Targetless Instruction – 22

We need to ASK THEM what they want to talk about before we start talking. This is as per Star of the Week. Why not ask THEM what questions they want to be asked? It’s not that hard to do and the results are fantastic. Just given them time to tell us what they want to be asked. Duh.

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5 thoughts on “Targetless Instruction – 22”

  1. I actually just did this with my French 1 class this morning. The question that I decided to go with was: “What is one thing that makes you happy?”. I couldn’t just pick one thing, but it was a great discussion. I wrote down some simple one-word example responses on the board and added to it if other students had other ideas. I was actually a bit surprised at how much variety there was while mainly using vocabulary that they already knew. So simple, and I could tell that they liked having a say in it instead of me just coming with a pre-planned conversation question.

    1. Bryan said:

      … I was actually a bit surprised at how much variety there was while mainly using vocabulary that they already knew….

      Yes Bryan this was the shocker for me as well. Star of the Week is a vastly underutilized tool. One thing I did was choose not to interview them in the chair but just have them fill out the first question (fear) and just randomly discuss and take notes about details that came up. The superstars sat there and took notes like it was a history class, writing away, speaking, hanging out in the language. Blew me away.

      1. And Bryan this and other recent class insights lead me to the following theorem: the more they are interested, the better the discussion. I know we know this, it is a basic tenet of TPRS, but there is something more to that statement that I can’t even put into words. The more they are interested in what they are hearing, the better the language. That is so deep. (So hard to explain but brand new to me this week in two separate classes with separate activities.)

        1. Also, they are usually much more interested when THEY provide the direction instead of the teacher doing so. A lot of that probably has to do with how they are mostly talked at or left to their own devices (projects, etc.) in other classes instead of being invited to a dialogue. It can be hard for us to give up control / make that space, but it is much more authentic to real life conversations than otherwise.

          1. agreed. It may be hard at first for both Teachers and Students but the gains are huge when that space and environment happen. I would even say that when it seems like it flops, it is still better acquired than traditional approaches

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