Last week, which was our first week back after a 2 week break, the 2 year 6/7 classes completed a task from the previous term while the other classes made a start on learning target structures for our new story, one recommended to us by our amazing mentor, Catharina. More on all of that in my next post.
In week 10 & 11 last term, year 6/7 students in small groups had to choose one of the stories we had written over the term and then tweak it to create an original version and finally publish a small book of their work which will be read to their buddy class. This task took a lot longer than I had planned for many reasons and consequently spilled over into term 2. While supervising the very end of the publishing progress last week, it dawned on me that these lessons were reminiscent of my old style of teaching. All that was required of me was to wander around the room troubleshooting any last minute issues and keeping people focused. It occured to me while listening to the conversations happening within groups that not one student was using Indonesian. So I thought I would record this and show the results to students at the end of the lesson.
I used class dojo and copied an idea I read on a language teachers blog and as soon as I remember whose it was, I will add a link to the post. My only positive was Bahasa Indonesia and my only negative was Bahasa Inggris. I then circled the room and when all I heard was English, I awarded all students a negative. I turned off the volume because I didn’t want to distract students with the conspicuous negative/postive tones however did not turn off the smart board. As the negatives mounted, a few students started noticing and were indignant that they had so many negatives even though they had been on task. I invited them to the smart board where I showed them exactly how they had earned the negatives. A few groups were immediately inspired to begin speaking in Indonesian as I passed however overall, it wasn’t enough. Sadly, a lot of the on task English used was language they could have easily said in Indonesian. I heard Cooper say, “What does this mean?” Why didn’t he state, “Saya tidak paham ‘Spongebob kenyang’.”???
At the end of both lessons, I showed each class their class dojo ‘donut’ and explained that these results demonstrate to me so clearly why I love teaching using Comprehensible Input pedagogy!
12% & 5% ‘positive’ refers to the overall percentage of Indonesian language that was spoken in each lesson. Amazing too because when I am teaching using Comprehensible Input, the results are the exact opposite which is as they should be if the aim of my lessons is for students to be able to communicate in Indonesian!