Ide Bagus; Kursi Luar Biasa

As I think about the upcoming new school year, I have found three links full of great ideas for kursi luar biasa (special student interviews). I just love the concept of interviewing star students as it is the best way to meaningfully focus on the vocabulary required for introductions, In an Indonesian context, the questions included in this replicate those that will actually be used when. meeting someone in Indonesia for the first time. Learning about others helps to find connections that will consolidate friendships. I will never forget a drive with my adopted Mum in Bali and listening to her conversation with our driver. Neither had met each other before this drive, so the conversation centred on getting to know each other to find out what they had in common. Accepting and learning about the diversity and commonality of others for mutual respect meshes beautifully with intercultural understanding from The Australian Curriculum.

This first link by the wonderful Cécile Lainé is excellent because it begins by acknowledging Bryce Hedstrom for developing the concept of interviewing a student. In most language classes it is called Special person, a term I tried but for some reason it just didn’t gel. Cecile’s post is a great place to start as she writes succinctly and breaks her information into 3 useful questions
1. what questions to ask
2. student note taking ie student participation
3. what to do afterwards ie assessment and post activities.

The next link leads to Señora Chase’s blog post about how this works in her classroom. Interestingly, she uses Michelle Whaley‘s term ‘star of the week’ instead. I did also consider this word, but unfortunately for Indonesian teachers, the word for star, bintang, is a brand name for popular Indonesian beer and consequently is widely believed by most tourists to mean ‘beer’! This post is excellent too as it contains links for delivery ideas. I particularly like her powerpoint and the idea of incorporating exclamations such as ‘me too’ (saya juga). With this exclamation, those who choose to say it, raise their hand and the ‘star’ walks around high fiving those people. I have tried this before and while it was engaging, it was also very rowdy; so be prepared! Señora Chase also includes many links to explain other strategies for ramping up star of the day. One idea she didn’t mention which I have found to be hugely successful when working with older students, is encouraging them to ‘lie’ about their details. Since by year 6/7, they know each others information to the last detail, making up new information becomes fascinating and intriguing because you never know what will be said next!!

The final link I found is by Dmsspanish. The first thing I learned (with envy) is that her students come to Spanish more than twice a week! OMG, I only dream of that. She includes in this post a YouTube video of herself teaching a lesson that includes a student interview. I love watching these videos as observing others teach is incredibly valuable.

I hope there are some useful ideas within the links I have shared. Please feel free to leave a comment or a question if there are any details I have not clearly explained!

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