Reading and repetition

In my advanced class, we’re still reading fairy tales. Today it was the Russian take on the three bears. I was reminded how everyone likes to read stories they know, and the Scaffolding Literacy system works well here. First we looked at the pictures for a given section and talked about them (in the way that I’ve learned from MovieTalk!). Then I part read, part told the story to the students, asking them to predict what was going to happen. Of course, they all knew. Then we read the story together. There were only a few new words, so we could move fast, but I relearned the lesson that the more people know before they read, the better! It reduces their anxiety and lets them have fun.

We used the same system to re-read part of a chapter with the adult class last night. I always think people are going to be bored by re-reading, but when they’re learning a language, they’re happy to re-read because each time the language starts making more sense.

Why do I have to keep repeating this? I feel as though I should know it by now!

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2 responses to “Reading and repetition

  1. This totally makes sense. How you evolve into this process? I am asking because, as a relative newbie (2 years for me but I have to remember it is brand new to my students) I have trouble getting this vibe in my class. Just the other day I was doing a very short reading (embedded / extended reading from a class story) and as soon as it popped up on the screen the kids said “We already did this!” It was rather deflating because I was looking forward to their successful reading and having fun with the new twists that were in that version. Obviously it is a “class climate” issue but it is hard nonetheless. Do you (or did you) ever explain why you read the way you do? I don’t know if that would help or not.

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    • Hi Jen,
      It turns out that the more I explain, the better things go. I don’t explain every day, but when things go badly, it’s sometimes because the kids don’t know what in the world we’re doing, or why we’re doing it. When I tell them the “science” behind our activities, sometimes they’re even able to adapt what we do to their other classes.

      Today I had to stop and remind one group that our March Madness game may be fun, but that the point is to have fun in Russian, not just to get crazy. They usually respect the fact that I’m learning and trying out ideas that are backed by research, in order to help them learn more efficiently.

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