Global Workshop via Skype

Last Friday, Sharon, Annie & I were again fortunate to have the opportunity to workshop with the marvellous Catharina, an experienced junior primary TCI  practitioner. Due to South Australia leaving summer time and the USA beginning summertime, we met at 9am Friday morning (Aust) and 7:30pm Thursday evening (USA). Catharina’s school year is coming to an end, just4 weeks left of the school year, so we doubly appreciated the time Catharina gave us! Such an exhausting time. Last Friday, we were also joined by Rosslyn from INTAN. Rosslyn is the 2015 (and inaugural) INTAN hub group liaison officer and joined us to see what our hub group gets up to!! 

As always our skype workshop with Catharina left us buzzing. We began by bringing Catharina up to date with recent lesson plans and being the end of week 1, we filled her in with what we had each done in preparation for our new story:

Ada perempuan.
Nama perempuan Lucy.
Lucy dingin.
Lucy mau pakai jaket.
Jaket Pak Hudson terlalu besar.
Jaket bayi terlalu kecil.
Jaket Bu Cathy pas.
Lucy berkata, “Terima kasih Bu Cathy.”
Bu Cathy berkata, “Sama sama.”

In  my case, I had focussed on the target structures of perempuan & laki laki with my junior primary classes. I once gain used the laminated PQA cards recommended by Catharina during our very first skype workshop. These A4 laminated cards include 2014 school staff photos as well as a few well known identifites like Batman, Spongebob & Harry Potter. I revisited ‘Siapa nama’ as well as asking, “Batman laki laki atau perempuan?” At the end of the lesson, I did a quick listen and draw using the brilliant clear folders. I also incorporated some TPR into the lesson because one of my term goals is to increase student acquisition of classroom instructional vocabulary (sit down, stand up, turn off the lights, sit in a chair etc). We began with duduk, berdiri dan putar and the instructions included sentences such as, “Laki laki duduk’ & “Perempuan berdiri dan putar.” If time, we played a quick game of Simon says (Bu Cathy Berkata) which they all adore and constantly beg for!

Once we had all finished talking about our week, we began asking Catharina specific questions about using TPRS with junior primary students. Our lessons are much longer than Catharina’s and our class sizes are also double, yet the basic principles remain the same. Catharina stresses that variety is the key when teaching junior primary students. Here are some of the great ideas Catharina shared with us:

  1. Duplo – Have a big pile in the middle of the student circle. Retell the story the class has been working on, sentence by sentence. If the sentence given by the teacher is correct, students may take one piece of duplo from the centre pile. As they collect and listen, they can start building something using their peices of duplo. If the sentence given by the teacher is incorrect and the student took a piece of duplo from the pile, they not only have to return the piece they just took but also get a penalty and have to surrender one of their other pieces too! 
  2. When retelling a story, have the whole class join in with the acting. All students are allotted one of the characters in the story and they each act their part during the retelling. 
  3. TPR – When playing Simon says, give students lives so that they remain involved and continue to respond to the directions rather than sitting out. Don’t forget to trick students by purposely doing the wrong action! 
  4. Throwing & catching a soft ball when asking specific students questions. Allows teacher to differentiate. 
  5. Take photos of students acting to be used later for revision, discussion and retelling!  
  6. Look at the Youtube video Valentines Day – perfect for movie talk. 
  7. Great brain break is to act out the alphabet! Students using their whole body stand up and make each letter of the alphabet while saying each letter. This would be great for familiarising students with the different sounds made by the Indonesian alphabet. 
  8. Catharina presents to each student at the end of each school year, a 1/4 sized A4 book which she has put together herself containing all the stories they have covered through the year! The stories are illustrated with student drawings that she has collected throughpout the year. What a great way to encourage students to read and continue having contact with the language over the holidays. 

While our skype workshop was only for 50 minutes, we got so much from it. We then moved to a spare classroom to talk to Rosslyn. We gave her some basic information about TPRS/TCI as well as outlining our other collaborative projects. We look forward now to reading her article which will be published in the next INTAN newsletter! My hope is that we can tweak teachers interest in TCI! 

If you too are interested in learning more about TCI, see this previous post.

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