We Can't Have It Both Ways

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5 thoughts on “We Can't Have It Both Ways”

  1. Oh boy, this is so true! But it also means that TPRS teachers have to keep good check on themselves to make sure they are frequently including numbers and other language items useful for mundane, not now (or maybe never) necessarily exciting transactions in non-anglophone public places. And they have to do this in such a way that it does not impede an emphasis on personalized, more intimately useful
    language use. How are some of you others walking this difficult high wire?

  2. Numbers will come up of their own accord. I don’t go for the very specific ones every time, but here’s an example from yesterday. One kid had flown to Seattle to visit relatives over vacation (yes, this is from vacation cards). How many relatives does he have there? 800! Another kid got lots of money for Christmas. How much? $800. (Gave me the chance to chant “what a coincidence”). So that reviews 8 and 100, and I made mistakes as I retold, so kids corrected me. It wasn’t 700 or 80. In each case, it was 800. Big grins. We’ll end up reading these and possibly writing them.

  3. I believe that when I went to a Blaine Ray workshop, he suggested being really specific in our stories and using really specific and absurd numbers. So, when asking kids for the amount of money that someone won in a contest, don’t settle for “ten dollars.” Keep asking them until they find something more unusual, or say something like, “Very close! It was ten dollars and fifty-four cents!”
    We can use unusual and very specific numbers in our stories and not only will it help them learn more numbers, but it will make the stories more interesting. When I did improvisational theatre, they would always tell us “BE SPECIFIC!” And I know that Blaine says this as well. When a trip takes fifty-four minutes and five seconds, it makes you ask, “Wait, why did it take exactly that long?” Whereas when you just say, “The trip took an hour,” information is given but few questions are raised.

  4. More than learning numbers, this is great reminder to not sweat the small stuff when doubt creeps in – as the number thing did the other day. It also includes verb creep – the nagging feeling that they don’t recognize “a pris” took. Uh, oh. Do they know or remember what the present looks like. Thank goodness, they remember the motion! Sometimes I feel like this blog is somehow channeling my classroom and my angst!

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