Adaptations of TPRS/CI/MT

I’m settling into a routine now in my beginner and intermediate classes with MovieTalk. I am reserving about half an hour for each of those groups daily with MovieTalk. I narrate the story with the sound turned off, if appropriate. During the narration, I circle words I know that I’m using for the first time, as well as ask mostly yes/no and either/or questions about what’s going on, or what is going to happen. I also ask who/what/where/why questions.

The kids ask me questions if they hear things they don’t understand. Today I said, “The bear goes upstairs and lies down to sleep.” It required several structures they hadn’t heard, but the one that one kid tuned in on was “to sleep.” “Why did you say spat’? What happened to speet?” Luckily, we had done some reading in which infinitives had shown up, and we’d talked about those endings, so I asked him to translate two sentences: “The bear is sleeping,” and “The bear wants to sleep.” He did it with no trouble. “To sleep” was all I needed to say, and launched back into the narration. (I found it funny that he ignored the brand-new “ascends the staircase,” and “lies down to sleep.” Evidently he understood those, and just focused on the change in the word he could produce.)

Then I either lead the kids in a dictation about the story, or I write up what happened so far after class. We do pictures and maybe a retell, or maybe not, but they get some chance to read and/or hear the information again. It’s not possible to write up everything that happens and everything I talk about in even a six-minute piece of film, so I stick to the basics.

Outside of that, we are telling stories about classmates, their weekends, their lives, reading about those, and it’s all starting to come together. The high frequency words are always in use. The grammar points come up over and over again. I probably point out four or five grammar points every day, even if I’m not really organized about it. That’s another thing that I’m going to improve sometime. Maybe.


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