I’ve been south for several days with family, and then got to spend Saturday with a bunch of teachers in Kitsap County, talking about Embedded Reading. I was part-way through a demo that used MovieTalk with an Embedded Reading, and one of the teachers who was new to Comprehensible Input said, “I could learn a language if it were taught this way!”
Then I came back to class this morning, and started talking about the same movie I’d shown the teachers. The kids and I retold the story, and I was surprised to remember how well they remembered the plot. Actually, I was also surprised to realize how well they remembered the vocabulary. They were completely focused and watching and listening to me again.
I need to stay slow. I don’t need to rush through anything, be it a MovieTalk session, a reading, or a discussion. As long as we’re speaking Russian, there is language to pick up, and as long as I’m limiting the breadth of the vocabulary to what is known or what is visible in the picture or scene, there are structures that the students can be picking up. Too often, I think that kids are bored if I go slowly or repeat stories. What is more often the case is that they get bored when they don’t understand, and they drift off, out of the zone where language can reach them.