What I am doing to encourage speaking in the TL

The textbook has stories, stories connected by character and plot. I’ve introduced a very similar set of stories to give the students more reading input. The new stories are much easier to read than the ones in their book (since the L2 is Latin, I won’t go into the textbooks and their setup).

I have a very large number of pictures large enough to be seen from across the room but small enough to hold in my hand. They are categorized so I go through the stories as we approach them and pull pictures to represent most of the words, particularly the concrete ones, in the story.

We then read over the story and I ask questions in the TL about the story. We get an idea of what the story is about. Then I talk the story through using the pictures to accompany the retelling. The students bind a word to a particular picture. “Dog”, for instance, would go with a picture of a dog.

Then I might put the pictures on the chalk trary grouped according to paragraphs in the story. That way, each group of pictures forms a kind of mini-theme. I ask the students to write about each group of pictures. Basic techniques for writing can be followed e.g. write arounds, jigsaw puzzle, talk around, etc.

A simple test would be for me to write a story different in plot but using the same vocabulary. I would put pictures up with numbers or letters written over each picture. Students would then write the letter of the corresponding picture over the word in the story that the picture represents.

Then we move to taking about the story and its characters a little more freely and personalizing the content, going from where the main characters live to where the students live, something about their families, etc.

The idea is to get them gradually used to reading a story in the TL and discussing it in that language and then expanding the discussion to personal issues, just as they would in an English class but staying in the TL.

There’s other writing involved e.g. making a grid of all the characters and their characteristics and traits and events in their lives. In one character the major event is the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in Pompei, his home.

As characters travel to other parts of the world, the trips can be discussed and the customs, people and events found in the other sites the traveler goes to. Again, charts and other graphic organizers can be made of these.

Then we can make up our own characters to be a kind of alter ego and make descriptions etc that others take notes on, discuss, etc.

Some ideas there. I’d be glad to answer specific questions.

You’re the only one who expressed interest.

9/27 addendum:

This week I started something called textmapping. There is a website you can go to but briefly here’s what I’m doing:

a long (25 feet or so) piece of butcher paper with some sentences from the reading written on it in large letters so everything can be read from anywhere in the room.

Using markers of various colors, you color code in a consistent way, perhaps constructing the code with the students.

All sorts of features can be marked and highlighted. What I’ve started with is showing the parts of a sentence. Sadly, the textbook for the FIRST YEAR in the third chapter has a sentence with a relative clause! As you may know, the relative pronoun requires number and case and gender endings. These kids know about 100 words and this is what they get.

Anyway, with the advanced students (second and third year) I am doing the same thing. As we continue with this, we’ll deal with cases and verb categories. Right now I just want them to recognize prepositional phrases, clauses, etc. so they can read the sentence without reference to English and in normal Latin order.

I’ll keep y’all posted.

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