Comprehension checks

Susie offered this advice for what to do when someone new comes into a class on the moreTPRS board. I am personally grateful for the reminder about doing comprehension checks. I’m certain I don’t do one a minute.

“Go ahead and teach whatever you need to teach, but slow it waaaaaaay down, and ask someone to translate every minute or so. Use all forms of comprehension checks:
What did I just say?
What did I just ask?
Which word meant “they have to”?
What does “bailar” mean?

Don’t use all of those questions at the same time, but do at least one of them every minute! As you get an answer to the comprehension check, LOOK at the new kid and repeat the correct answer just as if the student you asked gave the perfect answer. Just make the new kid comprehend what is being said. PERIOD. By slowing down and making your students translate perfectly every single minute, you will discover that all of your students will sharpen their language skills.”

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2 responses to “Comprehension checks

  1. Thanks for posting this! I just got a new student yesterday (!!!) in Spanish I, and his old teacher would park them in front of worksheets all day.

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    • Hah! I knew someone else would be having this situation!!

      I had a beginner stay on for my intermediate parent class last night. What I notice, and tell the others, is that the result of slowing down for a beginner is very fast speech from the rest of the class. Indeed, one of my more advanced ladies was just spilling Russian all night. The other students even commented on it, asking how long she’d studied with me. Two years, once a week. Not much.

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