Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Día 27 - English/No English rules

As I have been reading through Ben Slavic's books and blog, I have found that he has "No English rules" that pertain to when English is not acceptable.  He doesn't go into specifics when talking about that, but I assume that means that there are contexts in which English is acceptable and not acceptable in class.

In Blaine Ray's class, it seemed like he mentioned that there was no English allowed and when students did not follow that, he gave them an additional assignment that they had to complete to count for their participation.

It sounds harsh.  I wonder what my "No English rules" are.  This perplexes me because this TPRS method requires a lot of student feedback.  I mentioned in my previous entry how I would like to offer different potential suggestions to my students via a word wall.

I also try and build up their vocabulary by offering suggestions in the story.  But I have found that in story telling, there are times when I cannot possibly plan on where something will go and I do not have the adjectives to describe such thing to offer suggestions.  I hope that improves with experience.  I have been meaning to come up with lists of words to have around the class or just to have close-by that I can refer to as supplemental target vocabulary.

From observing my teaching today, it appears as though my English rules are that when I ask for students to answer questions and they answer in English and I know it is something that they should be able to say (either in the reading because it is written word for word or because we've beaten it to death 100+ times), I will stare at them blankly until they try to say it in Spanish or someone else will try.  Sometimes I even offer a humorous voice trying to speak English with Spanish pronunciation rules so that they understand that I can't accept their answer in English.

If we're going over a story and they offer a suggestion that the class happens to like and it is in English, I often can translate that for them and then it becomes an interesting phrase for them in Spanish that they have now shown interest in learning and it becomes a special phrase for their class.

I'm still not sure what the best way would be.  I like the idea of not allowing the students to speak English, but sometimes they come up with amazing ideas that you can use.

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