The Natives are Restless

Posted: May 15, 2008 in Learning...
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This time of year the students seem to be a strange brew of restlessness. So the question is: what do we do with them to get them back on track… having fun, learning and retaining all at the same time? And would it be too much to ask for all of this to happen with some semblance of the order that we once had in the very same classroom??

Here’s the beginning of my answer (for now):

I’ve been starting the hour each day by taking attendance (surprise!)… but how this process goes has changed a bit. I call their name and ask them a question in German. Their job (to be counted present for the day) is to answer the question. Often I have follow-up questions for them, but not always. Their only other job is to listen and be quiet while others are talking.

It’s been nice to have L2 used for sure by every student every day. I’ve seen a real improvement in their skills as well. We have been asking and answering in the past tense (Was hast du gestern gemacht?) and through using and hearing others use the past tense, I’ve seen their skills improve much more quickly than classes have in the past. Let’s see if that translates on to paper.

Moving forward: I would like to find a way to have students ask those possible follow-up questions… facilitating discussion between students. I have some ideas… I may try them out on a small scale soon.


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