Spin a Web!

This is from Alisa:
Ben,
Hello from Chicagoland!
Check out this post to Nandu for a groan and an eye-roll:

Nandu. Together You Will Spin A Web
I like doing an ‘exit’ ticket or check in. So for instance today, we learned that the -car and -gar verbs change in the yo form for the preterit. I stood at the door to end class and as students left they had to give me a sentence using one of the verbs we practiced with in a sentence. It was a good formative assessment.
As I said, OY.
Alisa

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3 thoughts on “Spin a Web!”

  1. Wow.
    I think this fits here . . . I am fed up. I just sent the following email to all Spanish teachers on the island, which includes stereotypical traditional high school teachers. I think we should be ENGAGING our colleagues in such professional dialogue. . .
    All depends on goals and alignment (backwards design 101). If the goal is communication, then your assessments are communicative. If the goal is to know textbook grammar rules and topical lists of textbook vocabulary, then you test that.
    ACTFL has since the 80’s been promoting “proficiency,” but most teachers are guilty of “stacking” – adding or fitting the new trend to what they were already doing, e.g. the “communication” is a facade for practicing grammar. Today’s current state of FL education is far from proficiency-based and is still in a quasi-behaviorist stage, still teaching with a “synthetic approach” (teach the pieces and have students put it together). ACTFL too, still has some improving to do. Unfortunately, some have taken textbooks for gospel and some take ACTFL as gospel. As Krashen said recently, ACTFL’s greatest weakness is that it is atheoretical.
    The textbook syllabus is only in existence today, because it’s a market. What teachers keep buying will keep being made. The grammatical syllabus and topical vocabulary has little to do with teaching for language acquisition and teaching for proficiency.
    “Some [textbooks] are based on years of classroom experience, precious few on theory or research findings in SLA or education, and many on little more than chutzpah and the punditís or publisher’s desire for a healthier bank balance.” (Long, 2011, p. 374) . . . I can share plenty more like-minded quotes on textbooks from SLA researchers – I don’t know a single SLA researcher that would support commercial textbooks
    FL teachers would struggle to answer the 3 basic questions of linguistic theory (Chomsky, 1986) and answer them with any reference to actual science and not personal belief:
    1. What is the nature of language (the subconscious mental representation of this knowledge)?
    2. How is knowledge acquired?
    3. How is knowledge of language put to use?
    We have a long way to go in the education of FL teachers. How many get any education in SLA? How many still believe in some form of the “skill-building,” traditional teaching myth, i.e. explicitly teaching grammar rules and believing that output practice of the rules will develop fluency?
    “Explicit grammar doesn’t work with any age for language acquisition” (VanPatten, 2015).
    We all need ongoing:
    1) Education in SLA (e.g. [ https://www.llas.ac.uk/resources/gpg/421 ]https://www.llas.ac.uk/resources/gpg/421)
    2) Education in proficiency-based assessment (e.g. [ http://www.actfl.org/professional-development/professional-development-workshops ]http://www.actfl.org/professional-development/professional-development-workshops)
    3) Training in comprehension-based instruction – in order to keep class 90%+ Spanish and Spanish that is comprehended (e.g. [ https://benslavic.com ]https://benslavic.com) and teaching resources (e.g. [ https://tprstorytelling.com ]https://tprstorytelling.com)
    Receive this email in the spirit of professional discussion. This is the stuff we should be (respectfully, emotions aside) learning, discussing, and debating in order that we all continue to grow in our practice.

  2. Tried to comment, but since it had URLs my comment has entered the “awaiting moderation” cloud. So, I’ll try again. . .
    Wow.
    I think this fits here . . . I am fed up. I just sent the following email to all Spanish teachers on the island, which includes stereotypical traditional high school teachers. I think we should be ENGAGING our colleagues in such professional dialogue. We just need to first establish norms for respectful dialogue.
    All depends on goals and alignment (backwards design 101). If the goal is communication, then your assessments are communicative. If the goal is to know textbook grammar rules and topical lists of textbook vocabulary, then you test that.
    ACTFL has since the 80’s been promoting “proficiency,” but most teachers are guilty of “stacking” – adding or fitting the new trend to what they were already doing, e.g. the “communication” is a facade for practicing grammar. Today’s current state of FL education is far from proficiency-based and is still in a quasi-behaviorist stage, still teaching with a “synthetic approach” (teach the pieces and have students put it together). ACTFL too, still has some improving to do. Unfortunately, some have taken textbooks for gospel and some take ACTFL as gospel. As Krashen said recently, ACTFL’s greatest weakness is that it is atheoretical.
    The textbook syllabus is only in existence today, because it’s a market. What teachers keep buying will keep being made. The grammatical syllabus and topical vocabulary has little to do with teaching for language acquisition and teaching for proficiency.
    “Some [textbooks] are based on years of classroom experience, precious few on theory or research findings in SLA or education, and many on little more than chutzpah and the punditís or publisher’s desire for a healthier bank balance.” (Long, 2011, p. 374) . . . I can share plenty more like-minded quotes on textbooks from SLA researchers – I don’t know a single SLA researcher that would support commercial textbooks.
    FL teachers would struggle to answer the 3 basic questions of linguistic theory (Chomsky, 1986) and answer them with any reference to actual science and not personal belief:
    1. What is the nature of language (the subconscious mental representation of this knowledge)?
    2. How is knowledge acquired?
    3. How is knowledge of language put to use?
    We have a long way to go in the education of FL teachers. How many get any education in SLA? How many still believe in some form of the “skill-building,” traditional teaching myth, i.e. explicitly teaching grammar rules and believing that output practice of the rules will develop fluency?
    “Explicit grammar doesn’t work with any age for language acquisition” (VanPatten, 2015).
    We all need ongoing:
    1) Education in SLA (e.g. http://www.llas.ac.uk/resources/gpg/421)
    2) Education in proficiency-based assessment (e.g. http://www.actfl.org/professional-development/professional-development-workshops)
    3) Training in comprehension-based instruction – in order to keep class 90%+ Spanish and Spanish that is comprehended (e.g. http://www.benslavic.com) and teaching resources (e.g. tprstorytelling.com)
    Receive this email in the spirit of professional discussion. This is the stuff we should be (respectfully, emotions aside) learning, discussing, and debating in order that we all continue to grow in our practice.

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