The Nature of Conversation

Our work isn’t mechanical and cannot be taught to new teachers in a mechanical way. Once we accept how truly subjective the nature of this work is, we can begin to move towards an instructional approach that is more feeling toned, less predictable and less based on high frequency word lists or words that have been grouped thematically.

The nature of conversation demands that we invite new teachers to do this work with an openness, a freedom of questioning, and a sense of whimsy. Current thinking has it that new teachers cannot handle such freedom. The process is presented to them in a way that conveys the false idea: “This is difficult and you have to learn it the way I say to do it.”

Beyond circling, new teachers merely need to ask the next logical question as you engage at deeper and deeper levels of authenticity and trust with your students. In that way the process of instructing a class using comprehensible input becomes much more based on who is in the room, since those engaging in conversation determine the nature of the conversation, as per:



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