"Just listen and observe. Follow the story, don't focus on every single word.
Make sure your ears and eyes are with me. Relax and enjoy."
This is my set up to story listening. This powerful method to deliver CI, has been developed and tested out extensively by Beniko Mason. I first saw her demonstrate what she does in Agen, France last summer. I was really intrigued, but also confused about where to start and nervous about being able to make sure it's comprehensible AND enjoyable to my students. And then, I just leaped, searching and prepping stories to my students' level.
But before I talk about all the things I like about it, here is a simple description of what it is that I recently posted on Ben Slavic's PLC:
The method is rather simple. You simplify a story so that you know your students should be able to understand it. Then you tell the story to the students and as you’re telling it you draw on the board what is happening, some key words and figures. You also add writing so that they can see the words they need. They are written in L2, sometimes in L1 underneath, but then you wipe away L1 to not cause interference.
The student’s’ job is to follow the story as a whole. It is NOT to teach anything to mastery. The goal is to tell the story so the students can understand and follow the major events and details. You can follow this up with reading the story or activities but you don’t have to.
As their final project the German Junior Honor Society created their own children's books in German. To get a chance to share them with others, we had a Read-athon with our current 6th graders. The Spanish and French classes joined in as eleven Honor Society students presented their books to about 120 6th graders.
The books were on a variety of topics, from the first day in school to a version of the three little pigs. The students read in German and made sure to help the 6th graders understand the German. Below are some captured impressions from our 2-day event.
When I first heard about this documentary I was eager to pledge for it to be able to see it. While I am not a big movie person, I really like watching documentaries and this one, being about the current state of education in the U.S., seemed to be right up my alley. Well, I went to see it with a friend of mine last week and the beginning enthusiasm about this documentary quickly faded.