Last week was a pretty good week, but I noticed that I had a pretty strong habit of blurting emerging in about four of the six classes I teach.  I don’t address blurting directly in my classroom rules, but hint at it indirectly, so today I decided to directly address it through having the students talk to me about tagging.

By tagging, I don’t mean the Facebook practice of labeling photos, but rather the graffiti practice of spray painting initials, sayings, etc. around on other things.  I asked them the following questions:

Why do people do tagging? (To mark their territory, make a statement, be noticed, express themselves, etc.)

Is tagging vandalism or art? (Answers both ways, mostly depending on permission).

After a fairly lively discussion on these points, I then pointed out to them that for me, blurting out answers or comments in English is a form of verbal tagging.  I’m up here trying to paint a mural for them in German using words, and if you come in making your comments to mark your territory or appear clever without doing the work of putting it in German, it’s like spray painting all over what I’m trying to do.

I was also quick to point out that I find some responses very clever–just like a work of art–and they amuse me to no end.  But if the comment is in English, it is somebody tagging my German mural rather than becoming a part of it.

I don’t know how well this will stick, but the metaphor works for me, and it’s how I’m going to whack at this particular mole this semester.


2 responses to “Tagging

  1. I really like this analogy. I think that I will use it if this starts to happen.


  2. Nathan, I love this image. I am going trot this out as needed. I am currently working on your word recognition inventory in French. Thanks for sharing your thoughts – so useful!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s