Nov 12, 2008

Connections - one of the 5 Cs

Connections is one of the National Foreign Language standards. Students are supposed to be able to make connections between one language and another, one culture and another, etc.

This is often covered in very superficial lessons about holidays or in grammar lessons. In Spanish one can drop the subject pronoun when the verb is in first or second person, or when the third person subject has previously been established. In English, however, one must always use a subject or a subject pronoun...

Personally, I love it when students come up with these connections all on their own. A few weeks ago, we were reading a story in which a student addressed her teacher. The student used the formal register with the teacher, and I popped up the grammar. "Class, why did the student use habla instead of hablas?" My 8th graders were able to answer immediately, but then we digressed into a conversation about formality. Some of the kids thought it was so odd that a student would have to be respectful to her (or his) teacher like that. And then some of my asian students began talking about the culture in China and Korea and how it was the same. They informed the class that one would never address their teacher informally in their native language either.

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