If you look at this video of our Alisa teaching her very young kids, I suggest you turn off the sound:
What do you notice? I notice that Alisa encourages, as much as possible, freedom of physical movement by the kids. The kids need to move at that age, and she allows that, without “losing” them in any way. It’s like reeling in a fish, she has the exact right tension on her CI “line”.
Notice how the one blond kid in the first few minutes follows Alisa when she goes off camera to get something. Those kids are what I would call engaged. Who has the courage to teach such young uncontrollable balls of energy? I sure don’t!
What else does Alisa do in this video to achiever such mastery in teaching such small children? Well, they certainly aren’t reading. They are simply too young and I will post on that later. For the same reason, they are not speaking in the TL. Obviously they are not writing yet.
If they are not reading or speaking or writing, then what are the doing? Again, turn off the sound in the video. You will see that they are attending to messages. That’s it. Watching Alisa teach with the sound off really reveals her level of mastery in doing the only thing that kids can do at that level – attend to messages.
What helps such young ones attend to messages? Props. Alisa uses lots of props very theatrically. Doing this keeps the kids’ attention. I never use props at the high school level because they immediately become distractions, but they certainly look useful here.
Alisa uses props and images to reel them in while conveying simple, understandable messages and that is why it is working so well. She makes it look so easy!
We all know that teaching languages to kids in elementary has been and continues to be a national train wreck, but at least there on the north side of Chicago it’s happening. Where else is it happening? Isn’t it about time the CI Elementary world united? Twenty years of national conferences haven’t put a dent in the problem. How is this going to resolve? It’s not like we don’t have the model we need now, as proven above.
Admins don’t actually read the research. They don’t have time. If or when they do read it, they do not really grasp it. How could