Snap Camera Magic

Thanks to Senora Anna (aka Ibu Anne ), I recently discovered the lure of Snap Camera. I absolutely love it. Not only is this a platform that has enormous potential for creating quirky videos and images; it is also the perfect place to visit if you need a laugh. I challenge you to check out a few of the unusual ways you can alter your face and not crack a smile!

I whole heartedly believe in the potential benefits of flipped learning; where student learning continues out of the classroom. Flipped learning offers bonus input for language learners as it can be accessed whenever the learner chooses and in ways that best suits their own learning. For my students, I prefer to create videos and upload them to my YouTube channel for students to watch either with their class teacher or by themselves after school. I like that videos can be stopped, replayed or slowed down by the learners. Videos also give the opportunity for input to be delivered both aurally and visually.

Creating videos is fun but also confronting for me because while I love creating videos, I find it challenging speaking facing into a camera! I understand that for my students, my familiar face and voice lowers their affective filter, however up until discovering Snap Camera, my inner critical voice generally found a reason to avoid this. If you look through my videos, you’ll quickly see that my older videos have me firmly behind the camera!

However, Snap Camera is so quirky that being in front of the camera is no longer a major hurdle. How can something so quirky and appealing to learners, not be maximised? Just opening Snap Camera and exploring some of the options will consistently put a smile on your face as it does for me because it is a platform that has many options to ‘enhance’ or totally alter our appearance and/or background. These options range from the sublime to the ridiculous and it is the latter which are the most entertaining.

If I have tempted you to experiment with Snap Camera, the first thing to do is download and install it.

Once installed, either type something into the search bar that could be either easily recognised by your learners &/or is a cognate. I have discovered all sorts of quirky characters ranging from biscuits to Spiderman!

Or choose an option from one of the following categories:

This will certainly put a smile on your dial!

An added bonus is when you have snap camera and Zoom open at the same time, your Snap Camera image will carry through to your Zoom meeting! I’ve gathered from facebook posts that Zoom isn’t the only platform that supports Snap Camera, so experiment with which ever platforms you are using. Share the quirkiness and help distract others momentarily from the craziness of 2020.

Below are two videos I made recently for my junior primary students. Both target TPR recent structures including melompat (jump), cepat (fast) and pelan (slow). They were recorded directly into Snap Camera which is super easy to access (see red box below).

I really like that you can delete or save immediately after recording as can be seen above.

Term 3 Update: R-7

I must begin by apologising profusely for the limited posting over the past 12 months. My goal this year is to try to post more regularly to share my successes and failures. Hopefully this benefits you as much as it does for me in that it provides me with the opportunity to clarify and work through what and how I am teaching as well as documenting it all. It is amazing how quickly I forget ideas and then by scrolling through past posts, rediscover them!!

This term, my reception classes are finishing off Judy Dubois’ Jacket story, my 3-5’s are starting Anna Matava’s Talks Too Much story and my one and only 6/7 class is looking at the song ‘Lupa, Lupa Ingat’. See my Scope and Sequence Stories Page for more information on these stories.

Most classes have two 50 minute lessons a week except for one 3/4 class which has three, and one 3/4 class and my 6/7 class which have only a 65 minute lesson. The difference between the ones with only a single lesson and the others is predictably vast.

I still love using PowerPoint as a teaching tool for my reception students, however I no longer use them for the older year levels. My reception PowerPoints mainly aim to support preliterate students while also providing challenge (aka differentiation) and learning opportunities for those with developing literacy. This is done through limited text with quirky illustrations or giphy/gif’s (is there a difference?) that effortlessly prompt L2 discussion and circling that ONLY requires familiar and understandable L2, i.e. Indonesian in my context. For example, at the moment I have just introduced cepat and pelan (fast and slow) through TPR (Total Physical Response). In introducing it, I found gifs of people, familiar characters (Spiderman, SpongeBob) and cats walking/dancing/jumping fast/slow. This ensured that the only unfamiliar language was pelan and cepat. Avoiding working memory overload in a language classroom is SO important for both comprehension and acquisition as this helps to keep the affective filter (e.g. anxiety levels) low. When the affective filter is high, the flight or fight response can kick in, thus severely impacting on language acquisition for most learners.

My JP PowerPoints include slides on behaviour expectations, kursi luar biasa, picture talk, VPQA (Visual personalised questions and answers), brain breaks, TPR, songs and a CI task e.g. ‘All the Worlds a Stage’, Listen and Draw. See the Preliterate TCI/TPRS CI Activities page for an explanation of these and others. See this link to view a recent JP powerpoint I used with my receptions for this story. To break up the repetition for me, I love creating video clips for the students to either listen to or sing along with. Most are uploaded to my YouTube channel and if you are interested in getting notifications each time I upload a new one, subscribe to and like my channel!! Another ‘video’ idea is to take photos of students and then create a slideshow from them. We had a dress-up day recently and I walked around the school yard before school taking photos of students in their costumes. I got many fabulous photos and the slide show was perfect to help students transition to learning Indonesian at the beginning of the lesson. It also ensured a consequence for those that dawdled and an encouragement to get to the next lesson on time when I planned to replay it!! My next project is to take photos of students skate-boarding on the basketball court tomorrow morning before school!

This week will be the last week for the Jaket story and next week, I will begin Elsa & Buaya, a story based on one of Carol Gaab’s creations. The language for this story includes lapar (hungry), berlari (run), ke (to) and revises lihat (look/see) and makan (eat). All structures can effortlessly be incorporated into TPR which will be hilarious when added to pelan/cepat!! I can feel a new slideshow idea coming on…..

My middle primary students will begin acting out the Bercakap-Cakap Terus story tomorrow. Usually I story ask the complete story using actors and student input, but tomorrow I am going to try an idea based on Laurie Clarcq’s embedded reading workshop I watched yesterday at the Agen Online Conference. I pared the story right down to the basics after identifying that the key language was bercakap-cakap terus (constantly chats), pergi ke (goes to) and keluar (go outside). Here is the skeleton of the story we will work with tomorrow:

John pergi ke Victa Cinema.
Di cinema, John bercakap-cakap terus.
Fred marah.
Fred berkata, “Keluar’.

Having a significantly reduced story skeleton will hopefully allow me to focus more on acquisition through quietening the annoying ‘teacher’ voice in my head pressuring me to go faster to beat the bell. It will also allow the class more opportunities to suggest/add more detail and personalise their class story to a greater level than is usually done! Then, I will hopefully have greater scope for creating embedded readings for the class to read post story creation. If you are interested in learning more about embedded readings, I highly recommend visiting Laurie’s comprehensive blog.

I am also planning to use an embedded reading with the 6/7 class but this one wasn’t so easy to create. The target structures are lupa (forgot), ingat (remember), kunci (key), cari (search) and ketemu (found). The best I have created so far is:

John mau pergi ke Adelaide.
Dimana kuncinya?
John cari dimana-mana.
John ketemu kuncinya di piano!

The main problem with this is the amount of unfamiliar language. We have covered lupa and ingat so far, so I just hope it isn’t expecting too much of the kids. In the embedded reading workshop, Laurie recommended pre-reading activities which gave me the idea of using the memory game to help with acquiring lupa & ingat! I have created a short PowerPoint containing a few tongue twisters Screen Shot 2020-08-12 at 11.17.46 amand memory game Screen Shot 2020-08-12 at 11.17.41 amimages from google.

Last lesson, I played the song version showing just the lyrics ( I save the band video till later to ensure the distraction of the band’s costumes and makeup doesn’t interfere with enjoying the song) and asked the students in pairs to choose a verse and then when it played, their group had to stand up and sing along. I was impressed at how well they actually did this!! In their next lesson I have planned to repeat this before again hitting ‘lupa’ & ‘ingat’ through stopping the song randomly and asking groups to sing the next line from memory! The going on a picnic concept might work too but I am still trying to come up with a phrase that will support students to stay in Indonesian. Maybe, “Saya ingat kata XXX.”

Not sure where I am heading yet with this class and this song. With previous classes,  recreating a video of the song was successfully done but it took so much work. This time I am thinking of using an app like video star (does it still exist?) where the students sing along to their verse but when it replays, they are just miming, and the original artists sound-track is all that is heard! Here is an idea of what it looks like! I think a project like this would be significantly easier to edit.

It seems odd to be posting about face to face teaching when the rest of the world is still largely teaching online. In most states of Australia, we have taught face to face through the entire pandemic. Was it stressful? Hell Yes! Still is actually; especially with the second wave now flowing through.  Please stay safe and look after yourself!

If you want to comment or share your ideas, I would truly appreciate hearing from you.

Shrinking Summaries & Dictogloss

Last holidays, I joined a class of (primary) Indonesian teachers for beginner Spanish lessons with the amazing Margarita Perez Garcia. We all shared a single aim from these lessons; to improve our own teaching practise through experiencing TPRS as learners. This was achieved while learning a totally new language (ie getting a a glimpse of the issues our own students experience) as well as gaining a deeper understanding of TPRS . Probably the single main point we all appreciated was that you can never hear target structure repetitions enough; every time Margarita circled, we lapped it up like thirsty animals at a pool of water.

This term I trialled several of the activities Margarita did with us. Two that worked incredibly well for middle primary students and totally complemented each other were ‘shrinking summary’ and ‘dictogloss’.

One thing Margarita emphasised was the power of reading. To use the class created story for reading whenever possible. Facilitating reading and rereading of the class story provides opportunities for bonus repetitions of not only vocabulary, but also grammar, word order, spelling etc. The benefits are endless for implicit learning through subtle teaching!! I began the lesson with a reading technique Margarita did with our class; the teacher reads out loud the story and whenever he/she stops at a word, the class say the next word. This was a great way of keeping their eyes glued to the text up on the screen because they had no idea where I was going to stop while also increasing their familiarity with their story’ written features.

Next using the grouping option on Class Dojo (how I love this tool), I paired the students up randomly. Each pair then was given a piece of paper and a pencil and together they had to identify 5 ONLY sentences from the projected story that could stand alone to summarise their story. These were then written them down on their sheet of paper exactly as they appeared on the screen. I encouraged pairs to work together; one reading and one writing.

From that, each pair next had to create and write ONE five word sentence to summarise the five sentences they had chosen before finishing off with pairs choosing one word from the sentence that in itself summarises the story. Thus pairs would finish with five sentences, one sentence and then finally one single word, each representing a shrinking summary! My 3/4 classes found this task incredibly challenging, especially those students with developing literacy skills. Thankfully the random pair generator tool on Class Dojo largely resulted in splitting up students of equal literacy skills. For the odd one that was not paired up with a more confident reader/writer, I was able to support them however they needed.

Dictogloss beautifully follows on from the creation of a shrinking summary because it requires students to retell the story. I created a grid of 6 squares, aiming to get six main story events. This worked out perfectly because it meant that students could draw upon the five sentences from their summary. Had I done this cold, ie without a recent shrinking summary process, I have no doubt my year 3/4’s would have baulked at a task such as this. In doing it this way, it differentiated beautifully. The majority of the class could draw upon the sentences we had focused on in the previous lesson while the ‘4 percenters’ had the opportunity to offer up extra details. If you look at the photo below, you can see that every student has a grid and a student is sitting at the computer. I had planned to write the story out myself on the board, but instead I impulsively asked my ‘tukang Komputer’ firstly if they wanted to do the typing and each one delightedly accepted. The beauty of this was that it freed me up to wander around the class while eliciting responses. It also provided an added bonus for a focus on spelling, punctuation and word order. AND, it also slowed me right down!!

Here is one created by a class tukang komputer. Note the ending! This was not the original class created ending! It came about through this task! I’ve just noticed the ‘s at the end!! Oops; a missed opportunity!!

Google Doodles; Indonesia

La Maestra Loca recently posted about a great Mexican game, Loteria, that is available through the Google Doodles Archive.  The game is a Mexican Spanish version of bingo. I throughly enjoyed playing the game and could see instantly how it would be a great brain break!! So naturally this led me on a journey to investigate the archive from my Indonesian perspective and discovered many languages are represented in the archive!

Most of the Indonesian google doodles are either static or with minimal animation (see the rafflesia one here) and offer no opportunity for interaction but here is one that could be a brain break idea:

  1. 37th Anniversary of Komodo National Park

google doodle

This one is entirely in English and is a quick true/false quiz about komodo dragons!

I can’t find any other interactive google doodles specifically about Indonesia and if you know of any, please comment below to add to the collection!

My 2020 Brain Break List has started…

Once school starts, I usually find it so hard to find decent brain breaks. Here are a few ideas I have found today that will be the beginning of my 2020 brain break ideas to try this year. If you try any or have one of your own that you can recommend, please add details/feedback in the comments below. I would truly appreciate it.

A variation of Buzz; 3,6,9 clap from ultimate camp resource In a circle, students one by one count upwards but on multiples of three, clap instead of say the number.

Catch the bunny from ultimate camp resource; two balls, one small and one large are passed around the circle. The small ball represents the bunny and the larger ball represents the farmer. The balls are passed around the circle until one person ends up with both balls representing the farmers catching up to the bunny. Obviously the aim of the game is to ensure the farmer does not catch the bunny!

Catch, don’t catch from ultimate camp resource; a person stands in the middle of the circle and before throwing the ball, says catch or don’t catch. The person receiving the ball has to do accordingly!

Category clapping game from ultimate camp resource; leader starts with a hand clapping rhythm and then to the beat of the hand clap states the category. The next person says something from that category to the beat of the clapping. The round ends when someone can’t suggest an idea. They suggest that this person is out, but in a class situation, I do not like to punish students who make a mistake. Instead, I look for ways in which to give them another go without encouraging others to also err. Category ideas could include American states, countries, animals, girls/boys names, plants, food.

Kitty wants a Corner game from ultimate camp resource; a circle game with one student, the kitty, in the middle of the circle. They kitty wants to join the circle. The kitty will ask those in the circle to swap places. The person asked can choose to swap (and become the new kitty) or not. If this person does not want to swap, they say “Ask my neighbour.” Meanwhile, behind the kitty’s back, students who make eye contact with each other can swap places. If the kitty cis quick enough, the kitty can jump into a vacated spot and the person in the middle becomes the new kitty.  To get all moving and changing seats, the centre person can call out ‘Kitty littter’!

Pass the Banana from Ultimate Camp Resource; students sit together in a tight circle with their knees up and their hands tucked under their legs. One person is in the middle and tries to locate the banana as everyone else is moving the banana secretly under their legs.

Laser Tag from Ultimate Camp Resource

Ah, Soh, Gi from Ultimate Camp Resource – I like the idea of this game but am not entirely taken with the three words. Wondering what a culturally sensitive substitute could be for the Indonesian classroom.

No /sir, Not I sir from youth group games; this game has lots of language potential and I can’t wait to try it. The phrase for this version of the game is ‘The prince of Paris has lost his hat and number _  has it” This could easily be adapted depending on the age of the students. It is a game of concentration and counting with the added complication of student numbers changing each time someone gets out. I also like that when students are out, they are still in the game. Follow the link above for the detailed instructions! I also love that they include ideas for making the game even more challenging!

Slap, Clap, Snap from ultimate camp resources; Assign everyone in the circle a number starting with one. Teach the slap, clap, snap rhythm and keep it going at a reasonable pace that matches the ability of the group. When the rhythm is set, starting with the person who is number one, they say their number each time they slap and clap however when they snap they say the number of another person. This continues until someone makes a mistake. when this happens, that person moves to the end of the line (ie next to number 1) and everyone not only shuffles up space wise, they also shuffle up numerically!

Food, Friends, Fireworks from Ultimate Camp Resources; this game is one I have used successfully in my classroom with target structures. The more exaggerated the action for each word, the better. Pairs stand back to back and count together to 3. On 3, they both jump around and instantly do the action they have decided. The goal is to do the same action. If they do, an air punch is done and if not, a ‘duh’ gentle slap to the forehead.

 

Five Finger Fling from Ever Active Schools – A great physical game that incorporates additional and subtraction.

Death Ball from Youth Group Games; a great sitting

 

Brain Gym ideas – from Ultimate Camp Resources. OMG these are so tricky!! https://youtu.be/39ma0PLhvHY

Clap, Snap, Stomp from ExpertVillage. Start with students standing in a circle. Begin by numbering off 1,2,3,1,2,3 all around the circle. Then go around the circle but this time replace the one with a clap. Repeat again replacing the 1 with a clap and the 2 with a snap. The third time around the circle, add in replacing the 3 with a stomp.

 

8 Things from Hoopla
Someone jumps into the middle of the circle. They are given a category of things to say 8 of. They say 8 things in that category as quickly as they can, with everyone shouting encouragement for each one and a round of applause at the end. It’s important that everyone enthusiastically supports every suggestion, this helps the group trust each other that ever offer will be supported. They are encouraged to say the first things that come to them, the game isn’t called 8 Right Things afterall! For instance:

Brian – Hi everyone I’m Brian
Everyone – Hi Brian!
Director – 8 types of holiday
Brian – Skiing!
Everyone – ONE!
Brian – Beach!
Everyone – TWO!
Brian – Safari!
Everyone – THREE!
Brian – Naked skinny dippinng holiday!
Everyone – FOUR!
Brian – Cheese museum holiday!
Everyone – FIVE!
Brian – Weston super mare!
Everyone – SIX!
Brian – Staycation!
Everyone – SEVEN!
Brian – Mountain climbing!
Everyone – EIGHT! Those were 8 things! (dance and applause).

 

Shakedown by ExpertVillage; a great counting backwards and movement activity.

Ikan Besar, Ikan kecil (Big Fish, Small Fish) by Improvencyclopedia; Students stand in a circle. One student starts by saying ikan besar and showing with their hands the length of a large fish. The next person either repeats both the phrase and the action or says. ikan kecil while showing with their hands the length of a small fish. If the latter is said, the direction around the circle changes. I love this idea purely because of the potential for any noun/adjective phrase to be used.

Chopsticks – Don’t even know where to start explaining the rules, so here is a video that explains it clearly and succinctly;

 

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!

Ide bagus – ICT

Watching presentations given on the World Language Teacher Summit, I have come across two ideas that have heaps of potential.

The first one was in Noah Geisel & Joe Dales presentation:
Screen Shot 2019-09-30 at 10.13.20 am.png

They demonstrated a web page where the background is effortlessly removed from a picture and can then be added to a variety of different backgrounds which would then lead to great discussions based around ‘dimana’ (where). The page is remove bg and it is incredibly intuitive.

  1.  upload a picScreen Shot 2019-09-30 at 10.18.12 am.png

 

2. Click edit and then choose background

Screen Shot 2019-09-30 at 10.21.23 am

 

 

3. make a slideshow of the various ones that could be appealing to students:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

4. There are several backgrounds available or you can add your own:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

The second idea is a website that Valentina shared during her presentation:Screen Shot 2019-09-30 at 10.13.40 am.png

Have a look at this link and think about how we could all create our own pictures using either real animals or animal props familiar to our students:  http://www.letsfindmomo.com

 

Enjoy…….

Ide Brain Break: Back to Back Challenge

 

I love brain breaks that can be adapted and ramped up. This both adds layers of challenge in ways that maintain students interest.

This video of a back to back challenge was not what I was expecting and that in itself led me to realise the potential of it.

I imagined it would be pairs yet instead it is the entire group linked together by their arms and working together to stand. This then would work if students firstly started in pairs to do the back to back challenge, screen-shot-2019-09-17-at-8.06.18-am-e1568673572806.png

then found another pair to combine with to again do the back to back challenge and so on until the group size limit has been achieved for the student cohort.

This video also demonstrates how the group work together to achieve the challenge. I think though another layer of challenge could be inviting the cohort to manage the entire process themselves!!

Combining Teaching and Study

Joy, oh joy, one of the topics I chose for this semester serendipitously follows on from Motivation, Cognition and Metacognition, the topic I enjoyed the most last semester! While that topic was compulsory, The Psychology of Learning & Instruction is my first optional choice. I had originally hoped to enrol in Introduction to SLA,  but like many others, it’s only available in first semester.

My first assignment for this topic is a study of learners thoughts while engaged in learning. To create a class of learners, I am teaching Indonesian to two 25 year olds. This will be as challenging for me as it will be for them. They have both studied Indonesian to year 12, and while that was 7 years ago, their Indonesian proficiency is far above most of my previous students (excepting you, Trees). They both are adjusting to a CI approach after traditionally learning Indonesian with me in primary school (pre-CI) and various teachers in high school. I though, am adjusting to working with a ‘class’ of learners who all have very sound vocabulary and grammar knowledge. Both learners also represent two types of students I struggle catering for simultaneously in lessons. One, E, represents the majority of students in that she enjoys the lessons and is progressing well due to excellent levels of focus, participation and self-regulation. My other learner, B, is a 4%-er. She is highly successful when challenged, yet is easily bored when not. How fabulous is it that I get the opportunity to study student thinking, focus on juggling two learner types we all have in our classrooms, while also stretching myself through teaching advanced Indonesian! Steep learning curve for all three of us!

I began my lesson with explaining briefly how CI works, but when B’s eyes started glazing over, I cut it short. Probably makes sense to just add snippets to each lesson as necessary. I then handed out a piece of A4 paper, asked them to fold it in four and then number each square and write their name in the middle. In square one, I asked them to list all languages they have learned over their lifetime. I then asked them to circle the one they are the most proficient in and underline the one they are least proficient in. I had hoped this would lead to a discussion about the best way to learn a language, but as again I could feel the interest level dropping, I again kept it brief. Again, I will revisit this when appropriate. In the second square, I asked them to draw a venn-diagram for the two languages identified in square one and then think about emotions involved with the learning of each. B’s diagram for Indonesian & latin represented a true 4%-er! IMG_0637

Here is E’s:IMG_0700.JPG

In the third square, I asked them to think of a maximum of 5 every day inanimate objects. This was in preparation for the first planned task; one word image. I decided to do the thinking here to help minimise the amount of English once the lesson started formally. In the final quarter, I wanted to both give them to access long term memory and in doing so, hopefully give them a feeling of success. I asked them to write the English translations for the top 10 + sudah/belum. Unfortunately this didn’t go quite to plan, as E mixed up a few which hopefully didn’t confirm her self-belief about her level of proficiency. However overall, they both enjoyed the opportunity to discuss formal/informal aspects of Indonesian language. Maybe the are all 4%ers!!

I then established a gesture for not understanding (hand moving over head) and ‘Slow Down’ (dribbling a basket ball), before introducing the language “Apa Bahasa Indonesianya” to help reduce English during lessons. In retrospect, this proved invaluable as they are so used to using English in lessons as is typical in the traditional language classroom. A huge shoutout to Daniel Dubois for this tip. I will be reflecting on Daniel’s skills more and more as my lessons progress, and not just for his impressive management of all learner types.

I opted not to start the lesson formally with card talk as my two learners know each other very well, (friends since year 3), and instead started with a one word image (OWI). The reason behind this was to have a neutral subject that neither had any foreknowledge  of and to encourage them to bounce off each other. Firstly, doing a OWI with just two people was tricky and thankfully one of the suggestions given was a ‘home run’. I went through a selection of OWI questions to flesh out the character. These included size, colour, name, kind/mean, wealthy/poor, likes/dislikes & motion. All except for likes/dislikes generated so much collaborative discussion. They bounced ideas off each other, I couldn’t keep up! I had planned to do a write and discuss but postponed it till the next lesson as there was so much detail and they kept working on the storyline in dribs and drabs; so I am looking forward to tomorrows lesson to see if we can remember all the suggestions that were thrown out there and incorporate them more smoothly into a piece of writing.

In reflection, I wish I had organised a secretaries book for B. She will benefit more with the duties of a secretary during lessons. Multi tasking will hopefully provide a challenge while also giving me time to check in with E more often. The squeaky wheel certainly does get more attention! The notes will also help us keep tabs on what they talk about during lessons and as I am writing now, I will also suggest that B uses the opposite page to record any thoughts/feelings about how she is learning to supplement the questionnaires I send them after the lessons.

I incorporated just one brain break and will try to include a few more now that I have more idea of what will work. It worked well!
Here it is:

Finger tips

Make an x with your arms with your palms facing you. Lock thumbs together. With your index finger, try to touch each finger tip on the opposite hand one by one. Repeat with opposite fingers and then proceed through all the different fingers.

Here are my ‘field notes’ for my first lesson:

  • When compelling, was engaged in task however as soon as that finished she began over thinking again.
  • My difficulty was keeping both B and E engaged while catering for their different ability/confidence levels.
  • Both thoroughly engaged while collaborating on aspects of the OWI. Most engaging were: the name (Jessy Jigsaw), the object (a jigsaw piece), kind/mean & rich/poor.
  • Highly engaged when they sparked off each other and collaborated together.
  • Down time provided time for over thinking.
  • Overcome B’s attitude that because she can understand the conversation, she is not being challenged.
  • Overcome frustration that learning can only happen when pen and paper are in one’s hand.
  • Tackle the belief that it is the teachers job to extend and challenge students.

And here are my reflections to help with planning my next lesson:

  • Need to limit the amount of unfamiliar vocabulary for E while also challenging B without stressing E.
  • invite B to explain grammar, artist/secretary (book), reading, translating,
  • invite B to put target words into a sentence
  • search a list of high frequency vocabulary for future vocabulary targets.
  • Be more vigilant of E’s efforts to stay in the loop and comprehending.
  • Exclamations – include them!

I need to focus on engagement and motivation for students with differing needs i.e. proficiency, challenge & similar needs i.e. performance and achievement anxiety.

Any feedback on my reflections will be greatly appreciated. Any suggestions or comments to help with either lesson planning or seeking ‘data’, would also be warmly received!

Self-Regulated Learning (SRL)

One of the many intriguing concepts I investigated last semester was self-regulation (also known as self directed learning). I love, love, love the idea of helping learners take on the responsibility of their own learning. For so long, I thought it was my job to help my learners self regulate and I now realise that this is so not helpful. The research seems clear that explicitly teaching self regulation is enormously beneficial yet I have wondered how it actually works for specialist subjects, especially those limited to single weekly lessons. If you are incorporating SRL (successfully or unsuccessfully) into language lessons, I would really appreciate your comments (please, please write below)! This post hopes to pull together the learning I have done to date and exploring how it could potentially be adapted into a CBLT classroom.

 

What is Self-Regulation? 

Zimmerman in his article, Investigating Self-Regulation and Motivation: Historical Background, Methodological Developments, and Future Prospects, says SRL research was initially concerned with discovering how students master their own learning processes. And, probably it still does!!

Here’s a quote from this article to begin unpacking SRL:

SRL is viewed as proactive (my bolding) processes that students use to acquire academic skill, such as setting goals, selecting and deploying strategies, and self-monitoring one’s effectiveness. (Zimmerman, 2008).

Cynthia White in her article, Language Learning Strategies in Independent Language Learning: An Overview (2008), explains that:

“self-directed learners have an understanding of how to deploy self-management strategies, know how they learn best, and have the necessary procedural skills to set up optimal learning conditions.”

 

Thus SRL is concerned primarily with metacognition (not academic ability), ie, thinking about thinking. For SRL, metacognition has individual students reflecting on how they best learn to pinpoint strategies needed for their successful learning. It then becomes each students’ responsibility to proactively employ these strategies during learning. Sounds like a dream doesn’t it?

 ‘Zones of Regulation’
While googling SRL for an assignment, I found a website called Zones Of Regulation. Leah Kuypers, an American OT, designed this curriculum “to help students identify their feelings and emotional reactions and learn sensory and perspective taking strategies that encourage better self-regulation”. There is so much here that really resonates with me for classroom use. Please note that the materials are copyrighted, but thankfully there are many blogs and images that provide snapshots to explain the main concepts.
I really love the concept of coloured coded zones representing the four main states of mind and that it can include a list of strategy suggestions for students to use to help them move from one zone to another for successful learning.

Apparently several Australian schools are implementing this program and if you teach at one, I’d love to know how it’s working.

The reason I am attracted to ‘Zones of Regulation’, as a possible way in which to embed SRL into CBLT lessons, is largely due to its succinctness and transferability across student ages. Incorporating explicit strategies to help facilitate smooth transitioning from quieter listening activities to active brain breaks (and visa versa) is very appealing.

As you can see in the first Zones image above, strategies that support students transitioning between the zones is negotiable and would thus vary significantly from a general classroom to a language classroom. My overall goal when first establishing the list of strategies would be to ensure students understand the importance of learners remaining in the Indonesian classroom and that all strategies must be silent and unobtrusive to avoid interfering with the learning of others.

Here is a terrific video to watch where Leah Kuypers talks about the Zones framework. She makes many great points.
Note to Australians, I recommend speeding up the speech rate. Go to settings, then playback speed and choosing a faster rate. Makes it so much more appealing.

 

A huge thank you to Laura Wimsett & Penny Coutas for their contribution to this discussion on the TCI/TPRS Indonesian Facebook page.