This week I focused on talking about the stories we read. It’s not all questions; I just do a kind of resume but ask questions along the way to check for comprehension. I find it interesting that one of the criticism’s of Krashen’s hypothesis on i + 1 is that we don’t know what i is so we cannot go to +1. Hmmm. I think I can tell if I am doing +2 or +3; the look of incomprehension appears. So I wonder if the problem is that those who feel we cannot find the sweet spot that is i+1 are those who cannot observe students for comprehension.
I’m moving now toward designing a structure for guided discussion that will be similar to my Action Sheet. I’ll work on that this weekend.
The other move I made this week was working with picture files (PFs). It went very well, with students able to attach words to the pictures at their level. The first year students were even able to comprehend sentences and put a few together. Their performance has that “Of course that’s what it is” feel that means they are acquiring.
In addition, we put in all 40 categories on their “digationes” or word grids and were assigned the task of putting the vocabulary from the stories into those categories.
What I have not done is take the list of end-rhymed words from the stories and have the students turn them into poems.
Today was Language Awareness day and I showed that scene from The 13th Warrior where Antonio Banderas picks up Norse from listening to the Vikings talk. I also put up a couple of scam e-mails on the overhead and had them pick out the errors of various kinds to illustrate how sensitive we are to the slightest variation in language.
All in all, a good week. My advanced students gave me a card and cupcakes for my birthday.