Video Study Group wrapup

Yesterday we had our final video study group meeting of this year and I’m looking forward to how this will help me going forward next year.  The video itself didn’t work out this time, so we spent our time reviewing and discussing Laurie’s facets of embedded readings, followed by looking at her great choose your own adventure powerpoint.  One group member who teaches three section of Spanish I noted that having students in each section develop different parts of a given embedded reading would really be helpful in not only adding variety to her sections but in building a compelling storyline.

One thing that Carla reminded me of was that Laurie’s first embedded reading were based on student writings instead of entirely self-generated, and after all I did with writing in my class this year, I think I could use them as a useful follow-up to reading novels.  My upper level students complained incessantly towards the end of the year that they didn’t care so much for my novel selection, and I never found a method of doing parallel stories that really satisfied me.  I wonder if I could use the first levels of embedded readings to more or less recap those stories: have students write up summaries for me as well as variations.  Then after reading the first couple of levels that basically recap the basic story, I could trot out several different level three and four embedded stories for a) increased repetition, and b) finding ways for them to give the stories their own flavor.

Finally, and something I’m going to spin out further in an upcoming blog post, Carla is starting to organize a PQA wiki that would allow us to work together in coming up with power approaches to creating PQA for specific vocabulary words.  We brainstormed a few possibilities together with some nice results.  I’m looking forward to seeing how this will turn out.

2 responses to “Video Study Group wrapup

  1. In one of our TPRS classes, I asked people to develop what I called “leading questions” to get into PQA, and then never really used them effectively myself, though I always meant to. I found our examples on our Alaska Ning. (There was a lot more to each lesson plan, but I suddenly thought of the PQA part, reading your post.)

    Here is one, from Marcia Myers:
    Russian 2, first paragraph of El Nuevo Houdini
    Three words:
    говорит: speaks
    по Фэйсбуку: on Facebook
    с друзьями: with friends

    Before class–three leading questions:
    1. How do you talk with your friends when you’re apart?
    2. Do you like to use Facebook or to text more? Who do you Facebook with?
    3. What’s the funniest/weirdest person Facebook has suggested to you? Who would you like to Facebook with?

    Here’s one from Martina Bex:

    Key Vocabulary:
    se sienta: sits down
    se levanta: gets up
    le grita: yells at him/her

    Leading Questions:
    1. Where is your favorite place to sit in the whole world?
    2. Who bosses you around?
    3. What do you do when someone yells at you?

    And one from Lucy Woofter:

    Three structures:
    1. war – was
    2. denn – because
    3. hatte – had

    Leading questions:

    1. Wo war deine Mutter am Montag? Where was your mother on Monday?
    2. Wo war deine Lehrerin am Freitag? Where was your teacher on Friday?
    3. Was hatte deine Mutter zum Frühstück? What did your mother eat for breakfast?
    4. Warum essen wir? Denn wir sind hungrig. Why do we eat? Because we are hungry!
    5. Warum schlafen wir? Denn wir müde sind. Why do we sleep? Because we are tired.
    6. Warum trinken wir? Denn wir dürstig sind. Why do we drink? Because we are thirsty.


    • Well, there’s a jumpstart right there. Thanks so much. I love the one from Marcia, because I don’t think I have leveraged Facebook nearly as much as I need to in class.

      This Monday during the last week of school (finished yesterday!) everyone was completely dragging and just challenging me to teach them something. You know in the “You can’t be serious” vein. But they forgot that they were supposed to be entitled when we started talking about “invitations” (Do you get them over facebook or real ones? Which do you prefer? and “sending” (What do you send a boy/girl that you really like?). It turns out that boys send cars, chocolate, and Justin Bieber singing telegrams. Girls don’t send anything; that’s the boy’s job. We just started rolling and all was well in the world. Good PQA is really a game changer.


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