Report from the Field – Margarita Perez

Margarita reports from New Zealand (don’t forget to put your flag in the map if you haven’t already):
Today in Auckland, I have given a demonstration of OWIs. I titled it: Desde a la Palabra a la Escritura Creativa en el Aula de ELE. Contrary to the first time, in another workshop organised by the education attache from the Spanish embassy, I did not work with my students but with a group of young adults studying Spanish at University whom I did not know at all. They were shy, out of the comfort zone and felt very exposed: New teacher plus being observed by other Spanish teachers at the back of the room.
By then end of the session, they were looking at each other with smiles, laughing, acting words with actions, using voices to convey emotions (con solemnidad, con voz profunda, con una voz implacable – see Ben’s Director’s Cues), using very sophisticated Spanish, using rejoinders cards and other funny expressions.
It was hard work, but it was such a nice experience to demonstrate the power of OWIs.
At the end of the workshop, the organiser who had seen me previously doing OWIs with my own classes, told me how fascinating was to see OWIs to develop both the Spanish, but in particular a cohesive community that’s learning and having fun together.
He told me that he saw a community being created from zero in a Space of an hour. A community!

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5 thoughts on “Report from the Field – Margarita Perez”

  1. I agree with the community building nature of OWI. One of my classes preferred them to the individual characters. They enjoyed using OWI with matava scripts.

    1. Great idea Steven. I’m gonna try that. That has often been the driest part of a Matava script for me, trying to figure out who the character is.

      1. Yeah, there is already the setup from creating the OWI then, having the paper in front of you that you adapt according to the level of the class – bring an actor up and let it go! I had a quiet 1st period (probably still sleepy) and using the script has helped me create some amazing stories with them.

  2. Steven that (combining OWIs w Matava scripts) is your idea. I remember you’ve mentioned it before. I will remember to credit you on this. I’ve never tried it but it sounds like it could really get the class deep into mirth and humor. They create the character and the script then has much deeper appeal. Nice!

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