iFLT15 St Paul – The third day – Thursday the 16th of July

Because Thursday evening after the nice Tibetan dinner With Tarte au citron dessert with my wonderful French- American host family I spent 3 hours getting my foldingbike in my suitcase… (Oh, why is it in my gene’s that I need to cycle????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) I didn’t have time to write my blog contribution of Thursday the 16th of July ; to be followed later on.

Here already some pictures of iFLT15 Thursday and the Thursday Session Handouts

iFLT15 Mike Coxon, Going beyond Movie Talks

iFLT15 Mike Coxon, Going beyond Movie Talks

Language lab #iFLT15 : Spanish 2 : Grant Boulanger and some of his students putting a story together = input

Language lab #iFLT15 : Spanish 2 : Grant Boulanger and some of his students putting a story together = input

iFLT15 Nuts and bolts of how to teach a novel; Kristy Placido

iFLT15 Nuts and bolts of how to teach a novel; Kristy Placido

iFLT15 Debriefing of Grant Boulanger's Spanish 2 lesson, with Diana Noonan

iFLT15 Debriefing of Grant Boulanger’s Spanish 2 lesson, with Diana Noonan

#iFLT15 St Paul – The second day – Wednesday the 15th of July #TPRS #CI

IMG_3470Today the second day of iFLT15 started and today the learning labs started. Yesterday the master teachers – who are teaching the students we were going to observe – already started with their lessons in order to get to know the students and to teach them the first vocabulary.

Here you can find the session hand-outs of Wednesday.

The experienced teachers first went to the learning labs and the beginners went to the other sessions and after the break it wa the other way around. I went to the French beginners lesson of Sabrina Janczak. It was amazing to see what the students already understood after one day! Sabrina makes a lot of contact with the students. After the 2 sessions of the learning labs were the debriefings. Sabrina and Diana Noonan did the debriefing together. During the debriefingIMG_3490 Sabrina told a few things that are important to her: she wants the students to be able to tell how they’re feeling: on the board were written a few possibilities. And so with this group she started off asking how they felt today. Personalization & showing that you really care for the students is most important to Sabrina. Key: explain the process, tell the students why you do what you do and remind them of what you’re doing.

Concerning the taught structures: yesterday Sabrina used the structures: is/has/gives to him-her and today she used the structures: works/yells/lazy/ get out of here.

IMG_3476After the break I went to the workshop about Movie Talk by Kristy Placido. She does Movie Talk every once in a while and the students like it very much, as they also indicate at their evaluations at the end of the year. Kristy started with a demo of… EL MONSTRUO DEL ARMARIO (Pablo Conde – 2009). Concept: play a movie and talk about it. Every Friday her students watch a telenovela, with Movie Talk.

After lunch I went to Martina Bex’s workshop: Bringing culture back, IMG_3491developing units that teach language through culture. It was a well structured, highly interesting workshop, also hands-on: the participants could immediately use what Martina taught. She talked about the need for comprehensible cultural units. Obejctive: use target structures to explain a cultural topic. Method: CI. See her clear hand-out with a practical scheme of how to develop the cultural units at page 15-17 of the the session hand-outs of Wednesday.

IMG_3496The last session I went to was again by Kristy Placido: Rock the CI (page 22 hand-out Wednesday). She started with a few quotes about music, like the one one the left by Ludwig von Beethoven. Kristy told she learned last year from keynote speaker of iFLT14 Dave Burgess (“Teach like a pirate”) how important it is to have some ‘hooks’. And music can be a strong hook. Because of that, a lot of her students start downloading the Spanish music they hear in class on their own devices and the songs become something of their own repertoire.

iFLT15 St Paul – The first day – Tuesday the 14th of July

IMG_3402Today iFLT15 started in Tartan High School in St Paul, Minnesota. How great to meet so many nice colleagues again and to be able to talk together ‘life’!

Carol opened the conference and then Darcy Pippins told about the succes of her students at the AP exams. The worry of a lot of teachers concerning TPRS is: will the students meet the requirements? Darcy showed that her students did very well at the AP exams, without any verb charts or whatsoever.

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Then Kristy Placido and Carrie Toth talked about Global competences through service learning. They told that lathough they’re living far away form each other they’re cooperating a lot and that their students are in contact with each other. They promoted cooperating with other colleagues.

They talked about their cultural units and how they backward plan them and how they try to find people in their town who can make it more personal.

They’re teaching in rural areas where the students don’t see the need for world languages and like most adolescents are mainly focused on themselves and so Kristy and Carrie tried to make the students aware of their own power: “What can I do to make a difference?”

IMG_3433Activities Kristy and Carrie performed are Kids helping kids by raising money and with this money helping other kids in Spanish speaking countries to be able to go to school (Kristy) and a Spanish snackshop (Carrie) and the money they raise with the snackshop goes as donations to different projects. They talked about microfinancing at Kiva.org, loans that change lives. Empower people around the world with a $25 loan (I wrote about this last year too, when I was in the workshop of Leslie Davison; I wanted to use it last year and I looked up things for Frenchspeaking countries, but finallly I did not use it in class and I definitely want to use it next school year). All this was done to raise the awareness of the students of important things outside  their own lives and towns and that it’s useful to be able to communicate in another language and to know about other cultures and how you can make a change by acting.

IMG_3434I was happy to hear what I also always say: “With TPRS we’re trying to break down the idea that only a few students can learn a second language: everybody can do it. anyone can learn a (second, third, fourth etc) language if there’s no brain deficiency.”

They also gave some practical tips. I liked the “Wordle battle” Carrie mentioned: you make a wordcloud at Wordle.net of a song you’re going to use in class. You work in pairs and you give each student one wordle. You start the song and the students have to encircle a word when they hear it in the song. The one who has the most encicrled words wins.

IMG_3442Carol showed the reading action chain. 5 persons had received a small piece of paper and on it was written a sentence. They had to show the sentence – withhout telling it – and they could use dialogues. We had to guess what was written and give a chorus answer. With it Carol had written an UNparallel story : more details to the story, which gave e.g. information about the way things were said, or why or how.

Unparallel_Story_Tarzan_Jane_GaabAfter the lunch break Carol Gaab did the session for the experienced TPRS teachers. She talked about and showed examples of staying in flow with CI Strategies, differentiated instruction. How do you create & keep input comprehensible and compelling? Define – Refine – Combine.

High frequency vocabulary, relative to your students needs & interests, situationally appropriate vocabulary. Content based CI.

Carol showed a lot of examples of what she does with the baseball players she’s teaching. She can not do plain stories with them; she adapts what she does with them; somehow it made me think of the traditional way of teaching. It’s the repetition that counts and the way you can keep your students interested, although you’re repeating.

Days 1 – 4 – Beginning Workshop Handouts
Day 1 – Afternoon Experienced Workshop Handout

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