Watching Annick Chen

I am at iFLT, watching Annick teach Chinese to an elementary group. The first thing that hit me was that she has spent almost an hour teaching the rules. Her four rules are:
1. Hands on lap, eyes on teacher.
2. No repeating after the teacher.
3. Say “Oh!”
4. Say (“Oh, no!”).

She worked a lot of phrases in during that hour, including greetings for friends, talking about who is good or very good, clapping hands, or, not, everybody, hi everybody, and thank you/you’re welcome. She’s also used numbers for voting.

Every time a child breaks a rule, she says, “You broke rule X,” and she repeats the rule.

She announced that the “real” lesson has started now. She’s teaching stand up/sit down with very cute gestures. She has the kids use sound effects intermittently for those two, meanwhile adding quickly and slowly.

She does lots of congratulations/high fives. Now she has just had kids do a comprehension check, gesturing all the words so far.

I dropped it. Sorry. Too much going on here. This afternoon, I got to hear the amazing Jim Tripp explain how to do podcasts on Garage Band. Now I finally understand how to make them work to provide lots of CI. I will share some of that in a later post if I can, but the key is that the teacher or a native speaker records the class stories, and the kids provide the sound effects and the pictures. Talk about having to listen to the CI repetitively!

Put iFLT on your calendar for two years from now. The chance to watch real teachers figure out how to teach children whose levels they don’t know because it is for them the first day ever is priceless. Kudos to the wizards who are putting on this conference. And everlasting thanks to the teachers who are putting themselves on the line, teaching those classes in front of an audience of 20 colleagues that they may have never met. This works.

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