Today I went to the workshop of Von and Blaine, ‘Verifying and dramatizing‘. This new feature of TPRS I missed last year, because Bryce Hedstrom and I were doing at the same moment the Going Slowly workshop. So I was really curious how and what ‘Verifying and dramatizing’ is, because I heard many positive things about it, also from my roommate Michelle Kindt (one of the coaches and she is the coach who is working together with Von and Blaine in ‘Verifying and dramatizing’). Last week she worked for three days with Blaine in a workshop and there he used German and although Michelle never practiced speaking German in this workshop herself, she nevertheless knew it all afterwards and she was amazed and even admitted she had been skeptical about this feature of having the actors giving output so early in the process, but it turned out to be very benificial.
Von started with an explanation how to work with actors and how you talk to them and verify details with them and then ask questions to the class about what they just heard about the actor. E.g. Teacher: Are you a girl? Actor: Yes, I am a girl. You ask the class for new details about the actor, because the collective knows more than the individual, so personalization goes through the class and not the actor. Von also said: Comprehension is the tip of the iceberg and the goal is speaking with confidence. The idea is new for us TPRS teachers to insist on production.
After talking for a while with class and actors you add another character and you start doing the same things as you did with the first actor, but you also start comparing them to the class.
Blaine: “Dialogue is so powerful! Don’t circle dialogue, move from the dialogue to the class.”
Von: “Working with actors and having dialogues between teacher and actors gives maximum visibility and it’s very entertaining.”
After the theoretical explanation and Von’s German demo (and later Blaine’s German demo) we practiced several times in small groups of three, where one of us was the teacher, one was ‘the class’ and one was the actor and later the actors (the hand was the other actor and ‘talked’. We switched roles about every 10 minutes in order that everyone could practice as much as possible. Tomorrow I’m going to practice it again in the coaching workshop. I think it’s a very interesting skill and I never knew very well what to do with the actors and with dialogues, but this really made it clear!
After lunch and the second part of our ‘Verifying and dramatizing workshop’ I went the session of Mira Canion ‘Reading strategies and materials’. She wrote several Spanish and French novels which contain tons of cultural aspects. She has many wonderful ideas how to make students want to read books, by making them curious to the subject. You can find Mira’s downloads at the resources page at her site ‘Mira Canion’.
Mira has so many good ideas about reading and she can think so well on her feet that it’s a great pleasure to be in her session. I’m already looking forward to Mira’s contribution to the open mic night!
Other teachers writing about NTPRS 2013:
Michael Miller : http://www.charoylee.com/Charo_y_Lee/NTPRS_2013/NTPRS_2013.html
Haiyun : She writes detailed reflections on the workshops she has attended.
1. on Coaching for Coaches:
2. on verifying details with Blaine and Von.
Another overview of the blogs above by Dick Detwiler: http://moretprs.wikispaces.com/NTPRS+2013