Check this out. It will be a regular part of my new routine:
I will publish an article about an expanded weekly schedule – one that takes more like two weeks to get through everything I want to do with a story – later, but basically instead of the Three Steps forming my weekly routine now, I have a schedule that could take up to two, even three weeks to get through. Here is the rough sequence I am working with right now:
- PQA – with dictée mixed in as an option to give more practice in writing (not for level 1 classes)
- Story – with artist’s drawing. Also the option to have the kids fill out the story script with their cute answers before the story to get ideas as per David Maust/Laurie Clarcq/Michele Whaley.
- Reading – usually Reading Option A
- Dictée – tried and true
- imtranslator – put the text of the story and the machine reads it in the TL to the class. Good bc the kids hear the real French accent.
- Freewrite based on the original three structures for this sequence
- Textivate – various uses
(quizzes happen all through this sequence of activities)
That’s just a rough plan and is being tested now, but you can see how these other blue chip ideas we’ve been having, and now this new tool called imtranslator, really have to be integrated into the old schedule some of us have been following. The stuff like Textivate and imtranslator is just too good, and past level 1 we need to bring in these other programs that more aggressively address writing, etc.
What’s sweet about imtranslator is that the kids totally know the entire text of the story beforehand bc of all the basic three step listening and reading repetitions that have preceded its use. Not only that, but the first time we play the imtranslator version of the class story, we can play it really slowly, then speed it up, etc.
The combination of all the reps from the basic TPRS work we did earlier using the three steps and the ability to slow down and speed up what the kids are hearing from imtranslator will be a very very very powerful addition to our teaching repertoire. Not only that, we can use imtranslator to give a dictée, just by periodically hitting the stop button in the text box, thus saving our voices throughout the day.
The great advantage we have over teachers who don’t use CI is that our kids can understand complex texts in the imtranslator precisely because we use CI. It’s an awesome program for foreign language teachers that integrates seamlessly with comprehensible input and Krashen. It will only help our efforts to bring better and better CI based instruction to our kids.
One other huge point made by chill about the use of imtranslator when a kid is absent is this:
…if a kid is absent and they have an account, all they need to do is cut and paste and they can read and listen to the story they missed in class. You could also do some circling for a kid who was out for a longer absence….
That last point right there is gold!