Language Sensei

Thoughts on The Journey of Teaching Languages

December 3, 2013
by leesensei
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Taking the Time to Ask “How’s it going?”

Hourglass

As teachers we’re often so concerned about finishing a class in time that sometimes we forget how far we have come. This year has started a new emphasis for me on reflective learning. As I take the time reflect on my learning via my blog and interact with my PLN, I want my students to develop a self awareness of who, and where, they are as learners.

I started this year with a set of opening day questions for my returning students. The idea came courtesy of Martina Bex (@martinabex) and was a set of questions designed to find both what works for them in class -and what their challenges might be. The emailed responses were very enlightening both as an insight into how my students see themselves as learners but also what class materials supported their learning. As we came through our first half of the course (I teach on semester system -so Nov is mid-way) I thought it would be nice to check in and see how class is going – and how students are feeling about their learning.

The reflection form asks students to initially consider their success in class.  The responses show what they value – and if what I value (risk, stretching, communicating) is resonating with them. “What have you done really well?” and “What have you improved on?” brought a wide variety of answers. Many talked about overcoming initial hesitations – especially about communicating with peers – and their increasing comfort in working in the target language.

“One thing that surprised me about class” gave me a real insight into how class is going for them. I was surprised to have so many focus on the pleasant surprise of our oral challenges – be they daily interactive with their peers or the class summative assessments. One grade 12 student remarked on how ‘freakishly committed’ the class seemed to be – in preparing work and participating in class activities. A great number of students mentioned that they never thought learning a language could be ‘fun’ – imagine that?

I put a question on the sheet this year about preparing for tests – keeping in mind that ‘test’ refers to any of our summative (and some of my formative) assessments. Most of my seniors used this to reiterate how they prepare – and that it a successful strategy for them. I have worked a lot this year with my new Grade 9’s in evaluation skills. Many of them talked about ‘preparing for the evaluation we’re going to have’ as a change – that is practicing reading for a reading piece, and writing for a written evaluation. A large number commented on how they used my “power 7” idea (short bursts of concentrated study) – even now in other classes.

After the reflective piece I also wanted students to ‘project’ into the future – the second half of the course. “A challenge for me will be…” is really a chance for students to set out what is important to them going forward. A large number talked about their wish to keep doing what they are doing now (because it is working). A portion of students also talked about what hadn’t been going so well for them – and used this answer to articulate what they wanted to change or improve going forward.

Asking students ‘something they want to know more about’ – lets me see if I am hitting the right ‘notes’ with the scope of what they are being introduced to. My grade 9’s were very big on ‘more conversation’ and, as I hadn’t done it yet, it was a perfect opportunity to work with them to create a ‘phrases’ sheet that they use in peer to peer conversations and more.

I plan to revisit this type of questionnaire at the end of the course. It’s valuable to my students not only to have them realize where they have come from – but also in asking them to articulate actions going forward. It’s value to me is summed up in my favourite Grade 9 response:

“I didn’t like Japanese at first – It was hard, especially when I was trying to learn my characters.    But look at me now, I’m reading and talking with my partner and it’s great!”

Enough said.

Colleen

 

November 19, 2013
by leesensei
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Leaving the Lurk Behind

Balloons in SkyIn my last post I talked about joining Twitter and the inevitable question “what do I do next?” It’s natural to spend some time exploring Twitter and its usefulness as a Personal Learning Network (PLN). But there comes a time when the lurking in the shadows – being a passive user – must give way to a more active process. But how to step out from and step into being an active participant?

Expand Who You Follow – One way to be more active is to find more people to potentially interact with. But how? As I mentioned in my previous post, I turn off retweets but if you don’t you can find other people to follow by reading those retweets. Another suggestion is to look at who you are following follows. The vast majority of Twitter educational users have unlocked accounts and this allows you to read their bio and see some of their previous tweets. Finally many tweet out on #FF (follow Friday) and offer suggestions of who they think you, as their follower, might like to follow.

Discover the Hashtags that You Care About – Hashtags are the topic definers on Twitter. Although anyone on twitter can create their own hashtag there are many standard ones out there.  Watch what those you are following use as a first source. You can also do a search of ‘educational hashtags’ and you find a even more. Cybrary Man’s Educational Hashtags is a particularly comprehensive source.  As a world language teacher my top two are #langchat and #mfltwitterati.

Watch A Twitter Chat – Many of the common hashtags are also used for a regular Twitter chat. Moderators of the chats regularly tweet out the ‘when’ as well as the topic. The Thursday #langchat, which I am privileged to help moderate, typically tweets out a link to the topic poll from Monday to Wednesday and the topic early on Thursday. When the chat begins (#langchat at 8pm EST), there may be introductions and then it is off! Some chats are very structured and you put begin each tweet with the question you are answering. Other chats are more ‘organic’ and ideas, questions flow in a less organized way.In order to just see the tweets for the chat many find it useful to use a ‘chat’ following program such as Tweetdeck or Twubs where the hashtag chat is separated out from your regular twitter stream and easier to view.

Join Into a Chat – You have searched out new people to follow, found some key hashtags and lurked around a chat. Now you are ready to step in. For me it is critical to be using something like Tweetdeck. The program  lets me see not only the chat but any responses to my tweets that I may want to further respond to.  Some of the large chats may not do this but if there are introductions at the start of your chat let the moderators know it is your first time joining in. Once you are ready tweet your thoughts or respond to what someone else has posted. If you think its going by too quickly relax – and realize that chats such as #langchat will publish a summary of key points.

Realize That You Do Have Something To Say – I think that this is the biggest hurdle for educators to overcome; the feeling that you don’t have anything ‘new’ to add to the conversation.  Just like everyone you are following you are an educator who has experienced the highs and lows of the classroom. You are working in a place governed by the educational policy of the day. You mentor and lead students. What you find of interest is most likely interesting to others like you – educators. So send out a retweet, share a success, pose a question (directly to someone or to all your followers) and see where it takes you.

For me Twitter as personal professional development does not work unless you are actively involved. If you aren’t your interests wanes – after all a one-sided conversation doesn’t benefit anyone.

Colleen

November 12, 2013
by leesensei
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I Signed Up for Twitter…Now What?

Okay – so half shyyou listened to all those people who go on and on about their personal learning network (PLN) and signed up for Twitter. You still aren’t sure ‘this is for you’ and so there you sit – with your ‘egg’ profile picture, following 5 or 6 people and you’re thinking “What’s the deal?” How do you make the leap from admittedly passive Twitter newbie to ‘active’ participant? This post deals with some things to keep in mind as you grow your PLN.

Ditch the Egg and Tell Us Who You Are: If you met a new professional wouldn’t you introduce yourself? So please do the same on Twitter. You don’t have to upload your own photo – but at least start with an image. I know many key people – great people to follow – who block ‘eggs’ not knowing who they are. The same goes for a short ‘introduction’. Who are you and why are you on Twitter? Providing some basic information like “French teacher in BC new to Twitter – curious about EdTech” let’s the PLN know that you are safe to have as a follower – and can even result in a follow back.

“Manage” Your Twitter Feed: For me this is two things – “Lists” and “Turn Off Retweets”. If the Twitter stream is the general feed then lists are your ‘channels’. Create lists that are meaningful to you by answering the question “Why am I following this person?” When you answer (to yourself) – they are good with ‘educational technology’ – then that’s your list. (More info on ‘Listing‘ is here). I also ‘turn off retweets (RT)’. I know that I RT and so do many but I find that I am very interested in who I follow and what they have to say – and not so interested in a multitude of ‘retweets’ to wade through. So I make the choice to turn them off. I don’t feel like I miss too much – and it prevents me from being overwhelmed by posts.

It’s Okay to ‘Unfollow”: I know that it is a courtesy to follow back who follows you but – it also has to work for you. If you find that someone tweets the majority of time about things that don’t interest you it’s okay to “unfollow”. Construct your PLN in a way that works for you and provides you with the information that you need. If a person you follow is more about the personal than the professional then they may not be for you. There’s a reason you are their ‘tweep’ (or not) Following takes time, and management to get right – think about your reasons for joining in the first place. You will tweak your ‘following’ list more than once and that’s okay. However the more you step out as a participant in Twitter – the more you will begin find more reasons to follow a person than not to.

To “Public” or “Protect”?: That is a good question. Most people new to Twitter start with a ‘locked’ protected account. It’s safe – and you control it. With the protected account you must approve followers and that keeps you safe from ‘spam’ followers. But there is a downside to the protection. For example, only your approved followers will see your tweets and they won’t be able to share anything you tweet with their PLN via RT’s. Being ‘public’ allows the twitterverse as a whole to benefit from what you share. Sure the odd student or weirdo spammer may find you. But you can ‘block’ anyone you don’t want to have follow you – and the benefits of public tweeting can really outweigh the private.

Find Some Time: Nobody has “time”. We are all busy, with too much to do and seemingly no time. So find some time for this new PLN. Some new users set aside 10 minutes of quiet time (not in the middle of class or the rush at the end of the day) to look through their feed. This is a scheduled amount of time – specifically set to develop this new Twitter habit. Gradually many users find those natural times/breaks in the day when they are receptive to what their PLN has to offer. So recognize that you are developing new pro-d habits and give it a little time to grow.

Welcome to Twitter….we in the worldwide PLN look forward to seeing you there! Next week – a look at leaving ‘lurking’, finding people to follow and stepping into the ‘chat’….

Colleen

November 5, 2013
by leesensei
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Two Ways To “Power” Up MFL Students’ Learning

MP900438776This year I returned to teaching the ‘new’ Grade 9 course. They are young, keen and full of energy. Many I get have never really been in a modern language classroom taught by a language specialist.  As a teacher I love these ‘newbies’ and work hard to support them in class as they explore Japanese. But as an elective teacher I also realize that my job is dependent on turning out successful students who want to stay in my program- and doing so means that I must teach them how to be successful. What are a couple of my techniques to help ensure success for ‘new’ learners?

The “Power” to Take Risks – As MFL teachers we are good at providing opportunities in class for students to use, and get feedback, on these skills. And yet it is common for us to lament students who don’t risk or won’t interact unless they know it is correct. One way to give students more power to succeed in oral assessment is by practicing what happens if they make an error or don’t understand.  During oral interaction I often ask my students to not understand something, or make an error, on purpose. We discuss as a group what to do when this happens. Was your question not understood? Then repeat, add gestures and if that doesn’t work try giving your own answer to the question. Did they answer a question that you didn’t ask? Don’t tell them ‘wrong answer’! Respond to what they said, even add your own comments, then try your original question again. When you have them practice the errors on purpose you give them the ‘power’ to be willing to risk.

“Powerful” Study– Although I allow a lot of choice in the language elements students acquire – there is for me a ‘base’ level that I expect them to know and use. This is key in the ability to read for comprehension and communicate in written form.  One strategy we use comes from my own experience and the difficulty I had in being able to focus during study. Called “Power7’s” it asks students to set a timer for 7 minutes – and during that time to focus only on the task at hand – either ensuring they know what words/text mean or writing out the words that they are to know. At the end of 7 minutes they can go do something else. They are to repeat the process 4-5 more times in the evening (or until they know it). Early on in the course I take time prior to the first tests to give time to practice this technique in the classroom. The 7 minutes of quiet personal work done there means my students know what to do at home. My students use this technique regularly and many now use it in other courses that require vocabulary or concept knowledge. There is great “power” in giving your students tools for success.

We often assume that students are already equipped with the  tools they need to be successful in our MFL classes. But I like to take time to review and teach my students ‘how’ to be successful – and put that power in their hands… How do you create success in your room?

Colleen

October 28, 2013
by leesensei
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“Connected”? Let Me Count The Ways…

MP900382822As “Connected Educator” month draws to a close – I reflect on the importance of, and variety of ways, that an educator makes connections and ‘is’ connected. I know that the opportunities have never been more varied – but in order to ensure quality connections the way that one makes those is still very personal. For me the opportunity to connect has come in new ways – and one rather old-fashioned one.
My jump into ‘connectivity’ started with a blog. I wasn’t really sure why I was doing it, but something compelled me to start one. What a valuable experience. Blogging has done two things for my connections. In an obvious way it has led to conversations with those who have found and read what I have posted. These connections have served to reinforce or support what I have written and occasionally asked me to rethink things as well. The other connection it has forged is with me.  Blogging is ultimately for me a dialogue with my professional self and it has truly helped me understand who I am as a teacher. What do I really believe? What insights have I developed? What growth have I shown? The blog has answered these questions for me and more.

Connectivity increased with starting a Twitter account. I can’t believe how I learn so much from the generosity, and honesty, of educators around the world. When you start as a ‘lurker’ you may not realize how great it can be. It wasn’t until I started tweeting that the depth of connections grew. Nothing is more invigorating as that moment you leave the ‘lurk’ and become a participant in your PLN. I have collaborated on rubrics with @natadel76 in Wisconsin, got edtech advice from @joedale in the UK and am hoping to visit with @catherineKU72 at her school. Following the #langchat hashtag led me to the weekly Thursday chats and eventually to being asked to join the moderating team (find them all here!). I would not part with the 140-character professional, and personal, connections I have developed.

In this day of modern technology there is also a traditional way; the old-fashioned ‘face to face’ connections. Despite being incredibly connected to the world outside, my school still provides the daily social and professional connections that continue to energize me. I am so privileged to have my colleague Cara Babson teach next door. The amount of sharing, planning and professional growth that has occurred simply as we wait for students at our classroom door is amazing. Cara and I share our snippets  of what is happening in our classes, new projects, frustrations etc. Almost always at lunch my professional conversation continues with other valued friends – we debrief, problem-solve, console and laugh. In this day of ‘connectivity’ it is important to me to maintain these relationships.

How do you ‘connect’ professionally? I suspect your ‘network’ is composed of fibre-optic cable, and face-to-face conversations too!

Colleen

October 16, 2013
by leesensei
2 Comments

“Everyday Situations” – The Taste-Test Activity

tastetest photoRemember those classic “Coke vs. Pepsi” commercials – where unsuspecting cola drinkers took a ‘blind’ taste test (don’t know which they are sampling) and then were stunned, or not, that what they thought they liked they didn’t? My original training is in marketing and the blind tasting is a staple when looking for what people really like.

Years ago I used a textbook for grade 12 that helped provide me with a ‘theme’ to the unit – but not a great activity.  While I no longer use the textbook some of my topic areas still come from this time. Food is one that gives a number of different possible approaches. I like to have my students utilize their language in a situation that parallels everyday life and so, for food – coupled with my graduate degree in marketing –  the ‘taste test’ became the activity. More specifically they are  to determine what new snack food/drink will be sold in the school cafeteria.

Pairs of students select one product made by 3 different companies. Generally I encourage inexpensive snack foods etc like ‘iced tea’, ‘cola’, ‘potato chips’, chocolate etc. I understand that ‘budgets’ may be an issue in for some students – and if  this presents a hardship to my students (I know who they are), I provide the product for them (water (bottled/tap) or milk chocolate). In a class of 30 they will have 11-12 visitors to their booth so they don’t need a large amount of food. I provide spoons/forks, small cups or plates for the products as needed.

Students do this as a blind taste test – so that those who are sampling do not know the brands that they are trying. Their job then is to construct a survey that will both gather information about who is doing the tasting and what they prefer. We do discuss in English the idea of ‘demographics’ (who is your population) and they receive hints as to what kind of questions they might want to ask. They take 2 periods to construct their questions – using an 11×17 piece of paper – questions along the top/side in English with spaces to record information that they receive.  They also practice asking about food allergies – so that students with those issues can avoid complications.

On the taste test day students bring their ‘product’ and their survey. They are allowed an ’emergency sheet’ if they want in their pocket but they don’t really use it at all. For 25 minutes one partner is administering the survey while the other samples – then they switch. Immediately after the activity they do a self evaluation for communication /use of English. They must support their evaluation with reasons.

The day after the taste-test they get time to meet with their partner to go over the results. They can bring those results to the written evaluation – as long as they are in English and on a notecard (that I provide). They don’t get to take the results home – all work is done/left in the classroom until the next day.  Many are surprised when stated preferences for brands prior to tasting don’t match the results they receive.

The written evaluation is a report – two or three small paragraphs reviewing the ‘before’, ‘during’ and ‘after’ including recommendations. Students have their results card returned to them. In real life if I was writing a marketing report I would not be doing it without resources – so they are allowed to use any notes etc that they have with them in writing.  However they don’t know that they can use their supporting documents until they are in class and ready to write. Most students take 45-50 minutes to plan/compose their reports. I believe it is because it is something that is meaningful to them. When we used to have a ‘school store’ I would pass along recommendations.

My favourite student comment after testing was from one student “I feel more necessity to use Japanese in everyday situations like this where we need to use the language to do what we need to do. I find this more useful than artificial oral tests.” A great comment considering that the activity was the oral ‘test’! A ‘real life’ challenge in which the oral is necessary for the written evaluation is my goal for each unit.

My information for the project is attached here – if you aren’t a Japanese teacher I think you can still follow along. Next up  for the 12’s – the great ‘uniform or no uniform’ debate!

Colleen

October 1, 2013
by leesensei
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A Picture for 1000 Words (or Situations)!

Medium Format CameraAs a world language teacher a picture or visual is key for me. In the past that meant finding, cutting out and preparing pictures for a variety of uses.My cupboard is packed with laminated photos – of items, places and more.

The most useful pictures, I have found, are those of people, especially people ‘in the news’ or ‘of the moment’. But staying relevant in today’s world is difficult. Sadly many of my collected and coveted photos are of people unknown to my students.

Enter the usefulness of a ‘photo’ Keynote or Powerpoint (or whatever program you like); a collection of photos (no labels needed). Mine is not long – but it contains photos of people relevant to my students. This may mean an iconic person (in Canada – Terry Fox) or one who dominates the news (Justin Beiber or Psy of Gangnam Style).  Of course it also means including people who are famous in Japan (my Target Language) The ease of use and changeability make it key. For me it is also an ‘authentic resource’.

My picture slideshow is useful in all grades and levels. While my first year students have seen them in context of “where are they from” or “what nationality are they”, my 4th years used them to discuss “what do you think this person has done/not done in the past”.  The students love seeing who is on the slides and often give suggestions of who should be added. Pictures, for me of famous Japanese people, are also a way to extend learning in a topical ‘cultural’ direction.

Quick to make, and easily changeable, the ‘famous person’ powerpoint is one of my most useful ‘tools’ in my teaching toolbox. Who would you put in yours?

Colleen

 

 

 

 

 

September 23, 2013
by leesensei
0 comments

“We Have Nothing to Fear (but Teachers on Twitter)”

Twitter_bird_logoOkay – I’m not political, and not really looking at my blog as a place to rant. I have used it to ‘wax poetical’ about the amazing things that happen on Twitter for teachers who actively use it. The PLN has done more than give teachers access to an international cohort but has, myself included, helped rejuvenate teaching and challenged us to improve what we do.

It’s also a place where a teacher, faced with many challenges both in the classroom and from educational leaders, can find support. There are few jobs in the world that seem to be so collaborative that are, indeed, a solitary pursuit. The minute a class begins it is the teacher, alone in the room, who must juggle the learning needs of students and the various ‘policies of the day’ while delivering curriculum. Teachers, good teachers, active teachers, know what works and doesn’t in a classroom. Twitter has given a collective voice to this somewhat surprisingly solitary pursuit.

Lately, however, I have heard of a disturbing trend that is working to silence the voice from the classroom. Administrators have been confronting teachers who tweet. Well not all those who tweet, just those who may be tweeting an opinion on current policies and practices. Some of these administrators have combed through feeds seeking evidence of what they seem to believe is some kind of insubordination. Not only that, educators who are targeted are made to believe that their evaluations will be affected by their publishing of 120 character missives.

It seems to me that, instead of censure and intimidation, educators who share their experiences working within prescribed “policy” should be thanked. It is these teachers who share the reality of decisions, who are in a position to offer feedback from the reality of their classrooms. These administrators should take a page from “Undercover Boss” and treat the tweets as direct and meaningful feedback. Start a dialogue, visit those affected and maybe, just maybe, rethink a policy or rule as a result.

Muzzling never works, and doing so to teachers who use twitter to learn and support each other is short-sighted at best.

To my PLN affected by this I raise a Vernors to you and show my support. Regular tech-oriented, Language Teaching-focused post will follow.

Colleen

September 17, 2013
by leesensei
6 Comments

Conversation Circles…or “I spoke in the TL for 45 Minutes?!”

convo2If I told a student that I expected 45-50 minutes of sustained discussion in the target language they’d laugh and say no way. But I watched it today in my Grade 12 class – as students used the pretext of answering questions about a story they read to work in their “conversation circle”. This small discussion group activity produces some of the most relaxed and engaged interaction in my WL classroom. Not only that but students offer up a personal debrief afterwards – that I use to add to their oral communication marks.

Practice the “Art” of Conversation –  Relaxed interaction is no accident. We practice the “art” of the conversation a lot in class. As my students know – it’s not the first question that you ask that is key – but rather the second and third follow-up question. Class often starts with an “ask” your partner based on some current area of study but students are expected at a minimum to use basic “who, what, when, where, why?” queries to learn more.  All students have a ‘conversation’ sheet that they can refer to with suggestions for how to ask questions. When we debrief I often get asked for more “key phrases” and we add that to the sheet as we go along.convo3

Select a Common “Piece” to Discuss – The pretext for the circle is always to discuss or review something. It can be the answers to questions about a story, as it was today, or even a review of some element of homework/classwork. The key is that there are questions/answers that can be used to get the talking started. I will give them the questions for the discussion and they have already had the opportunity to make notes on possible answers. (The key for me is “notes” and not full sentence answers). At the time of the “circle” they are given a new sheet with the questions on it and, in the lower grades, extension questions for the group. For example “What did Tarou get for his birthday” and the extended “What do you want/did you get for your birthday?” My Grade 12’s  now naturally extend the task questions without my including them.

Students Know What They Are Aiming For – We look at the post-activity rubric before the activity. I ask my students to see what the “goal” is and to select just one area – one descriptor – as their ‘personal challenge’ for the time. If there is nothing on the rubric that the student sees as applicable then they can write in their challenge. One of my students, who speaks Japanese at home, wrote “I don’t want rubricto dominate my group’s conversation”.

Set Out the Initial Groups But… I usually set the initial groups, looking for a mix of students in each – and sometimes for a group that may be supportive of a more hesitant speaker. Students are expected to sit in a circle and to work on good eye contact when they are speaking.  They know that this activity is not to be raced through. After about 30 minutes I often ask them to find a completely new group and to ‘just chat’ – using the extension questions only.

Written Debrief Before Rubric – Students are asked to really think how things went, so I don’t let them race to the rubric at the end of the activity. Rather they go the reverse side and I ask them to answer one or two key questions. Today it was “what went well?” and “what was a particular challenge?”. Then once the personal reflective piece is done the rubric can be completed. Students understand that I expect them to carefully consider all sentences on the rubric and that they are not just to circle an entire “section”. They must justify what they pick.

My goal in the conversation circle is simple: using the TL to communicate beyond standard sentences to more meaningful conversation. The level of noise in the room is my key that this is working….more to come.

Colleen

September 9, 2013
by leesensei
4 Comments

The New First Days…(“Yo Ho Ho” )

imageEach year I strive to improve the way that class begins. This year, armed with my metaphoric pirate eye patch from my summer reading (“Teach Like A Pirate“) and a renewed belief in what constitutes review – my 18th start to the year promised to be different again – and it was.

No boring reading of the outline to start? Nope – this year we opened with “The Trailer”. I must admit I am proud of the visuals and the mood it sets but wasn’t prepared for the student reaction. Whispers to a student beside when they saw an anime character they knew, laughs at the “iron chef” line and unbelievably – applause – at the end. I congratulated them on being wise enough to choose Japanese and then followed up with a brief presentation on the ‘journey’ they were on with me as their ‘guide’…They were primed!

A pipe-cleaner? Fresh from “TLAP” reading – the pipe-cleaner activity. My new Gr 9’s (no TL skills) folded into an object that represented something about them and shared with me/partners in English. My Gr 11’s (1-2 semesters in TL) did a mixture – challenging themselves to do as much as they could in the TL  with their partner.  My 29 Gr 12’s spent time in groups of 4 or 5 (they were asked to change every 5-8 minutes) and used their pipe-cleaner object as a starting point for conversation – all in the TL. Fabulous.

But what about the outline? – Ah – that is now a reflective/informative piece – an idea that I borrowed with permission from Martina Bex (@martinabex). Homework on Day 1 was to read the new improved “infographic outline“& FAQ‘s for class and then answer 4 questions regarding it. The responses to this were really informative. Students showed a real awareness of how they best learn and what their particular challenges are in class. Many commented on my willingness to allow them to use technology in class and how much they loved it’s interactive nature. I wanted to reinforce what kind of learners I need and they were all able to pull out the key requirements of a good language learner – ‘risk’ came up again and again. I responded to each of their emails – an easy cut/paste “Thank you” in the TL with an added personal PS for each.

Will they review everything from last year? Okay I will admit that we are doing some in one class – as my Gr 11 class blends students from 2 different types of pre-requisite courses. But in the other ones we are mainly (as my previous post outlines) doing a lot of talking, game playing and story reading to review the “how” of learning. The “rules of the road” reminded the Gr 11 & 12’s of their role (and mine) in the room. As one student said to me “I may not remember everything, but I know where to go to find out what I forgot”…

My new first week has helped establish a strong relationship with my students, and between them. It has also rekindled their enthusiasm for studying Japanese and participating in class. It would not have been possible without the #wltlap and #langchat PLN support that I received…Yo Ho Ho …Onward I go!

Colleen

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