How Much To Practice – a post

Here are some examples to add to my response to Amy Pento’s response to Mary Young re: practice.

Go to the flteach list and read the posts for context.

Practice calls up images of a tennis player hitting a backhand over and over against a backboard. In the fl learning context that might be compared to conjugating verbs in one or more tenses, one or more persons, either in writing or orally (although Frank Smith [Joining the Literacy Club] denies that physical learning and mental learning can be so easily compared).

Practice might mean playing a game like “Who Am I?” where one student describes himself in the TL or answers questions about himself, but himself as a character, often a famous or other well-known person or type of person (e.g. someone practicing a profession). There, the practice involves using the language to communicate with other students.

Review could refer to doing a synopsis of verbs in every tense or it could be listening to various students talk about themselves and then reviewing what everyone said. I’ve always been more impressed with students’ ability to remember details about the characters than to say it in the TL.

An example comes from the textbook Cambridge Latin Course where a series of stories, about 150, involve a variety of characters who develop throughout the textbook. It is easy to have students select one of these characters in secret (“clam”} and then get the other students to guess who they are. The review comes in when one student goes around telling who the other students are and what they do, where they live, who they are related to, etc. On Bloom’s taxonomy, that is pretty low, but it is, after all, in Latin. 🙂

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