Interpretive Mode

Dori, who lives in Parker, CO, sent this today:

Hi Ben:

Yesterday our district had a job-alike day, so we had a workshop focusing on ACTLF’s three modes of Communication (curiously, no mention of the 90% in the language!).  Anyway, I was struck by:

a.  the number of people who have no idea what the modes mean.  One school thinks they are doing the interpretive mode when kids interpret a painting, not even realizing that the interpretive mode is part of the communicative strand.

b.  the number of people who feel it’s enough for kids to read and “get the gist” instead of using reading as a means of acquiring language.  You know, the old “read this ad that’s too hard for you and see if it’s about a movie, a restaurant, or an amusement park.”

c.  the vast number of hours making up inane activities instead of just talking to kids about kids.  One woman had a stick figure with about 30 cut out pieces of clothing that kids could place on the stick figure, and she has each kid do this in class!  Can you imagine?  All that time wasted cutting out clothing items?

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3 thoughts on “Interpretive Mode”

  1. I find this observation to be one of the most “essential” I have ever seen: “the number of people who feel it’s enough for kids to read and “get the gist” instead of using reading as a means of acquiring language”. That is not to say that there is no need to get the gist of text that is above the acquisition level of the learner. Once again, it’s more of a test to see whether any acquisition has occurred; it doesn’t actually increase acquisition. To miss the incredible power of using comprehensible reading to increase acquisition, however, is a crime. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. So to learn clothing in Mvskoke, I didn’t cut out clothes. I folded laundry. Stumbling over the words over and over.

    I knew this was the only way I could really take those words into my heart and deep into my brain. I found that one way for me to practice listening and hearing my language was to learn the words for the things I did.

    I don’t play football. I do laundry and wash dishes. Meeting the learner’s need for lanugage that is comprehensible and relevant to them is the only way we learn. But, not many people want to converse about laundry. Go figure.

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