Tina on Skill Building

Tina throws a wrench into the thinking of those who think that they are teaching to the standards when they are really doing skill building activities:

The communicative activity where they practice doing Task X in Language Y using Phrases A, B, and C is skill-building. Recently Dr. Krashen said on FB that the real enemy is T1, Skill-Building. I then asked him if backwards-planning from a novel or a high-frequency word list and then using that language to build stories, such as having a list of three structures on the board and building a story in which I repeat them over and over while kids count on baseball clickers, if that was T1, skill-building. He replied yes, a list seems like T1 to me. So then I realized that what I did for years, eight years, is skill building.

So, true communication is the only thing left after that. And true communication is not, to me, based on trying to say the same thing 50-75 times. In fact, when you communicate for real, time stands still, you delight in the sharing of ideas, of human creativity, and your focus is on the PEOPLE involved, learning about them and from them, sharing with them, getting to know them and humanity better as you talk. True communication is, of course, non-targeted.



2 thoughts on “Tina on Skill Building”

  1. I’m giving a grammar test right now (Expresate CH7) on which the average for all students is 63% in our school. (Mastery Manager data) Think about how much that skill-building failure hurts the morale of the students in our program…Negative commands, reflexive verbs, 200 words about the morning routine and being healthy/sick.

    And none of it will be retained or leads to acquisition in any way. And…I still have to teach CH8 or my kids suffer on the final.

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