There are two types of language students in a CI class. Well, there are many types of language students, but for this post, let’s divide them into two groups. There are those who actively listen and absorb the input we provide, and there are those who discover the meaning of words and try to think/translate their way through everything. The second group is full of students who say things like . . .
- Me llamo es
- El hombre era comiendo
- Espalda en mi día
How do we move students from the second group into the first? How do we get them to buy into what we are doing? – providing them with the input they need to communicate without (much) thinking.
I’m going to start with this. It’s simple and lame, but so are some of the best classroom strategies I use everyday.
I’m going to hang it in my room after break or maybe even hang several of them in my room. We’ll discuss it, and then I’ll point to it when we need to refocus.
Of course, thinking and some translating are natural for any language student. And given the brevity of our time with students, extending concepts from one structure to another with which they have not had much input does require some thought. I’m not trying to eliminate that type of thinking. I’m trying to eliminate the frustration of standing in front of class everyday and saying “hace calor”, “hace frío”, “hace fresco”, “hace calor”, “hace frío”, “hace calor” . . .
And then hearing a student one day say, “Profe, es frío hoy.”
*If you are not a Spanish teacher, the sign simply says “Listen more. Think less.” Translate it to your language or in English.