Connections

I heard a webinar by Bill VanPatten yesterday. As in the earlier videos that I’ve mentioned in this space, he discussed “mental representation,” in which the mind maps out connections as it comprehends language. “Sees” would connect to other forms of “see,” as well as to things one might see or watch. Then other language and forms that connect to the existing ones get connected Screen Shot 2014-11-14 at 2.11.39 PM.

I was thinking about this between classes today. First-year has been learning songs all year, and my first-year kids are bursting out with entire random sentences whenever they can. We have been learning the song “Antoshka,” in which a kid refuses to dig potatoes or play on the accordion, but is ready to eat something. Yesterday, we had a conversation about the reason one student in class was cold and another was warm (wearing shorts vs a down jacket to class). We’re also in the middle of the Russian version of “Stone Soup.” Today we watched the little video that goes with the song for the first time. I was doing a version of MovieTalk with them, discussing what we saw the boy doing, wearing, and what was in the picture. I was surprised and happy that we could label the clothing the boy had on, report the fact that he wanted to eat some soup and identify the pot on the table (both from the story), and discuss the weather in the picture (clear and sunny, like our current local weather). They didn’t keep one set of vocabulary in their minds, using only that for the song. It all connected. We could probably connect this little song video to almost everything we’ve done this year: there are body parts, people looking happy and sad, kids who live in Russia, and different hair types. The Young Pioneers are not at school, but are working in their free time while one isn’t working. We could discuss whether it’s a holiday or a weekend, what time of year it is, and what the boy hoped would be in his bowl versus what he found there. I could go on and on.

OOPS. We have Second Friday CI in short order. I will let you know what Martina teaches us! Any lofty conclusions have to wait.

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