Jun 17, 2008

repetitive repetitions

I'm always concerned about my fast processing students and how bored they will feel through endless circling of structures they already understand. And now I have sat through two demonstrations in the last two days, one was in Bulgarian and the other was in German. I discovered that I am a relatively fast processor of languages. I was sitting in a seminar room surrounded by other language teachers, and yet I was consistently answering ahead of most of my peers. At the end of the activities, when asked to rate on a 10 finger scale how comfortable we had been, I had a 10 each and every time. And yet, the repetitions helped immensely.

I need repetitions in fact. Without the repetitions I was searching the board and my page for the English definitions of the questions and the answers. With each question that was asked I was able to glance quickly at the sheet for confirmation of my suspicions, and then later to bypass that step altogether and call out the answers. The more we repeated the structures and the vocabulary, the easier it was for me to leave the crutch of translation behind.

And contrary to my worries, I didn't get bored once I understood the words. I was excited to know the answer, and was anxiously waiting for the opportunity to try it again, to see what was coming. I was also able to actively participate in giving suggestions, because I understood the questions.

This experiment also showed me how much more I need to point the words out to help those slower processors. I think my speed of delivery is fine. I've never had a complaint about it even when I taught kindergarten, and I generally feel for the class to see how fast I can go. But I do not pause and point enough.

Another thing I truly appreciated as the student was the opportunity to practice the structures in various contexts. It wasn't just the hotel that was big, it was the sandwich and the cow too. It wasn't just the girl who had a name, her sister did, the students in the class did, the hotel did...

So, I was worried that circling was too repetitious and would turn students off. What I found was that I can keep interest high by letting those faster processors give answers, and by practicing the structures in various contexts. I also found that even though I am a fast processor, the repetitions were extremely helpful.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Gifted Education 2.0 Ning