I was just looking at my upcoming structures for the intermediates and advanced. Two of them are “house” and “year.” Earlier I wouldn’t have really known how to get to those at the higher level, but now, thanks to Michael Miller (see two days ago or so), I have some great ideas. First, I can ask kids to draw or just envision their real/imaginary house/home, and talk about what those are. Then we can talk about what’s in a kid’s house/home, and who’s in that house (thus covering three different forms of “house”), and finally we can talk about what is in a typical Russian house. In Russian, the word that translates as house/home is also “building,” because most people live in an apartment, and that means that there is a longer phrase for a home that is in a house.
And the same for “year.” I might have to think about that a little more…maybe what do people do at various times in life…I am very excited to realize how I can “use” Michael’s plan.
Here are some random notes from the session I took from him:
“Message matters more than structure.”
Talk about places the kids like to eat, rather than “there was a girl…”
Use teacher talk to get more personal, have a real-world discussion about culture, and to have more fun with the kids. (Don’t abandon storytelling, but spend more time in this “first gear.”)
In first-year classes, do more of the who/what/when/where/what color/how many/yes-no questions. Later ask how/why/did you…/will you…/would you…
Funny is not the goal. The goal is to be interesting and interested.
Wish I could link to his class videos. They were awesome. The kids were right on task, and Michael was buzzing around the room. I wanted to be one of them!