New group member Jolene has a question:
Q. I need to lean on your expertise. I’m in a unique situation in that I only have my middle schoolers for six weeks. What would you recommend as being the most important things for them to experience?
A. Well, the most important thing, the only thing really, is that they experience comprehensible input as listening and reading as much as possible in class. In six weeks, in six months, and in my view in six years in a secondary school classroom they will not get enough CI to make anything real happen in terms of output, which is expected years too early by those who do not know/have not studied how languages are actually acquired.
So give them all the CI you can and relax about it, keeping in mind always that if it takes years and years of input to master a language and in six weeks we have about 5 days X 45 min. X 6 weeks = 22 hours, it is far more important to get them interested and not make them feel stupid about their language skills.
The question is how to do it. My answer is specific, since these strategies were developed for exactly this level but now are being used at all levels: Card Talk, Small Talk/the Calendar, One Word Images, and very simple stories, along with an occasional dictation or free write to get pencils in their hands when you feel that they need to feel as if they are learning.
Those strategies along w my favorite invention next to One Word Images (OWI), the Word Chunk Team Game, will fill every minute over the six weeks with focused fun w them focused on the message while the language sneaks in, unnoticed, into their deeper brains, just like Dr. Krashen says.
Any readers here who don’t yet have the free download on OWI, here is the link:
(If you don’t have the Natural Approach to Stories book, where all the above strategies are explained, you can use the search bar here or look in the categories to get information/articles on them.)



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