Friday was my first day with my class this year. As I am still completing my MA program, I am only teaching grade 4 beginners this school year. I have 14 students so far, which is great for class, but not so great for the up coming research. However, I was super excited about starting the school year and teaching kids again. This year I am starting the class of with Story Listening right away. Of course during the first class, we made sure the kids are in the right level and we spent some time getting to know each other. I learned that, for the first time ever, I have a beginner class in which ALL students speak English. I actually have a common language!
At the end of the class, I wanted to do one quick story, just to give them an idea of what's to come. So after talking a bit about what we will do in class and some expectations, I did Alvin Schwartz "In a dark, dark room".
This last year, I have posted once or twice about giving and receiving Story Listening lessons. At the end of last year Alice Ayel and I decided to do a tandem and teach each other German and Spanish respectively through Story Listening. It's a great opportunity to gain language and also use the lessons to work on your teaching skills. I have written more about this experience here.
Since the whole premise of the underlying Input Hypothesis by Stephen Krashen is that language acquisition is subconscious you wait and wonder if your language is improving. A good teacher doesn't let you struggle with comprehension, so the fact that I am comprehending is a mixture of great teaching and gains in language abilities. So how can I tell I am indeed improving?