Two Introductory TCI/TPRS Workshops -MLTASA & CLTSA

Over the weekend, Bu Annie, Ibu Sharon & I attended 2 conferences; 1. MLTASA (Modern Languages Teachers Association SA) in the morning and 2. CLTASA (Chinese Language Teachers Assoc) in the afternoon. When we first heard that both associations were holding their annual conference on the same day, we were incredibly disappointed as we were committed to present at MLTASA while Ian & Caitlin (2 TCI Chinese teachers from QLD) were presenting at CLTSA. Luckily our presentations did not clash and we were able to get from EDC to Napier House in good time. However the locked door into Napier House cut short our celebratory hand pumps and thankfully Ian had his phone on! 

The MLTASA conference began with a plenary by Sean Keenihan, who spoke about ‘the role and value of Languages education in schools – a business perspective’. Sean wears many hats and most relate to his Chinese proficiency, dating back to his high school days. When asked how to encourage students to learn a language he reflected with this: after graduation as one of hundreds of lawyers, he was the first from his year to be employed and this was entirely due to his bilingualism. His graphs illustrated recent growth figures in the SA tourism sector and he also talked about the growing state of global business. These two sectors are a just 2 of many that have a huge and growing demand for bilingual employees and thus being bilingual is giving many job seekers  an X factor, making them highly desirable in a competitive job market. Apparently only 30 of the 700 2015 SA lawyer  graduates were employed! I wonder what their X factor was? 

Our workshop, ‘Teaching Languages with TCI/TPRS’ was to be held in the larger room at EDC due to the large number of participants who had signed up for it. What an awesome way to begin!! We began by asking participants to bring their chairs to the front of the room and to sit in a semi circle facing the screen. As this was our first ever presentation and indeed our first ever attendance at MLTASA, we had no idea what to expect. One thing we were looking forward to was an audience of largely non Indonesian speaking teachers, who would experience our demo lesson from a student perspective and therefore hopefully feel the power of TCI even more dramatically than our Indonesian speaking colleagues. Our presentation began with introducing ourselves, outlining our TCI journey, and giving a brief explanaton of the acronyms TCI, TPRS & TPR. Due to the short amount  of time we had available and that we were a little late starting (domino effect of the 2nd plenary speaker running over time), our introduction was minimal. We felt that a demo would be more powerful than heaps of information. 

Our demo focused on the Pleased To Meet You (written by Jim Tripp) story. We began with establishing meaning of the target structures (siapa nama, nama saya, astaga, berkata – what’s your name, my name is, OMG, said), before giving a circling demo on siapa nama & nama saya. Sharon then established the ‘Stop – I don’t understand!’ gesture before telling the story. Afterwards she did a comprehension check and everyone gave her a thumbs up!! We had a little time for questions and we were very relieved that attending MLTASA was a high school French TPRS teacher!! It was awesome to connect with Zelda who has been working alone for 2 years – we take our hat off to you! Zelda was able to respond to questions that came from secondary language teachers – a cohort we have had the greatest difficulty connecting with as we have no secondary experience. Our promise to them that TPRS was designed initially for secondary students by a secondary language teacher rarely helps. Zelda’s contribution and support was invaluable.  

It wasn’t till much later, that Sharon realised that in our nervousness, the reduced workshop time and our determination to leave punctually, we forgot to mention anything about the unit of work we had created around this story to help participants trial a unit in their classrooms!! Oops. So if you were one of those participants and you would like a copy, contact me via my learn link address on the handout and I’ll happily forward it to you. 

We arrived at Napier House just before the post lunch conference sessions were about to begin, to our relief. Ian & Caitlin opened the locked doors which gave us time to quickly introduce ourselves to each other and chat briefly while heading upstairs to the auditorium. The entire afternoon schedule had been assigned to Ian & Caitlin! Imagine your only time constraint being getting to the airport in time for your flight home! We were slightly in awe and also a teeny (OK- a lot) envious!! Maybe next year, we need to ask for a double workshop session? 

Ian & Caitlin spent the first hour talking to a powerpoint which introduced TCI/TPRS to their audience of Chinese teachers. The powerpoint thoroughly explained TPRS, outlined how it differs from traditional/currrent language teaching methods, included several short videos of Ian teaching highly engaged year 7’s, year 10 free writes (290 words) , cold character reading , students talking positively about learning Chinese via TCI methodology, students reading unfamiliar texts fluently and a short yet highly engaging demo by Caitlin establishing meaning for ‘wants to eat’. As a student, I could immediately see the value of having the target structures clearly written on one side of the smartboard page and on the other side were other necessary vocabulary just as Diane Neubauer does.I hadn’t actually understood the beauty of this until that point! I also think I need to investigate buying a clicker gadget next year – it would be so convienent to turn the powerpoint pages from wherever I am in my class room!  

Ian & Caitlin stopped talking after an hour to give everyone a break and they were immediately swamped with people asking questions! The amount of interest was brilliant.  During their presentation, I could hear teachers around me commenting to each other quietly but unfortunately it was all in Chinese. 

During this break, it suddenly became clear, that the next session would have to be shortened significantly to prevent Ian & Caitlin missing their flight home to QLD. Particiapants were quickly called back into the auditiorium to answer any last minute questions. In no time at all, they were being presented with bottles of SA wine and the mad dash to the airport began. 

Thankfully we had offered to take them to the airport as this provided us all with a precious window for solid 2017 planning. We all acknowledge the need to arrange high quality training in Australia asap and are keen to collaborate on this by inviting a guest out to Australia next January to provide us all with much needed expert training before the 2017 school year begins! It would be awesome if the person  who comes out, is happy to travel as then we could offer training in a few states which will be much more affordable to participants! If this all happens, would you be interested in attending and how much would you be prepared to pay to participate? Considering our only option at the moment is a flight to either America or Europe ($$), it would be considerably cheaper and so much easier if this eventuates! Please comment below with any thoughts. We need your feedback! The more interest, the better! 

Student Free Day notes…..

The day began with an AIM demonstration by Sarah Slee. 

AIM (Accelerated Integrated Method) is a language program which originated in Canada by Wendy Maxwell. On the surface, AIM & TPRS seem quite alike but when you dig a little deeper, as we were generously given the opportunity to do, the differences though subtle, are many. 

Here is the definition for AIM which can be found on the AIM website

 

Sarah teaches French at a nearby primary school using this methodology and like us, began at the start of 2015. She has the total backing of her school leadership which has been wonderful because the kits do not come cheaply. We drooled over the kits she brought along. Each kit costs around $500 and includes a CD Rom, blackline masters, a teachers handbook and a big book of the story upon which the kit is based upon. Each part of the kit is chocker block full of ideas and suggestions and also comes with a teacher script for each and every lesson as well as a variety of assessment checklists!! The CD Rom includes high quality media resources including songs, story reading/ productions etc which recycle and extend the vocabulary being targeted for each story. The early years kits are based on familiar stories like Henny Penny & The 3 Little Pigs while the kits for older students  are based on unfamiliar stories. AIM kits are available in several languages however Indonesian is not one of them. After watching the introductory video (also available on the website) we participated in a lesson. Sarah sat in front of us (we were in a horsehoe in front of her) with her book open on her lap to the very first lesson as none of us speak a word of French. She then led us through the very beginning of this lesson where she said a word/phrase while simultaneously gesturing and we repeated the phrase/word and copied the gesture. It was very challenging and really gave us a taste of what our lessons are like for our own students! It was a wonderful experience and went much longer than we both anticipated when planning the day! As you can imagine we were all totally blown away by the number of resources available to Sarah in each kit because we have absolutely nothing and have to create everything ourselves using the resources created for other languages as the base line! We also liked the idea of the gesture data bank AIM has as we believe that if we developed something similar, it would help students who move from school to school in our region. There are surprisingly quite a few!! 

The next session was my presentation about circling. I revised what circling is and the prescribed format as per the links I gave in a previous post. We then watched the Blaine Ray/Carla Tarini YouTube video before having a go in pairs with one of the sentences from our ‘Spongebob mau minum’ (Spongebob is thirsty) story. The oppportunity to create a bank of sentences based on the circling format (statement, ask a yes question, ask a no question, ask an either or question and then a question that elicits more detail) with a partner provided a welcome opportunity for discussion which then led to a whole group general discussion about the specifics of story asking. We have, to date, began our stories with a focus on the target structures for several lessons before introducing the story itself. Some students find this excruciating because they enjoy the story telling so much that they become impatient with the percieved unnecessarily long lead in time! So with our next story, we want to see if we can par this down and begin the story asking earlier! Stay tuned for our reflections…….

After lunch, we were joined by Michelle Kohler (Flinders University) to discuss the Australian Curriculum in relation to  designing TPRS assessment tasks. Michelle drove the 1 hour trip to PEPS straight from teaching preservice teachers at Flinders Uni and then headed straight off afterwards for another meeting, so we are incredibly grateful for her finding the time and energy to fit us into her very busy day! Michelle was closely involved with the creation of our Indonesian Languages Curriulum and it was insightful to discuss with her how language teachers are being required to assess and report against it. She was disappointed to hear that most principals are requiring Indonesian teachers to report against the Achievment Statements. She reminded us that ACARA is not an outcomes based document as SACSA was. The Achievement Standards are a reference point for typical student learning. They were not designed to drive assessment. Here is an extract from the DECD Guideline: Reporting on Australian Curriculum in DECD Schools Reception-Year 10 (v2) 

Achievement Standards should be treated holistically, rather than as discrete elements to be achieved.

Michelle then led us through the strands clarifying each:

1.1 Socialising

1.2 Informing

1.3 Creating

1.4 Translating/mediating

1.5 Reflecting

2.1 Systems of language

2.2 Language variation and change 

2.3 Reflecting on the role of language and culture.

.

This gave us an opportunity to look at each from a TPRS/TCI viewpoint. 

This is my extremely brief perception of how we cover each:

1.1 – kursi luar biasa, general story telling/asking, 

1.2 – Movie talk, vPQA,

1.3 – Story asking/telling, free writes, 

1.4 – popcorn reading, paper airplane reading, choral translations, comprehension checks, 

1.5 – grammar pop-ups

2.1 – language discussions (in English) about vocabulary, grammar &/or spelling etc noticed by students in stories/ books. 

2.2 – use and discussion of cognates and the increasing prevalence of English found in modern Indonesian eg kriket, komputer etc

2.3 -informal and formal discussions we have with our students before, during and after school visits by Indonesian nationals to heighten awareness of cultural and religious differences between Australians & Indonesians as well as between Christians & Muslims. 

Please feel free to add to these by commenting below.

As you can probably tell, it was a fantastic day. Having the opportunity to collaborate together about issues relevant to our specialist learning area and invite guest speakers who can help us increase our experitise was so invaluable. My next task  is to survey all who participated for feedback to help plan our next district SFD!

Membagi Ide Bagus – Student Free Day Links for Circling & Assessment

I would like to share with you a variety of links which we will either be covering at our PLC Student Free Day or will be useful as a follow-up afterwards. This hopefully will make it easier if all the links are together so that we can refer back to it later or pass on to others who were unable to join us.

Our schedule for the day will be:

8:30 – 9:00am meet and greet, grab a cuppa

9am  Aim (French) demo with Sarah Slee

10am Circling workshop

11am break

11:30am Strategies to assist with recording student progress

1pm Lunch

1;45pm Assessment & ACARA
– Assessment and reporting parameters and issues
– Designing assessments to reflect the AC intentions and AS
– Connections between TPRS & the AC

4pm finish

 

Links include:

Circling

1, Martina Bex has a great post entitled, What is Circling and it includes a free PDF hand out.

2. Terry Waltz has  circling cards available through her website, Mandarin Through Comprehensible Output as well as a Prezi demonstrating how to use them.

3. TPRS Q & A also has a post called What is Circling And How to do It?

4. TPRS Q & A is a great blog and this post entitles What Does the Goddess Laurie Clarq say about Circling is well worth reading.

5. A French Demo At a Blaine Ray Workshop – Carla Tarini is being coached by Blaine Ray on how to circle.

6. Circling does not always go smoothly or predictably which can be said of just about anything involving children and/animals, so they say! Keith Toda wrote a blog entitle Circling Troubleshooting which will help you identify why your circling efforts may not feel successful!

7. Here is another great video! This one is of Terry Waltz working with students for their first Chinese lesson. Here you can see Terry demonstrate a multitude of skills one of which is circling!

8. TPRS Lesson Demonstration – Great PDF which breaks down of circling

Assessment

1. Martina Bex posted recently, End of Term Assessments which although definitely aimed at high school teachers, included some great ideas & interesting clarifications.

2. Fluency Writes (Free Writes) by Judith Dubios on her fantastic blog called TPRS Witch can be read here: http://tprs-witch.com/fluency-writing-2/ This post explains both what fluency writes are and why they are so useful.

3. Bryce Hedstrom’s Blooms Taxonomy for Foreign Language Instruction

 

Looking forward to our Student Free Day!! See you there and thank-you for supporting it!

Kursi Luar Biasa

I read of an idea in which individual students enjoy being interviewed just before Sharon pointed out that we haven’t fully covered aspects of the 3-4 & 5-6 curriculum regarding student personal information.  To me the idea of a special star student seemed a terrific way to not only cover this aspect of our curriculum but would also give middle and upper primary students the chance to shine and enjoy the limelight answering questions about themselves to a captive audience.

I have also been toying with the idea of how to widen student knowledge of Indonesian exclamations, so I decided to combine both together with ‘murid luar biasa’ and translated it to students as ‘the awesome student’ however this didn’t feel right, so in the second week I changed it to kursi luar biasa and for some reason, it felt better. Luar biasa is now the new Indonesian catch phrase and has been used constantly – to my delight!

I took the secretary chair and covered it with the beautiful Batak shawl Pak Pahot gave me in February and transformed it into the kursi luar biasa.

  I explained to students that anyone can sit in the chair with ‘first in, best dressed’ (rewards students who get to class on time) however once they’ve had a turn, they can not sit in it again util everyone who wants a go has done so.
While I only trialled the kursi luar biasa for 2 weeks, it was hugely successful. I began with our stock kenalkan questions and was pleasantly relieved just how much students have remembered even though we haven’t had a ‘kenalkan’ focus since term 1 2014!! This reaffirms my belief in the power of TCI/TPRS.  Next I started thinking of other questions I could ask students and that proved challenging. Questions that incorporated language structures they were familiar with and ones that students could answer using just the language they have acquired so far.

While I had thought my questions were largely lame, all students who have chosen to sit in the kursi luar biasa chair must disagree with this because there has been no shortage of volunteers. What I have enjoyed in particular is the opportunity to talk to  just one student and learn something surprising about them. I learned that one of my families has a pet snake, which was compelling for the class as well as for me!! It was pure gold because I could circle this information to include other students by asking if they too owned a snake, who was scared of snakes, have you seen a snake, are there snakes at school etc. E.g. Jodie sudah lihat ular di sekolah or  Jamie mau lihat ular di sekolah? Another student told us using ‘gado gado’ that her budgie had died that morning because her grandmothers dog had killed it. I’d never have known if not for her choosing to sit in the chair that day. But the most heart warming part of this was when the entire class said with compassion, “kasihan” that I knew the kursi luar biasa is well worth continuing with.

The session goes for as long as I feel that I  have whole class engagement and once I run out of questions or the class starts getting restless, we stop and move on. It is the perfect way to ask students personal questions in context and get repetitions of this language. I am looking forward to honing my questioning  techniques next year as well as developing a bank of questions which not only rely on known language structures but also lend themselves to open-ended answers.

Questions I have used so far include:

Tinggal dimana?

Umur berapa?

Siapa nama?

Kelas berapa?

Punya adik?

Punya kakak?

Siapa nama adik/ kakak/ ibu/bapak?

Punya anjing/kucing/tikus/burung?

Suka warna apa?

Suka makan apa?

Kemarin kemana?

Mau punya apa?
Feel free to add suggestions!!

Week 3 Reflections

Week 2 is always a disappointing week for me. Students are usually amazing in week 1 when they are so thrilled and excited to be back at school which is always delightful. However I then plan lesson plans for those enthusiastic students only to discover that by week 2 they did a ‘Jekyl and Hyde’ over the weekend and my lessons do not turn out quite the way I had envisaged. 

Week 3, thus is a great week by comparison! I am prepared, in fact usually over prepared, but at least this time it is strategic over planning unlike week 2 where it was head in the clouds over planning. I can’t believe I tried to do a movie talk last week with the combined year 6/7 left overs that focused on entirely unfamiliar structures! What was I thinking?? Not surprisingly it was a huge flop. Still, I learned a huge lesson from it – doesn’t matter how engaging the video  is, if it’s not comprehensible, it will not be engaging.

This week with another group of year 6/7 left overs, I showed Laskar Pelangi which was far more successful for several reasons.  

 Firstly, it was purely an English culture break and considering the film went for 3 lessons and students were engrossed right up to the end, I was happy with that. I also have to confess that it was my first time watching the movie so maybe in future years I may consider using it as a MT now that I can see the potential. The lessons progressed well in that we began with a single lesson and then 2 days later had a double. I said very little before the movie started yet before continuing with the movie in the double lesson, I talked about several aspects including a little Belitong history and providing a bit more information about the main characters. Yet it was the discussion about the symbolism that students enjoyed the most and then commented on during the movie. I spoke about the symbolism of fences (dividing communities), crocodiles (obstructions) and rainbows (happiness, togetherness and positive hopes for the future).  

This term with the other classes (ie all but the year 6/7’s), we are looking at the kancil & Buaya story. At the end of term 3, our hub group met and we simplified the story to ensure the story only incorporated a few unfamiliar structures as well as revised many of our known structures. Last week I introduced the word ‘kancil’ and largely in English we talked about their body shape, their diet and where they are found globally. Naturally it was only their diet that lent itself to circling! Kancil makan apa? This week I introduced the word ‘buaya’ using both a picture of a buaya, a soft teddy buaya and a hilarious crocodile hat I found at Savers last Sunday. As usual, using Annie’s voices, I introduced the word encouraging the students to repeat buaya over and over in a variety of ways including singing, syllablising, weird voices and generally having fun. I then held up the buaya soft teddy and circled buaya.  
 

Buaya! 

Buaya? Ya buaya. 

Kancil? 

Bukan. Buaya. 

Kancil atau buaya? Buaya.

I then opened a bag of soft teddy animals including the crocodile hat. I held the buaya soft teddy in one hand and with the other dug into the bag. I pulled out random animals and asked, ‘Buaya?’ The students loved the suspense of not knowing what was coming out of the bag and all screamed with delight when I finally pulled out the crocodile hat!  

 The hat is great because of its large mouth and which allowed me to revise makan. Buaya makan sepatu? I walked around amongst the students stating sentences like that and then having the crocodile mouth the shoe. Or I would point at my nose and say a couple of times ‘hidung’ before saying buaya mau makan hidung Joey. They just loved it and were all begging to be eaten!! It was chaotic and loud with lots of laughing. I actually had a parent looking for their child, knock and put their head in the door while I was bent over a student ‘makan sepatu’ and I’d love to know what she made of what she saw! Hopefully she asks her son! It was strange though because I felt guilty that I was having too much fun! That I should have been more serious! Oh well…. 

I did a ‘kindergarten reading’ with the story with the year 4’s where I had them sitting on the floor in front of me and I read a big book version with large colourful pictures. They were totally engrossed yet when I asked afterwards whether they preferred acting out the story or listening to it, the majority said they much preferred acting it out!! Didn’t see that coming. 

This story incorporates the numbers 1 – 10 which has been a great. Early in the week I suddenly remembered a counting song from Languages Online. Unfortunately it goes way too quickly for my younger classes, but then I had a brain wave! Instead of singing satu, dua, tiga bunga (not a familiar word), I changed it to satu, dua, tiga buaya!! Then I got even more creative and sang about kancils, penguins, orangutans and finished with murid murid! The more repetitions I can get with this song the better to cement number acquisition. 

And speaking of songs, I also ‘wrote’ this song on the weekend for later in the term:

Kancil, kancil di hutan

Tidak bisa berenang

Datang banyak buaya

Hap! Tidak ditangkap!

Can you pick the tune? Lifted from cicak cicak di dinding!

Hope you had a great week too.

Learning how To Circle

At our (Indonesian Teachers Hub Group) last meeting, Annie mentioned that she is focusing on the skill of circling at the moment. Circling is an integral skill in TCI and I suddenly realized that it had not been a focus lately in my recent lessons. I then decided that I too needed to hone my circling skills and so determined to incorporate more circling into my lesson plans.

I refreshed my understanding of it by reading various sites and as always, I started with Martina Bex’s website. There she has a link to a pdf she created about circling. Here are 2 great sentences from the pdf to clarify the definition and purpose of circling:

DEFINITION
Circling is the instructional practice of asking a series of prescribed questions in the target language about a statement in the target language.

PURPOSE
Circling is used to provide students with contextualized repetitions of target structures.

Circling has a recommended format yet it is not set in stone. It must be driven by the students so that teacher input is compelling (i.e. truly interesting) and thus relevant to the students. Here is a recent moretprs post from Dr Krashen about ‘compelling’ and ‘relevance’:
krashen pic

Circling is a powerful TCI strategy which ensures students are engaged and acquire language totally without realising!

The circling format includes the following:
Statement
Question
Either/or
Negative
3 for 1
Ask a detail
[Optional are:
Who, What, When, Where, Why]

circling

courtesy Martina Bex’s Website


Using this format, I wrote circling questions into my lesson plans focusing on each of the above steps to prompt my memory and help develop my circling proficiency. I tend to find that when I am in front of a class, my mind goes blank whenever improvisation is needed!! Hopefully this is something that will reduce as I gain confidence and experience with TCI methodology.
I initially had the above poster up on the back wall but it didn’t help. For example I would see the word ‘interrogative’ and just freeze like a rabbit in the spotlight! So instead I incorporated a circling mini block into each lesson:

Circling # 1 –

Junior Primary

a) Indie perempuan. (statement)
b) Indie pakai sepatu? (ya) Ya, Indie pakai sepatu.
c) Indie pakai sepatu atau Indie pakai jaket? (either/or) Indie pakai sepatu.
d) Indie pakai topi? (ya/tidak) Bukan. Indie pakai sepatu.
e) Indie minum/makan sepatu? (3 for 1) Bukan! Indie pakai sepatu, Indie tidak minum sepatu!

Middle Primary & Upper Primary
1. Flick berkata. (statement)
2. Flick berkata? (ya) Ya, Flick berkata.
3. Flick berkata kepada Ella. (ya/tidak) Ya. Flick berkata kepada Ella.
4. Flick berkata kepada Ella atau Flick berkata kepada Thomas? (either/or) Flick berkata kepada Ella.
5. Kenapa Flick berkata kepada Ella? (extra detail) Flick berkata kepada Ella karena ? (mau ke McD, dingin,)
6. Circle new detail.
This amount of detail was so helpful. I could refer to my notes at any point to ensure I covered all aspects when/if necessary. Writing it too helped clarify in my mind so that my response should always be either the initial sentence or include the initial sentence!
I felt that at last I was getting a handle on circling! Then with brilliant timing, several TCI teachers wrote blogs posts specifically about circling. Keith Toda posted on his blog, Todally Comprehensible Latin, Circling – The Art of Questioning and Chris Stoltz posted on TPRS Q & A his post  ‘What is Circling and How Do I Do it?’ Both are great and I highly recommend you read them to grasp the finer details of circling.
After reading Chris Stoltz’s post I asked him a question and he replied:

tprs q a

When I first read his reply, I was taken aback by its brevity and once I had recovered,  I started to think about his point. If I was to circle only what students didn’t understand, then I was going about “circling” the wrong way.
The next thing that happened was again by coincidence. I had emailed Ben Slavic about micro stories suitable for primary (elementary) students. He replied with an attachment of his draft chapter called Super Mini Stories. In this chapter, Ben focuses in great detail on the skills needed to tell a story. Reading this with my trusty highlighter was illuminating. Chris’ statement ‘Circle what the students don’t understand” suddenly gelled.
Circling has to be done in context and more importantly, stories must have input from students. This is what makes TCI compelling.

Last week I trialed it and discovered the truth of the above statement. This is how I did it:

With the classes 3-7, I arranged the chairs into a circle and in the middle of the circle I put a pile of clothes for this story: (underlined words signify where I asked for student input.)

Bobby dingin. Bobby berkata kepada Ibu,”Saya dingin.”
Ibu kasih Bobby satu jaket.
Bobby pakai jaket di kaki.

Bobby masih dingin. Bobby berkata kepada Bapak, “Saya dingin.”
Bapak kasih Bobby satu baju.
Bobby pakai baju di kepala.

Bobby masih dingin. Bobby berkata kepada Kakek, “Saya dingin.”
Kakek kasih Bobby dua sepatu.
Bobby pakai sepatu di tangan.
Bobby tidak dingin lagi.

Prior to last week, I’d told the story with actors and the other students just watched and listened. However, this week, I used circling to ask for student input and it was highly compelling. Here is why:
I began with:
Siapa mau menjadi assistan Bu Cathy? (Who wants to be Bu Cathy’s assistant?)
I looked around the circle and chose someone who would be a good actor, someone who could be a ham if necessary and not get embarrassed. I then asked them to ‘berdiri’ (stand.)
Next I asked the class, “Caden perempuan atau Caden laki laki?” The class invariably answered “Caden perempuan.” To which I checked in with my actor, “Caden laki laki atau Liam perempuan?” If he answered, “Caden perempuan”, I would then confirm, “Caden perempuan!” Next I asked students, “Siapa nama Caden? ‘Caden’ nama laki laki!” Sometime, classes came up with a hilarious female version of the name (Luke became Lukette, Kody became Kodella) and sometimes they would come up with a name that has been bandied around lately. For some reason Jeff and Bob are hilarious names!! Go figure!
I then began the story:
Ada perempuan. Nama perempuan Delilah.(students decided that Caden would become his twin sister!)  Delilah dingin. Delilah berkata kepada???? Delilah berkata kepada siapa? (laser pointer to ‘siapa’ poster up above the whiteboard) If students suggested the name of a fellow student, I would answer, “Bukan nama murid di kelas ini.” Because I wanted them to come up with some quirky suggestions. I would settle on the suggestion that got the most catcalls!! Justin Bieber and Tony Abbott were up there!! I next asked, “Siapa mau….. Justin Bieber?” That actor was also asked to ‘berdiri’.
I would then recommence my story from the start to throw in some sneaky repetitions.
Ada perempuan. Nama perempuan Delilah. Delilah dingin. Delilah berkata kepada… Delilah berkata kepada Justin Bieber, “Saya dingin.” Justin Bieber kasi Delilah???? At this point I rummaged through the pile of clothes on the floor and repeated the sentence several times adding the word for the article of clothing I held up, looking at ‘Justin Bieber’ to gauge both his/her reaction and the class’. “Justin Bieber kasi Delilah jaket? Justin Bieber kasi Delilah sarong? Justin Bieber kasi Delilah topi? Justin Bieber kasi Delilah jilbab?” OOnce the class agreed on the item of clothing (majority rules), I then handed the item of clothing to “Justin Bieber” and then turned to the class and asked, “Justin Bieber kasi Delilah satu jilbab atau Justin Bieber kasi Delilah dua jilbab?” Depending on their collective answer (if too noisy, I asked ‘Angkat tangan kalau Justin Bieber kasi Delilah dua jilbab”, repeated sentence again or satu jilbab, while counting in Indonesian the number of hands) then we continued the story:
Justin Bieber kasi Delilah satu jilbab.
I then stopped the acting, asked Justin Bieber to ‘duduk’ then turned around to face the class again and asked, “Delilah pakai jilbab di kaki (pointing to my foot)? Delilah pakai jilbab di tangan (pointing to my hand)? Delilah pakai jilbab di leher (pointing to my neck)?” etc until I got a popular consensus. I then repeated the sentence and the actor acted out the story. In this case it was:
Delilah pakai jilbab di kepala. Delilah masih dingin.
We continued till the end of the story this way. It was hilarious and totally compelling!! I love that TCI provides me with ways in which I can laugh with my students while teaching!!
During the day on Monday, I wrote a few notes in my notebook that I keep handy to record my reflections and this is what I wrote:
1. Circle what they don’t know!!
2. Don’t forget to ask quantity of clothing! E.g. dua sepatu!!
3. Go SLOW!! Don’t rush!! Slow and steady is how students comprehend and acquire the target structures. Make the most of each repeititon.
4. Try to make circling sound like natural speech using familiar vocabulary while incorporating all the facets of circling. E.g. negative, either/or, 3 for 1, asking for extra detail.