for drawing stick figures.]
61 thoughts on “Visualizing Verbs – Eric Herman”
Eric,this is amazing! How do you find the time to do all that???? I’m in awe! Thank you so much for sharing!
Thanks for reminding me to do this! I used to do it more in traditional instruction. Even when I learned Spanish in high school, the images definitely bound the words more to memory.
One thing to remember though, the difficulty with images can be that they are at times ambiguous while a direct translation ensures the correct meaning.
But when the images are specific enough, they’re an awesome tool!
I like this and will try it out. Thanks for yet another awesome idea, Eric. One question, how come you don’t put in the second person form as well?
Kyle, I don’t konw how Eric will answer this, but I would say that it would create unnecessary clutter of letters. I do not use the TU form in my classroom in conversation with students until 3rd year, so that they internalize the Usted form and err on the side of being overly polite as opposed to potentially presumptuous.
I agree Jim (as I commented below. I did not see at first that Eric was quoting you.) The whole “you” thing is so complicated in Spanish.
I like your practice of postponing tú until sufficient time has been allowed for internalizing usted. As I have been pondering lately, this an application of x+1.
I am in a different position than you in one way. I have not taught beginning levels for quite some time. Most of the students I teach have already had 2-4 years of tú input. So they err on the side of being overly im-polite. Of course they do not really know the meanings of the words. Their focus has, sadly, been on matching pronouns with person endings. So I find that the typical non-4%-er thinks that ustedes means “they.”
My approach has been to stop using tú at year 3. I find that students are now addressing me more w/usted and being aware of the faux-pas when they address me w/tú.
I did not realize anyone else was thinking along this vein. Thanks for bringing it up.
I write the first and third person, just cuz those are the 2 my students have heard more of and it’s easy to say “add an ‘s’ to get ‘tú’.” When we are reviewing, I mix in questions about how it would be said in the other persons.
Also, in my opinion, it’s not important that students can output in the “tú” form if they know the “usted” form, which is of course the same as the “he/she” form. Why teach another vocabulary item for every verb if they can get by fine just talking to everyone in the “usted” form? And I bet verb endings, the differences between ending in an “o,” “s,” “n,” etc. are late acquired. And knowing the rule doesn’t help much, except on tasks with monitor-use. If you hear the verb stem and can at least output the verb stem regardless of form, then you can communicate.
I translate the words like Jeremy says to make sure meaning is accurately established. I’ll show the picture of “goes” and say: “How do we say ‘he goes’?”
In Krashen’s non-targeted CI paper he argues we don’t have to resort to so much translation. Rather than translation, we can encounter words in multiple contexts to get the meaning (and a richer understanding). That is how meaning can be established AND how acquisition happens. . . I still prefer translation when we are targeting structures, because it’s quick and can make the input more comprehensible.
Eric, this is a missing link in my own classroom. I am very grateful for you doing this important work and sharing with us. I do have a couple questions about some of the verbs and the corresponding pictures, which I will comment on soon. Also, Entender is the same in both first person and third person on the slide.
A quick favor, can you re post the link to your latest version of the TCI presentation you made?
Thanks a ton!
Eric, just thoughts, no need to change anything if you don’t feel it necessary too!
1. Empezar: I got caught up on this one because “to start an engine” is different than “to start doing something”. I would change this picture to someone starting a race… maybe someone firing a starting shot in the air maybe.
2. Llegar: I don’t get this one. Oh wait, is this showing someone putting the car in park because they arrived at their desination? Ok, I can see that now. But for some reason it made me think “go” or “drive” or “change”.
3. Occurir: Should it not be “se me ocurro” and “se le ocurre”, since you are using the verb to me “to occur to oneself” as opposed to “happen”?
4. Quedar: “me quedo” and “se queda”
5. Recordar: I don’t get it, I’m not a Harry Potter reader/watcher.
6. Sentir: “me siento” and “se siente”
What a great document Eric. Overall, brilliant use of visuals to enhance meaning and understanding
Thanks Tripp for the feedback. Good suggestions and corrections!
1. Can be confused with “encender – to start/turn on an engine.” I’ve changed the image.
2. I tried to find images for #1&2 that match the already established gestures in my class, but you’re right that these pics can be misleading. We put the car in park as the class gesture for arrives, so I’m gonna leave this one, but change for your own use.
3. I never use this word. What you wrote looks better. I think it would be “se me ocurre.”
4. This word has multiple meanings and I’m representing “stays,” so I’ve made your correction.
5. I don’t know much Harry Potter either, but apparently that is called a “remembrall,” a ball that turns red when you can’t remember something. I haven’t used this visual yet, but I’m hoping it’s relevant to the kids.
6. “sentirse” is for feelings/emotions, but “sentir” is also for how something feels/senses (e.g. it feels cold). In the case of the dog feeling the air, then I would say “siente el aire,” but you could also say the dog “se siente bien.”
And I responded similarly to Kyle about teaching “tú” . . . I do speak to actors in “tú” and I use “tú” to speak to students during PQA. But focusing more on “usted” simplifies things and like you say, students can always err on being overly polite. . . My first year in Honduras, I addressed everyone in “usted”!!! In Honduras, they don’t use “tú” and I had never learned or acquired “vos.”
My TCI PPT is listed under the Primers.
You’re right Eric… “se me ocurre”. Thanks for those notes and changes to some of the images… I’m going to print a bunch out during my work day Monday, and use them here and there.
“But focusing more on “usted” simplifies things and like you say, students can always err on being overly polite” I think that you are right on here, Eric.
When I spent a summer in Middlebury many years ago, my professors from Mexico were very distraught about the freedom with which we students addressed them with familiarity (tú forms).
A few years later in Morelia, Mexico a lady told me that before Mexican children enter first grade, Mexican parents begin addressing their children in the polite forms (usted), to prepare them to speak politely to their teachers in school.
Two years ago I stopped addressing my students familiar forms and began exclusively addressing them in polite forms. It struck me that Mexican parents implicitly practice what we are so consciously striving for: acquisition through its only means, viz., comprehensible input.
(Of course it could be argued that for students going to Spain, time might be better spent on inputting tú/vosotros.)
I cannot find the book, but somewhere there is a collection of very simple and clear stick figures. Anyone?
I rely on stick figures with my little kids, but Eric’s collection of pictures is truly amazing !
Once again, thank you Eric for the inspiration!
I’ve used the book “Chalk Talks” by Norma Shapiro and Carol Genser. Half the book is dedicated to a “dictionary of symbols” with drawings that are easily re-created and recognized by the kids.
Or maybe Chill is thinking of “1000 pictures for teachers to copy” by Andrew Wright, “an excellent resource for drawing stick figures” ?
These are amazing!!! These had to take a lot of time to make. I especially liked the to be verbs. This is the first year that I am translating está-he is feeling/located and it works so well. These visuals will reinforce this idea.
Thank you for sharing.
It did take a while, but I was driven by the hope that this would help my/your students. I’m a huge SLA/teaching nerd, so I make the time for this kind of stuff 🙂
TCI has freed up so much of my time, which would have been spent grading/correcting and preparing games and materials for classes, but that time now goes towards self-study and my own professional development. Seems like many of our colleagues are tired and stressed with their “long weeks.” If I have a “long week,” it is because I chose to stay up late on self-improvement efforts.
I only just started using these visuals and after the first adult class with them, I had a woman tell me a few days later that the fingerprint image has stuck with her and helps her remember “I am” and to distinguish it from “I am feeling/located,” just like you said Melissa!
I’ve noticed the same change myself, Eric – so many fewer powerpoints and time spent researching games. I really enjoy the reflection time I get and a chance to add to my First Year of CI journal. Most of the time, I’m taking a good hard look at why something flopped and being able to do that has improved my quality of life so much. I’m not nearly the same ball of anxiety and beer that I was last year!
An idea just popped into my head after reading this thread: what if a simple verb wall was transformed from a list of words to a mosaic of pictures?
Space could be a concern but I personally would rather do a quick laser point than walking back to the board to write something. I’m pushing myself to be right up next to the kids instead of staying in the safety of the front of the class.
Just a thought.
That’s a great idea! A verb wall of pictures and introduce one a week like Ben (I think it was) said he did at the beginning of the year he introduced 3 verbs a day to build a base.
Also if we find an exceptionally good picture we could mark where it is and send the link to Eric. If you want help just ask because I think most of us are CI nerds as well, at least myself. I have a program called Print Master and I love it. You type in what you are looking for and it gives you examples. I have used it to make notecards with the old way of teaching and some of the pictures are funny like yours and the emotion of the picture gets retained in the brain.
On the space idea how about switching them out as they are acquired.
To address the space problem, Melissa, I’m not sure that in one year (really just 125 hours of CI, a mere pittance) too many verbs are actually acquired, like really acquired. At least that is true for me.
I find that now in March kids still struggle with many basic verbs. It is not because I haven’t been using them a lot, but rather, I might guess, because the 80 or so true hours of CI they have experienced at this point of the year – in my level one class at least – just haven’t been enough. Our students need many hundreds if not thousands of hours to get to acquisition.
So Melissa can you think of a way that the space problem can be solved? I really get how Eric’s idea (that we need to keep the images tied to the verbs as much as is possible) is an idea that we need to keep exploring and experimenting with. We need to pursue this thread and not let it go.
We don’t have enough other new ideas to work with, right? That’s one thing about his work, it never rains new ideas, it always pours them, all year. It’s a wonder we aren’t all soaked about now. Indeed, God gives with both hands.
You are right. Sometimes I just get so excited I need to slow down and rethink. I still have a couple of Spanish 1 students that switch up tiene and quiere (he has and he wants) and we use these almost every day. I sometimes forget how much they need to hear them to eventually produce them by themselves naturally.
Also we can only cover so much of our walls. Too bad I can’t rip the carpet out of my room and paint them on the floor like a border. That is a dream of mine to paint a map of the world on the floor so that we can physically move from country to country when we do stories. And on the walls mountains, lakes, deserts, etc…
…we can only cover so much of our walls….
I tend toward minimalism. After a lifetime of postering, I now have the jGR, the Classroom Rules, a list of connecting words (for free writes), a list of what happens when prepositions run into articles in French (also only used for free writes), a Word Wall, a Verb Wall, the question words, and that’s it. That’s a lot right there. I feel that when I used to have too many posters it just confused the students.
Here is a link to some of those (downloadable) posters:
I love your dream to paint the floor. I bet many of us here on the PLC would like to be in your class – your passion for this work is unmistakable. In the end, it is what will see you through the tough days. At least, that is my story.
Ben I just checked the poster list, but I did not see the list of connecting words. I remember we discussed this back in January (2014, See Categories: Connecting Words). Did you finally decide on a certain list? Is it the list you started the post with?
I have the list, just need to get it published here or in poster form.
Have you tried making a map with a shower curtain-put it on the floor and have students move/dance/fly/run, etc. from place to place? Very fun.
What an amazing idea! Or I could use a paint tarp. With either one you could hang it up on the wall when you are not using it. I don’t have a good map right now so it would serve 2 purposes. Even better I could have Spanish Club make it. Thank you for the idea.
I use it to introduce central america and the carribean when starting piratas since understanding where the action happens is key to understanding the story and does get quite confusing. I cannot take credit for the idea-but I can’t remember whose idea it was???
I’ve heard of someone using a big shower curtain and then projecting a map onto it – then tracing the map outlines. Is that what you mean?
Credit Susan Gross on the shower curtain idea. Jason Fritze uses it all the time but my thinking it that Susan started it. Pls. someone correct me if I don’t have that right.
David Maust and John Piazza have reminded us from time to time over the years of the importance of gesturing. Yet we forget. Or at least speaking for myself I gesture much less than I should when teaching. Such a mosaic, Jason, has the potential to perhaps bring the gestures more into the minds of the kids and our own minds as the discussion flows along.
Ben, there is so much still to read here and take advantage of…the Gesturing Category comes to mind right now.
I saw a TPRS video recently and students and teacher were gesturing actions throughout storytelling time. I had not thought of that before.
Is that what you mean by “the importance of gesturing.”
Yes. There is a category on it. It reminds me of the Kodaly system of choral instruction. But it is just too hard for me to remember. Lots of people are able to do it, though, and I am only able to remember to gesture the most basic verbs like “goes” and “sees” and “looks at”. I’m always busy trying to remember all the other stuff. It’s about what Eric said a few days ago, to the effect that gestures are needed as scaffolding is to a building until the building can stand up by itself.
I gesture everything I can, probably to a fault. It’s often how I support kids to output. They say what I’m gesturing. I’ve seen kids who have to gesture to themselves to remember the word or kids that can’t remember the word, but once I gesture, then they remember.
Also, try leaving blanks when you speak, gesture, and have the kids say the structure you are gesturing to fill in the blank.
Wish I could do that! I’m probably on Ben’s gesturing level (possibly even below ;-)). I started out letting the kids decide on a gesture, but then each class had different gestures for the same words/structures. I could never remember which class used which gesture for which structure. And I have a mental block when it comes to coming up with my own. For A while I used to go on the ASL site to use the actual sign language gestures but they were not always obvious enough. End result: I have let this important step fall by the wayside.
Use the same gesture with every class. The first time you introduce a structure, that class decides, but then use that with every other class.
That is what I normally do. Each class gets to pick a gesture for one verb and then I use the same gesture with all of them. This way they take ownership for at least some of the creative process and no class is left out.
Now I am leaning sign language and several signs I show to the students. They can pick that sign or make one up.
Melissa & Eric, I do the same thing with gestures. I’ve started this TCI thing in full in Sept 2013 and I’m building a repertoire of gestures little by little over time, asking whichever class for a gesture when it feels appropriate. I don’t have different gestures for the same word for different classes. I can’t imagine how I would remember!
I too gesture all the time… so much so that I bet I’d pick up on sign language real quickly if I ever tried to learn.
I have learned a lot of verb signs from a little show called Signing Time. It shows on PBS and is a half hour show. It’s for little kids but if you DVR it you can fast forward through most of it and just pick up the signs. She teaches the signs by associating the movement to the meaning. After she shows the signs she sings a song with them. It is just individual signs for little ones but you can pick up a lot from it. I am becoming a huge fan of signing since I use my hands when I speak anyways. I have a fellow teacher that also knows sign and we have started a sign language club. He is teaching me how to put it in some phrases.
Melissa, you know, why not use the American Sign Language (ASL) gestures instead of the gestures I otherwise make up or pick up from others? Do doubt the the Academy of ASL (if there is such a thing) have put a significant amount of time and study into associating a meaning with a sign. Much more than I could ever do.
“Yes…gestures are needed as scaffolding…”
Thanks for the clarification. I have been using Gale Mackey’s songs for several years.
Seeing that songs do not automatically translate to acquisition, I began to gesture and have students gesture as we sing. I’ll try to start using the gesturing more whenever the words come.
His songs are great for brain breaks once the kids know them, and they can support a grammar pop-up.
Eric, thank you for access to the slides you created.
I now have a ceiling projector. Finally, some useful technology. I hope to be using the slides soon, probably putting them into the “did” forms, “that I do” forms, and “that I did” forms.
Exactly! People should use visuals to teach whatever verb forms/tenses they wish. I wouldn’t make the text visual when presenting. I made cards and I wrote 2 verb forms on the back that I was trying to focus on, but I could have very well chosen 2 different forms.
I like the idea of a “picture wall,” except that my word wall allows for me to more readily link the sound to the text (spelling) and gives kids support when they write (and read).
I am going to start displaying the visuals for those verbs that come up when we story ask. These would help kids to retell the story.
“I like the idea of a “picture wall,” except that my word wall allows for me to more readily link the sound to the text (spelling) and gives kids support when they write (and read).”
Would having both the text and a picture give the best of both worlds? In my mind this would look like a wall of powerpoint slides – it would be space consuming but it could trigger memory in the same way that was mentioned above.
Thanks for sharing your slides, Eric. The fingerprint image has stuck with me since yesterday morning!
These visuals are great, Eric! Like Jason said, I like the “he/she is… I am” slides using ser and estar. The images are very thoughtfully selected.
I’ve been taking pictures of students gesturing the high frequency verbs and posting those pics on my front wall. These slides will be a nice accompaniment to these.
I would recommend using ASL versus random gestures, at least for the most frequent words. Not only does it help us keep consistency across classes, but we can also prop up our programs as being dual-language focused (unofficially of course, unless you’re licensed in ASL too). I’ve gotten strong positive responses from parents about our use of ASL in the classroom.
As far as using gestures in the classroom, I do exactly as Eric says here:
“I gesture everything I can, probably to a fault. It’s often how I support kids to output. They say what I’m gesturing. I’ve seen kids who have to gesture to themselves to remember the word or kids that can’t remember the word, but once I gesture, then they remember.
Also, try leaving blanks when you speak, gesture, and have the kids say the structure you are gesturing to fill in the blank.”
This practice is supported strongly by research, from what I gather in my classroom, and as suggested by this study which we’ve probably all heard about several times now: (this excerpt from psychologicalscience.org)
Susan Goldin-Meadow, Professor in Psychology at the University of Chicago. “Our findings provide the first evidence that gesture not only supports learning a task at hand but, more importantly, leads to generalization beyond the task. Children appear to learn underlying principles from their actions only insofar as those actions can be interpreted symbolically.”
Gesturing is truly important and underutilized in most of our classrooms. What Eric wrote, quoted by Jim above, cannot be repeated enough:
…I gesture everything I can, probably to a fault. It’s often how I support kids to output. They say what I’m gesturing. I’ve seen kids who have to gesture to themselves to remember the word or kids that can’t remember the word, but once I gesture, then they remember….
Gesturing is the scaffolding that supports language acquisition.
When Eric says he is gesturing perhaps “to a fault”, it makes me remember how we can never go slowly enough in our speech. We always have to go so slowly when we speak that it feels very uncomfortable to us. In the same we, we must gesture so much that it seems odd that we are so busy with our hands and arms. We must train ourselves, as it were, to speak two languages at the same time, one with our arms and hands and the other with our mouths. It is a tall order indeed, but we must try our best. I collaborated once with a math teacher on gesturing math formulas and her scores that year were the highest in the building. She actually attended a Jason Fritze workshop with me and was convinced.
Gesturing gives new meaning to the term “reaching out to your students”.
The only thing I do differently from Eric is that I don’t make them say the gesture. In my view, doing that is asking them to do something that is, as output, too neurologically challenging. If they say it naturally in whispers, I allow that, of course.
I only ask students to say the gesture as an engagement technique, in the same way that I would ask for a one-word answer. No one speaks, no “repeat after me” when we TPR and establish meaning for the structures.
It’s more acceptable to ask for them to output the gesture when your on the final days of the structures, when you are getting kids ready for a fluency write and to scaffold their retells. I see our jobs as two-fold: provide CI and build confidence. Sometimes those are the same thing. If I have students output it is to assess what stuck and to build their confidence.
If you haven’t ever tried it, then do a back-to-the-screen retell: kids are in partners or you can do this as class and teacher. One partner looks at the reading and gestures the sentences, while the other student retells based on the gestures. Give kids 1-2 minutes and then have them switch. The kids have a blast and get a taste for what it’s like to be the teacher gesturing. On the final day of the structures, I sometimes gesture parts of the story and the class tries to tell that part back to me.
I’ve done some gestures so much (has, wants, etc.) that I can gesture and those words fall out of the students’ mouths.
Like Jim, I’m also curious about this back-to-the-screen-gesturing-retell you describe kids do as partner-pairs, Eric. I’m thinking, perhaps, I can write a “gesturing version” of the class story the next time we do Reading Option A, and allow a little time for this. I do notice that as I flesh-out Reading Option A in my 87 minute block class, students can use a partner pair activity like this to break up my whole class direction. Thanks again, Eric!
Here it is explained by Martina Bex who refers to it as a “blind retell.”
Credit for this activity goes to Betsy Paskvan.
I agree Eric, we don’t want them speaking when we’re speaking, except as an engagement, as in What’s the next word gonna be… it’s gestured like this… keeps them on their toes.
I really like this idea of the “back-to-the-screen retell” for kids when they’re ready to do this type of stuff.
FYI, I don’t say “What’s the next word gonna be… it’s gestured like this” which I wrote above, but this is my internal dialogue to them, which I kind of say with my eyes.
I just watched an intriguing TedTalk (“A word game to communicate in any language”) that takes the use of visuals to another whole level! It relies solely on visual maps to represent grammar, like universal grammar! This guy has created a “grammar calculator.” You’ll also notice as you watch the talk that his demo of how he maps a sentence is driven by the Question words and it sounds a lot like what we do when we circle and build a sentence! So, maybe we can say that our TPRS questioning technique facilitates the understanding of grammar.
I had to watch this talk twice to try to understand it all (and turn on subtitles).
One thing he said I wanted to verify and in the comments he includes the link to the research abstract. He said that when you learn a language, as a child vs. as an adult, a different part of the brain gets used. . . well, not completely true. The research reported a difference in the Broca’s area (responsible for speech motor), but not in the Wernicke’s area (responsible for comprehension). That sounds to me like evidence for CI at any age, but you’ll have pronunciation problems if acquired at a later age.
He also says that when you learn a second language as an adult you almost always learn it through your first language. Well, I think it’s a good thing to link a second language to the first language, in order to quicker create meaning, but obviously NOT a good thing to teach a second language by speaking in the first language (what is too often done in a grammar-oriented class). I think that what we do by quickly establishing meaning, but then immersing the kids in CI is the best of both worlds.
“He also says that when you learn a second language as an adult you almost always learn it through your first language.”
This reminds me of the work of Wolfgang Butzkamm. Byron Depress-Berry was really intrigued by his work for a while and was sharing it around the TPRS community. I can’t find the article right now, but it’s called something like “Mother Tongue”.
John here is the link:
I don’t know if this relates to the above, Eric, but in class today I became aware of the constant dangers of peppering our verbal input with English. There was one period of about fifteen minutes of pure L2 slow input in my level 3 class today. I could almost see the unconscious mind in full command of the kids’ minds. Then, something funny happened and we started speaking English mixed with the French. It was like shooting paint balls onto a white screen. I know I say this a lot, and here I am saying it again, because I am convinced that in spite of our convictions, many of us still use way too much English in our classes. The research doesn’t support that.
I agree. If we counted the minutes in L1 and in L2, then it’s hard to get that 90% of instruction time in the L2, especially given minutes often spent in L1 at the start and end of class, during transitions, and the time in L1 to give instructions (what I still do).
Another thing I think CI teachers do: over-estimate how much of the input is comprehensible. I realize that often kids interpret a different meaning, but they may think they’ve comprehended. This happens sometimes when I ask “What did I just say?” and kids incorrectly and confidently answer. I’ve also seen teachers talk in the L1 and think they’re being comprehensible, but either speak too fast or use too much new vocabulary. Then again, it probably depends on the student group. Some kids will be more tolerant of ambiguity and be able to comprehend, even though every word is not transparent/translatable.
Related to what you say about too much L1: I wonder how many teachers overuse grammar pop-ups. Comprehension checks asking a variant of “What did I just say?” also pepper the input with L1, but in this case, I think it’s more acceptable. If acquisition happens with more meaning-form connections, then getting the meaning right is helpful.
I really only do a grammar pop-up now only when a student asks. I have had to laugh at myself at times when doing choral translating (mid Reading Option A) and I tried to stop the locomotive by explaining some grammar point. Students will hear me out for a second, but that locomotive certainly did not stop. They’ll shut me down and roll right along so that they can finish translating the story.
On teaching Ud. Instead of tú in the beginning so that kids will err on the side of politeness… I recently heard that some Mexican families do that with their little ones for the same reason. Little 4, 5, and 6 year olds are called Ud.!
Thanks for reinforcing that for me Carla!!
I’ll insert this comment here: I am as obsessed with verbs as ever! I just designed 50 “Verb Cards” that can be combined with the visualizations and the 5 minute PQA activity (PVA).
My motive: I am in the process of implementing an Extensive Reading/Listening program to teach English and I needed a way to scaffold the reading of the easiest TPRS Readers and graded readers, i.e. pre-graded reading material. EPER’s website has some thematic starter cards and some easy 1-page reader cards, reading a-z has some high-frequency easy readers, but I thought what was missing was concentrated reps on the high-frequency verbs. So I took the 50 most frequent verbs from the New General Service List and below each verb visualization I wrote a few statements with the verbs about Batman, Prince Royce, Shakira, and other characters that the Honduran kids would recognize. I added a personal question and included my own answer, so the verb is used in various persons (if only verb conjugations were all as easy as English!). I have built in review and synthesis of the previous 5 cards, by having a separate page for each of 3 characters with all the statements made about that person from the previous 5 verbs.
Now, I plan to record myself doing a 5 minute PQA/ROA session on each verb (circle the statements). Then, since my kids will all have their own mp3 players, they can listen and read the Verb Cards as a way to prepare them for the other reading materials. I plan to do the same thing at my school in the US next year 🙂
I truly believe that an ER/L Program can deliver the most efficient (greatest quantity) CI possible! You can combine shared and individual R/L. I’ll share more as I get more experience with this type of program. This is what Krashen has been promoting for decades! 🙂
Eric, this is gonna be awesome. Look forward to hearing/seeing it.