Week One Brain Breaks

At our school, specialist teachers combine to present a week one program. You can read more about it here. This will be the third year that we have done this program together and it’s such a great fun way to begin the year. The specialist areas at our school this year are Indonesian, Performing Arts & PE and also joining us next week will be our amazing counsellor, Karen, and librarian, Ruth.

The program runs over 3 days and each day is based around one of our 3 school values of confidence, respect & community. Again we will be based in the gym and in each lesson time, we will have between 3 – 5 classes to work with. Most lessons are singles, but we also have a few doubles and over the 3 days,  most classes will join us for 3 lessons. Consequently we have to have a few ideas up our sleeves each day that both fit the overriding theme for the day & are suitable for a mixed R-7 group of students.

I have been scouring YouTube this morning searching for activities that tick all the boxes and in doing so discovered the Ultimate Camp Resource.  What an amazing collection of fun activities! I have created a week one folder on my YouTube channel for activities that I think will be great for our week one specialist teachers program but they will also be super brilliant for tweaking to become awesome brain breaks too! Here are a few to show you what I mean!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I particularly love the Whoosh Game because the language could be tweaked so easily to:
Whoosh = kasih (give)
Whoa = tidak mau
Boing = melompat
Zap = zap (I believe strongly that only familiar words should be used & some fun words still incorporated!)
Freak out = Gila
Super freak out = Gila sekali

TPRS Step 3: Reading

Our Inaugural SA TPRS conference has just finished. It was 3 days full of information, explanations, demos and coaching. My brain is full to bursting and my body is absolutely shattered (note to self: participating in a language class is a physically and mentally exhausting brain workout) I am now in a particularly weird emotive state where I would just love to be heading back again this morning for another day of listening to Terry & Lizette and yet on the other hand, I am so excited to have some time to start thinking about the ways in which I can incorporate the skills that were demonstrated over the past 3 days into my teaching.

What an outstanding team Terry Waltz & Lizette Liebold are! They work together seamlessly and complement each other beautifully. Terry skills as a presenter dovetailed nicely with Lizette’s coaching skills. Combined they have countless years of TPRS teaching, in fact Lizette is one of the original pioneer TPRS language teachers who hopped on the TPRS train right back when it first began and has consequently attended all NTPRS conferences bar one!

Terry’s skills as a presenter are remarkable. While this was her 3rd consecutive Australian conference, delivering (I assume) exactly the same program, at no time did I feel that it was rehearsed or a repeat of a previous presentation. Terry’s manner assured us that she was genuinely enjoying her time with us and that we in no way compared poorly against previous cohorts. Which is exactly what happens in a TPRS classroom! While the target structure may be the same with consecutive classes, each class provides different details which lead us in different directions each and every time.

My brain is reeling with all that I heard throughout the conference and thank goodness I took notes, because right now it is still aching and overwhelmed. If I reflect on the biggest take away for me from my 3 days at the conference, it would without a doubt be the clarification of the 3 steps of TPRS. I now understand that the stories I’ve been using for the story asking are in fact the final reading text.

Terry demonstrated this with two very different languages; Hawaiian firstly and then on day 3 with Mandarin. Being unfamiliar with both languages, I was incredibly fortunate to experience the 3 steps of TPRS as a student twice. This really helped me consolidate my understanding and appreciation of the 3 steps which are:

  1. Establish meaning
  2. Story asking
  3. Reading.

Prior to the conference, step 3 for my classes was the story the class had created and revolved around various TCI activities to keep it engaging while achieving repetitions within that one story. I completely understand now the value of reading a different story (the original story or maybe another modified class’s story) for step 3.This enables students to consolidate the acquired language in a totally new setting. Depending on the level of your students, this final step also has the potential to provide your student with longer stories with a variety of the newly acquired target structures in it, each targeted separately prior to the final reading in steps one and two. This understanding is going to turn the way I plan upside down and I am sooo excited. Can’t wait to get started to experience it!

To clarify:

If the story is this one with the Lucy wants a jacket story
(credit Judith Dubois):

Ada perempuan.

Nama perempuan Lucy.

Lucy dingin.

Lucy mau jaket.

Lucy tidak pakai jaket.

Lucy lihat laki laki kecil.

Nama laki laki kecil Will.

Will punya jaket tetapi jaket Will terlalu kecil.

Lucy lihat Pak Hudson. (principal’s name)

Pak Hudson punya jaket tetapi jaket Pak Hudson terlalu besar.

Lucy lihat Jane.

Jane punya jaket dan jaket Jane pas.

Jane kasih Lucy jaket.

Lucy pakai jaket.

Lucy berkata, “Terima kasih Jane.”

Jane berkata, “Sama sama.”

The first task is identify the target structures your students will need to acquire to read and comprehend this story. When I do this story, the target structures are grouped and ordered like this:

Group One

  1. topi
  2. sepatu
  3. jaket

Group Two

  1. dingin
  2. panas

Group Three

  1. terlalu besar
  2. terlalu kecil
  3. pas.

Because my students have acquired the remaining language from previous stories, I can incorporate it into fun songs and TPR activities to target each group of target structures one by one. I usually begin with panas/dingin which is easily incorporated into the roll call if the weather is extreme and the students come in hot and sweaty or conversely wet and cold! My lessons generally begin with a roll call asking “Apa kabar?” This in itself is an awesome opportunity for circling. Kelas, Joe panas! Joe dingin atau joe panas? Joe dan Mary panas dan Betty dingin!

If you look back through this blog, you’ll find various songs that I’ve made up which my students have enjoyed singing and then acting out. The one I love the most is sung to the tune of baa baa black sheep:

Lucy dingin.

Lucy mau jaket.

Will panas.

Tidak mau jaket.

Will kasih Lucy.

Lucy pakai jaket.

Lucy berkata, “Terima kasih Will.”

(NB names are substituted with the names of the actors)

These type of activities are then repeated for each list of target structures. which are each targeted separately because each set may take several weeks till acquisition.  For target structures like the ones in group 3, I love looking for weird and wacky pictures on google images that incorporate familiar and popular characters from recent films/books/tv programs and then use them to create a powerpoint. Harry Potter is reliably popular and easily identifiable by all year levels at my school so one powerpoint had a page with harry potter wearing a tiny hat, the next page with him wearing an enormous hat and the following page showed Harry wearing a hat the perfect size! Thus I was able to consolidate ‘topi’ while introducing new structures! The following pages were pictures of familiar characters or cognate animals (orangutan, komodo) wearing oversized, undersized or perfectly sized jackets, hats or shoes. My students are generally riveted to the screen, wondering what kooky picture will be next. It also provides opportunities to circle using mau and punya. Billy punya topi pizza besar? Billy mau punya topi pizza besar?

After the structures have been acquired to my satisfaction, I move on to step 2 – story asking – using actors. The actors help in a variety of ways; they make the story engaging for the class (& me), they help me circle each part of the story (especially if the acting requires more expression – I love OTT acting – sneaky way to get reps), they can also be a tool for me to measure class acquisition. Story asking is incredibly important as it allow classes to create unique stories through collaboration, its how students buy into the story. Afterwards, the class story can be written up to be used in a variety of ways as listed on the TCI activities page.

Then finally step 3 (the one I will work on this year) is reading together the original story as printed above. I loved how Terry did this. She had a powerpoint ‘book’ that the class could read together and each page had a line of text with a quirky picture that provided opportunities for circling, popup grammar, funny stories/gestures to help students remember conjunction words (eg. tetapi = point to your but) or other useful words that need a boost. (imagine the ‘cultural’ story you could create for bercakap-cakap!!).

For me as a student, this final step was incredibly powerful. It made me feel super confident that I could read it and understand the story even though the characters and setting were not familiar. With those changes, the story felt foreign yet still achievable. Soo cool. It truly demonstrated for me the concept of  i+1. Fully comprehensible yet stretching my acquisition just the right amount.

With this text, there are a variety of reading activities that can be done with students to further consolidate acquisition. With Terry, we choral read the book on the tv screen, firstly in pinyin and then with Chinese characters. Boy, did this hit home for me how fortunate both my students & I are that Indonesian is a roman alphabetic language!!

Here are a list of the reading activities & games  that Terry shared with us:

  • kindergarten reading
  • whole class choral reading
  • group reading
  • Echo reading (teacher reads in TL and students read in English)
  • volley ball reading
  • paired repeated reading
  • readers theatre

Reading games:

  • Musical readings – students in pairs each reading a sentence each one by one with each student double checking the sentence was read correctly & if not, the sentence is reread. The teacher plays music and when the music stops, whoever is not reading gets a point.
  • Reading Bingo – each student has a 3×3 =grid. In each box, the student writes a different word from the story in each square. Students cross out the word when they hear it.
  • Stupid Teacher (Guru Gila?) teacher reads the story and deliberately says a word not in the story or changes one word. Students in pairs, competing against each other, tally up the mistakes and compare tally at end of reading.
  • Comprehension Questions – to measure comprehension, ask the questions in English. They could include true/false questions, short answer questions, multiple choice questions, cloze from story with multiple choice options for each cloze empty space.

Now all I have to do is decide which story I want to begin with this term!! What story are you using?

Awesome Preposition Indonesian Brain Break – MI, Mi, Mi

One of the fantastic things we learned last week from our AIYEP visitors was a hand clapping rhyme that my middle and upper primary students absolutely loved.

Farah typed out the tweaked lyrics and I put them up on the smart board.

Mi, Mi, Mi

mi atas, mi bawah

mi depan, mi belakang

mi satu, dua, tiga

mi empat, lima, enam

mi ciyo, ciyo, ciyo

mi gulung, gulung, gulung

gulung-gulung kasur

 

I firstly asked the students to watch  Kak Farah, Kak Ricky, Kak Oscar & Kak Rini. They paired up and demonstrated the hand clapping rhyme. After a few repetitions, I then asked for volunteers to come forward and have a go with the ‘kakaks’. The aim was to get as many repetitions of the rhyme as possible before the students did it themselves and this would increase both their confidence and chances of success!! Again, the volunteer students had 2 goes with their mentor kakak’s.  The class then looked at the lyrics briefly. This was to purely show them what had been chanted and also to quickly translate to explain most of the hand movements.

Students were then asked to choose a partner (student or kakak partner) and be ready to start. We all together chanted satu, dua, tiga, (1,2,3) then began the hand clapping rhyme following along with the kakak’s. There was much hilarity while students had a go for the first time with a partner. Again, for the final time, students were asked to repeat the rhyme with this partner. Then to ramp it up, I asked everyone to change partners, ala Pak Iriantos’ workshop at ASILE. We continued chanting the rhyme and changing partners over and over again, after each run through. It was a great way for students to get repetitions on the rhyme with new partners in a fun way.

Here is a snippet showing you just how much fun it was:

2016 – AIYEP in South Australia

Have you or your students heard of AIYEP ? Even though AIYEP has been around for 35 years, I have only just  learned of it and then only by chance!

 

AIYEP (pronounced Ay-yep) is the commonly used acronym for the Australian Indonesian Youth Exchange Program. This program was established in 1981 and is fully supported by the Australian Government (DFAT) and the Indonesian Government (Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sport) and promotes peace and understanding between our two countries. Each year the program is based in a different state/Territory in Australia and in Indonesia it is held in a different province. This year, it is based in South Australia and Sulawesi.

 

The participants, 9 men and 9 women, aged 21-25 years, are chosen from applicants who are either undertaking tertiary studies or working in sectors that will contribute to improving bilateral relationships.

 

Here in SA, we are almost at the end of the first half of the program. 18 Indonesian youths have 3 days left before heading back to Adelaide to meet the 18 Australian youths who will soon be flying to Indonesia for the final part of the program. The Indonesians arrived almost 2 months ago and have enjoyed staying with host families in firstly a city setting and then lastly a rural setting while enjoying work experience placements relevant to their chosen career path. 

 

Our region is about to host the farewell ceremony for the Indonesian group who have been here on the Fleurieu Peninsular for just over 2 weeks. Having 18 Indonesian youths in our community has been such a bonus for our Indonesian language programs. Several local families have offered to be the host families for our visitors and are just loving the opportunity to get acquainted with their temporary adopted son/daughter! Due to Indonesian cultural norms, it is usually difficult for them to address adults by their christian name, so they were encouraged to address their host parents are Mum/Dad. The variations of this have been hilarious. At the Victor Harbor Christmas Pageant last night, I smiled each time I heard someone being addressed as ‘Mom’ or even ‘Daddy’. No matter how many times it is explained that ‘Mom’ is American and not used in Australia, it has continued! Too much exposure to USA TV content?

 

At PEPS, we were fortunate to host 5 for their work placement; 4 in the primary school and one in the kindergarten. The first week was crazy as our inaugural Twilight Pasar Fundraiser was to be held that Friday. They spent equal time observing classroom teachers and supporting Indonesian lessons. Due to crazy pasar preparations, I wasn’t able to explain in any detail about the pedagogy I’m using in my classroom but thankfully Sharon did at Victor R-7, which led to quite a bit of discussion last night at the Christmas Carol concerts between those from education sectors. Prima is so enthusiastic to learn more about TPRS and use it in her classrooms!! Isn’t that exciting?

 

The AIYEP group has had 4 days each week at their work placement and then each Friday, reconnected as a group and traveled around visiting local schools to perform a selection of cultural dances. Their first day of their cultural performances on the Fleurieu coincided with the inaugural Twilight Pasar and was easily one of the highlights of our pasar. The costumes and dances were amazing. Each participant wore traditional clothing from their regions: Aceh, Riau, Java, Kalimantan, Ternate, Papua, Sulawesi and Bangka Belitung. img_1818Consequently their clothing varied immensely, especially that of the women. Sylvi from Java wore a beautiful cobalt blue sarong and jacket with her hair gathered back for an enormous bun. I’ve only seen her in casual clothes; the transformation was breath taking. Fadilla wore a long dress that she adapted to represent the traditional clothing of Central Sulawesi. The bodice was pink and covered in twinkling gold sequins and she also wore a matching tiara. Her layered black skirt had colourful dangling beads hanging from each layer. Her gold earrings were attached to her ears over her kerudung which strangely looked fantastic! Hannet and Luis from Papua wore grass skirts together with lots of body paint and shell necklaces. Their clothing added such a lovely balance to the group as it is so different from the traditional sarong and kebaya.

 

At PEPS, we had Ricky, Oscar, Farah (Fadilla) and Rini in the primary school and Odah in the kindergarten. During the first week, I presented them with their timetable and sent them off to classes for observations and then in the second week, they were given a choice to continue observing or stay in the Indonesian room. I’m thrilled they chose the latter! Post Pasar, the students were restless, so it was perfect that we had decided to teach traditional children’s games to small groups of students. Oscar chose cublak- cublak suweng, Rini chose bekel, Ricky chose pecah piring and Farah chose lompat karet. Because it was to be a fun week, I asked the students to get into 5 groups and then asked each group which activity they’d like to learn/do. My activity was congklak which most students already know so I was able to get my group going and then walk around taking photos of other groups. Because all but congklak was unfamiliar, there were no disappointed groups. Boys tended to select Oscar & Ricky and it was lovely watching them play simple children’s games and have so much fun. It really was a fantastic way for the students to interact with our visitors.

As the first lesson of the 2016 timetable is a planning lesson, Farah, Ricky, Oscar & Rini used this time on the second Tuesday to film themselves demonstrating and explaining the rules for each game. It took them a while to adjust to speaking slowly and restricting their vocabulary but the final result is awesome. Here are the videos that have been uploaded to YouTube so far:

 

 

We are going to miss them once they leave our region this Wednesday morning!

 

However the main point of this post is not just to share what we have been doing but also so that you can share this information with your students. Lets hope relations between Indonesia and Australia continue to improve so that programs like this continue to be available for our students in their future. There are so few programs like this (that I know of) that encourage Indonesian Language students to continue with their language learning, offering them an achievable goal as it is a fully funded DFAT program.

 

For more information, see the AIYEP website.

ASILE 2016 – Games & Activities for Language Classes

One of the workshops we attended on Sunday was led by Pak Irianto Ryan Tedya. It was a very enjoyable workshop with songs and games, 2 of which would be ideal as a brainbreak or for TPR.

The first game he shared was ‘dam dam sut’ which is his own variation of ‘suten’ (gajah, orang, semut). This game reinforces the target structures:

  1. Kita seri (we draw)
  2. Saya menang (I won)
  3. Saya kalah (I lost)

Each with their own hand gesture:

  1. Hands crossing left to right horizontally palms facing downwards
  2. Hands up in the air, fingers splayed
  3. Hands down wards, palms facing opponent.

The game is played in partners and together players say dam, dam together while clapping and then together say sut and on sut, players choose to either do:

gajah (elephant),

orang (person) or

semut (ant).

When first introducing the game, Pak Irianato recommends just focusing on;

  1. Gajah beats orang (elephant steps on person)
  2. Orang beats semut (person steps on ant)
  3. Semut beats elephant (ant gets into elephants ear and irritates the elephant – ant is small yet powerful)

Pak Irianto asked us to play 3 times with a partner and then swap partners choosing someone new. When he judged that we had mastered that, he asked the whole class to synconize our games; meaning that the entire class clapped & said dam, dam, sut at exactly the same time, starting very slowly and encouraging everyone to keep the rhythm.

Once this is mastered, I would introduce the above target structures yet Pak Irianto encouraged us all to use it right from the beginning. One participant suggested the following rhyme sung to Frere Jacques to consolidate vocabulary:

Saya menang

Saya menang

Saya kalah

Saya kalah

Kita seri

Kita seri

Marilah bermain!

Marilah bermain!

All up, it was a fun game and I loved the way that the game increases in complexity which makes it appealing to all ages of students.

The final activity he did with us was awesome and perfect for TPR. This song could be adapted to any verb. I love the idea of asking students for action suggestions!! I was thinking of how much fun ‘menangis’ (cry) or ‘jatuh’ (fall) would be. Pak Irianto first taught us the song and actions then suggested adding the jumping left, right & centre afterwards to add a further challenge.

I didn’t take any notes, just this video!!

Membagi Ide Bagus – Pleased to Meet You (Jim Tripp)

The first ever story I do with my JP students is a mini version of Pleased To Meet You (thanks to our wonderful mentor Catharina for this pared down version).  

This post from Creative Language Class complements this story beautifully and would suit my year 1 and 2’s perfectly who first encountered the story in Reception (Prep/Transition) and would enjoy this extension idea as well as learning ‘suka’. It would also be great for older students just starting out on their TPRS learning journey.

Get to know each other using the TL!.

Specialist Teachers Unite!

For the very first week of the year, the 5 specialist teachers at my school collaborated to present a united program to students. The 5 specialist are

  1. Performing Arts
  2. Digital Technology
  3. PE
  4. Geography
  5. Indonesian

We first discussed the idea during a No Tosh workshop last year with the idea being that instead of students coming to each one of our classes in the first week of school and hearing the same message over and over again from each one of us, we would collaborate and clarify our expectations together. Here are our initial notes:

 We met during the holidays and excitedly agreed to trial the program. The idea was that we all came to our timetabled lessons in the gym with a short activity prepared for a large group of combined class levels. The activities had to provide us all with the springboard to discuss group skills & minor problem solving through our school values of community, confidence & respect.

As none of us work full time and our days are spread evenly over the week, it meant that each day we either had 2, 3 or 4 teachers on deck at any one time working with 2, 3 or 4 classes respectively. Two junior primary classes received our combined spiel 5 times and the remainder received it 4 times yet because the teachers each day were never exactly the same and the classes who came were also never exactly the same, the dynamics changed significantly each lesson.

We began each lesson with our shared expectations and communicated to students clearly that this year there will be significantly more communication between class teachers, leadership and specialist teachers  through a new monitoring system we will hope staff will support to ensure that behaviours in our classes are followed up on.  Other issues we talked about included the fact that our lessons are only 50 minutes and thus all students to repsect the learning of others so that time isn’t wasted.

We then shared the microphone around and led an activity each. It was brilliant being able to focus on group skills and problem solving repeatedly with mixed group levels. We would ask students to get into groups and then after a few minutes, ask everyone to stop. This gave us the opportunity to talk about the confidence needed to be proactive and approach a group and ask to join their group, how the request needs to be answered respectfully and diplomatically, to be resilient and persist till you join a group, make strong choices about who you group up with etc. We did this over and over again in various ways all from our own specialist subject viewpoint and students definitely improved over the week.

My activities included Bu Cathy Berkata (simon says), kancil, buaya, mangga (get into groups of 3 and decide who will be kancil, who will be buaya and who will be the mangga. Berjalan kaki around the gym in your group and each time I say ‘buaya/ mangga/kancil’ the kancil stands with their hands cupped on their head for ears, the buaya lies on the ground and the mangga curls into a ball) and on the last day I extended the language by asking students to ‘cari satu teman – satu perempuan dengan satu laki laki’ and it was fantastic that students used the stop gesture (tidak paham) and others could translate for them.

The geography teacher came up with her own activity which involved rings of students representing different aspects of the globe and then the finale was asking them each to turn either clockwise or anticlockwise. The final movement was amazing and I filmed it which should be good for a future brain break! It truly demonstrates why the weather is never  predictable.

Natalie, our performing arts teacher did one activity where she divided the students by gender. Each group had to put themselves into a line in order of birthdate and then she turned on some very loud music. Each group did well with only a couple of errors (not bad for 2 groups about 40 students) and afterwards she sat them down and discussed with them the impact of noise, congratulated the studetns who had shown leadership & asked the groups to explain the methods used. It was a brilliant activity for upper primary.

Evan brought ipads to the gym and asked the students to get into teams of 10. Each team had to take one continous video on an ipad which was passed respectfully clockwise around the circle and each person had to film the person on their left saying one positive thing about the who was person filming them. The groups that worked collaboratively and respectfully completed the task had time to watch their film yet the groups that did not collaborate well had many disappointed team members who didn’t get a chance to use the ipad. IMG_1615

We met on Thursday afternoon to review the program and we all agreed the week had been a huge success and one we’d be keen to repeat in 2017.  The comments from staff were also incredibly positive noting that the sense of community created in the gym felt very real. We found it a great way to start the year because it gave us a chance to meet the new students and learn their names as well as the names of a few of our many new reception students. It gave Evan and Les some breathing space in which they could learn about our school and students in a collaborative atmosphere before we all go it alone next week . All up the sense of community was strong not just for students but also for the 5 specialist teachers!

Sharing Great Ideas – Membagi Ide Bagus

Due to a nasty virus, I’ve lately had plenty of ‘rest’ time enjoying interesting online articles. I’ve also discovered the ‘add to reading list’ button at the top right corner of my ipad which has been very handy for bookmarking and saves me having to go backwards and forwards between apps and safari. 

Here are a couple (tongue in cheek) that I would like to share with you all:

  • Have you heard of contextualised chanting? Read this blog post by Michel and learn about it. What a great way of having a brain break and getting some bonus repetitions in!
  • I got a lovely surprise yesterday when following a link to this google doc listing CI reading activities on the Tristate TCI – Teaching World Languages with Comprehensible Input facebook page, included  a link to this blog!! 
  • Also on that facebook page was this video demonstrating the airplane activity, another  ‘post story’ activity.
  • Have you discovered Senor Fernie’s blog? I love it because it has an elementary/primary school aged focus. He has just finished a series of posts dedicated to junior primary story telling.Here is the the first one: Enjoy
  • Have you watched any of the Musicuentos Black Box podcasts yet? I’ve seen a few and each one has been fascinating. They only go for about 5 or so minutes and give a good general overview of the topic being discussed. Here is videocast number 7 (Overcoming Resistance to 90% Target Language Use) and number 6 (The Inescapable Case For Extensive Reading).
  • Somewhere to share posted recently a fun story review game. I think the game has great potential but I wonder how to avoid students recognising each others handwriting? Could the story sentences be typed up by the teacher beforehand and distributed randomly or selectively? 
  • Here are a few videos I bookmarked. 1. Willy Winako & Dara singing Suara Perjuangan. 2. A fun video illustrating how some well known western words would sound if pronounced ‘properly’ (can only find the link on facebook, but hopefully soon it will be on youtube!) and is an edited version of the original. 3. Another video from facebook which thankfully has a youtube link – about a current topic – the Indonesian forest fires, and finally 4. Goodnews Indonesia
  • I am following Martina Bex on facebook which randomly promotes links to previous blogposts. This one came up last week and could be useful for term 4 if you are looking for ways in which to add some TPRS fun to the end of the year. It is all about the many ways we can use songs in the Languages classroom. 
  • Have a look at this amazing collection of brainbreaks. While not all are appropriate, there are enough great ones here to make it worthwhile. Some of the video links are hilarious and I am sure could easily be adapted to Indonesian. How about this one for example? Imagine the language repetition for a short target structure? 
  • Creative Language Class posted recently about how she teaches her school curriculum using TPRS pedagogy. I love the way she identifies the key skills and then lists ideas of how this could be achieved.
  • Saving the best till last –  the link to the most recent edition of the IJFLT (The International Journal of Foreign Language Teachers).  This contains many interesting articles by a selection of well known TCI/TPRS teachers. Past issues are also available.

Happy reading and hopefully I haven’t included too many links? Maybe add some of them to your ‘reading list’ for the upcoming holidays which will be here faster than we can imagine!

Word Race Stories

I had thought I would ask the story early in the term just like I have done in the past and just have the unfamiliar vocabulary written in a list on the board so that when it came up, I could ‘point and pause’ it. At our last hub meeting, Sharon suggested introducing the word ‘bisa’ during the first lesson as a lead up to telling/asking the story in the next. However, with the late introduction of the gesture in week 1, I decided to spend the next lesson on ‘bisa’ as well to introduce and consolidate the target structure and gesture.

My second lesson then became the pre-story lesson with a mini focus on the vocabulary that would be used in the story. I scrolled through the marvellous Martina Bex’s blog, The Comprehensible Classroom, and found her suggested activity called Word Race Stories.

I created a word cloud with the vocabulary from the story:

word cloud bisa story

This activity starts with me calling out a word in English and they had to find its Indonesian equivalent. The competition between the students in their pairs was fierce yet everyone engaged with this activity. Such a fun way to review vocabulary. The first time I played this, it was chaotic as I followed Martina’s suggestions exactly. Sharon’s idea for students to purely point at the word with their finger was heaps more manageable than students trying to be the first to highlight it with their pen!

With my middle primary students, we finished off the activity by each pair looking at the words in the word cloud and then writing a sentence they thought could be in our new story. Yet with my year 6/7’s today, I tried for the first time the followup suggestion that Martina suggested. In their pairs, students had to think about the words in the word cloud and then write a sentence that could start a story using only words from the word cloud. Once everyone had finished their first sentence, they had to swap pages with another pair. Each pair then read the previous sentence and wrote a second sentence below that followed on from the first and used only words found in the word cloud. We then repeated this about 6 times. Each sheet was then returned to the original authors whose job was to edit the story and write the final sentence. I then read out as many stories as I could which everyone enjoyed! This was a very interesting exercise for several reasons even though I need to state that TPRS/TCI programs are about student receiving heaps and heaps of input and activities such as these should not be the backbone of our teaching.

Here are some of the stories that were produced:

story one

John dan Lucy punya hotdog.

Lucy berkata, ‘John, saya mau hotdog.”

John kasih Lucy dua hotdog. 

Lucy tidak mau dua hotdog.

Joh makan satu hotdog.

story two

Ada laki laki.

Nama laki laki Lucy.

Nama perempuan John.

John mau mencium.

Lucy tidak mau mencium

John kurang baik.

story three

Ada laki laki dan perempuan.

Nama laki laki John dan nama perempuan Lucy.

John dan Lucy makan dua hotdog.

Lucy berkata, “Saya mau minum.”

Lucy dan John mencium.

Overall the stories were written with correct word order and demonstrated a good grasp of all vocabulary, even mencium which we haven’t talked about yet. The most interesting point from all the stories was how little ‘bisa’ was used!! In total it was used twice! I wonder if this will change once we have told the story?

Now that we have had 2 lessons focused on bisa, I would like to organise my next lesson on ‘mencium’. The meaning of this word is a great opportunity to talk about intercultural language. While non Indonesians use the word ‘mencium’ to mean to kiss, its meaning is also to smell because that is how female friends traditionally ‘kiss’. You put your cheeks together on one side and sniff gently before repeating on the other side. Have you watched Indonesians smell babies too? Australians do it too, yet we don’t truly inhale the baby scent as an Indonesian does. There is a real skill to it, I believe!!

Ibu Mia From Batam, Kepulauan Riau

This week my students are enjoying a chance to interact with and learn from Ibu Mia, an Indonesian high school English teacher from Batam, Kepulauan Riau. She will be in our area for 3 weeks, spending a week at each of our schools. Her visit has been entirely coordinated by Pak Nyoman from APBIPA and we are so, so fortunate to able to particiapte in this program. Through APBIPA, we have hosted teachers from Sumbawa, Bali, Sumatra, Jakarta, Kalimantan, Bandung and now Batam. What a fantastic way for my students to experience the diversity of Indonesia. 

We learned many interesting facts about Batam. Some of which are:

  • Even though it is a tiny island, the population is roughly similar to Adelaide; 1 million. 
  • It is only 35 minutes from Singapore by ferry and Ibu Mia has often taken her sons to Singapore for a day trip!
  • There are 1500 students and 90 teachers at her school, SMK 1 Batam.
  • Batam was only founded in the 70’s and then developed in the 80’s as a centre for free trade.
  • Batam has a good selection of high class hotels, one of which is a restored cruise ship!
  • There are 7 domestic harbors and 2 international harbors in Batam.
  • Batam has beautiful beaches.
  • Batam has a huge industrial sector.
  • Ibu Mia lives in Batam Centre.
  • There is a ‘Welcome to Batam” sign which is exactly like the Hollywood sign in California.
  • Batam’s skyline resembles any develped city’s skyline. Multi-story buildings and freeways. 

This visit has been so enjoyable for me for a variety of reasons. Usually I teach as per usual and my visitor co-teaches i.e., assists with modeling pronunciation, extra facts etc. However this time, the focus of the lessons this week has been Ibu Mia, thus being a cultural brain break for all of us. While lessons largely reverted back to the 90% English/10% Indonesian ratio, it was so interesting and informative that it wasn’t an issue and we still managed to where possible incorporate the target structures for this term and students enjoyed plenty of opportunity to demonstrate their growing ability to speak in Indonesian with many classestotally impressing Ibu Mia! So exciting!! I couldn’t help pointing out to the older classes, that the level of communication we used with Ibu Mia was far above that which we have used with any previous visitor. 

Our recent acquisition of pakai was very useful and we enjoyed the opportunity for many repetitions with all the classes due to discussions about why students thought Ibu Mia was Indonesian (as opposed to be being Korean, American, Spanish etc). They all said that had they seen her in the street, they would guess she was Indonesian because of the clothes she was wearing which led beautifully back to our circling:

  • Ibu Mia pakai topi? bukan
  • Ibu Mia pakai jaket? bukan
  • Ibu Mia pakai sepatu? ya
  • Ibu Mia pakai apa?

This then led to a discussion about her clothing. Students learned the word for her Muslim dress (gamis) and her  head scarf (jilbab). I have a selection of jilbabs from Kalimantan, so we dragged them out which led to many questions from students about jilbabs. The questions were hysterical and I wish I could have recorded them all. It was so hard keeping a straight face! Questions included:

  • How do you put on a jilbab?
  • Do you sleep in your jilbab?
  • How do you get your hair cut if you can’t take it off in public? 
  • What is that thing under your jilbab? (ciput)
  • What happens if someone comes to your door that is not family and you are not wearing your jilbab?

  

    The most amazing thing about all the questions was that they were all respectful! Not one student made a negative comments about any aspect of Islam. I am so proud of my students. Ibu Mia was so relieved. She showed me an article from her local paper for which the headline which roughly means: Ibu Mia is a ittle bit worried about visiting Australia On The Heels of The Bali NIne Executions.

      
    Her friends all warned her that Australians would harrass her because of the executions and that it was a terrible time to visit Australia. Many also suggested she reconsider wearing a jilbab in Australia or at least wear a smaller one. Thankfully she did not listen to their advice!! At our school and in our local community she experienced exactly what I experienced while traveling in Indonesia amidst the telephone spying scandal: most of  the hullaballoo is political and hyped up by the media. The general public are largely cynical consequently and thus when a visiting national from that country is polite and personable (as Ibu Ma definitely is), it dissolves any animosity one may have for their nation and is brilliant for breaking down the stereotypes that events such as these perpetuate. 

    The classes that have 2 lessons a week, were treated to a cooking demonstration for their second lesson. Ibu Mia, not only loves cooking but she is an awesome cook. We brainstormed one evening after school for recipes that are quick, easy and will surely be popular with students. Ibu Mia suggested her own recipe of Mie Goreng Telur A La Ibu Mia which is a popular snack she makes for her sons when they are hungry. We found all the ingredients at our local grocery shop and she was especially delighted that we could buy the extra spicy chilli sauce made by ABC!! Needless to say the small noodle pancakes were a huge success. Students could choose to have theirs with saus tomat, sambal atau tidak pakai saus. The entire cooking lesson was a double bonus because where possible Ibu Mia used the target structures that students have learned this year. It was awesome that Ibu Mia understood the power of TPRS/TCI so quickly. Her circling required that all students to listen, look & respond! It was so cool. Her language to the students included:

    • Kasih Ibi Mia gunting
    • Siapa mau menjadi assistan Ibu Mia?
    • Apa ini? 
    • Kasih Ibu Mia telur. Apa telur? Ya, telur egg!! Jade, kasih Ibu Mia dua telur. Berapa telur?
    • Berapa murid di kelas ini?
    • Ayo, Menghitung! They would then count with her while she tricked them by going fast sometimes and slow sometimes.
    • Garamnya (apa garam? Ya, garam salt) Garamnya terlalu besar, terlalu  kecil atau pas?
    • Siapa mau makan mie goreng telur pakai saus?

    Terima kasih IIbu Mia. PEPS will miss you!

      Ayo, Menghitung!