I came back from the ACTFL 14 conference early this morning and muttered my way to school some hours later. I was feeling pretty exhausted by period 6, but one of my students came running up to me and gave me energy to burn.
Robin, a first-year student, couldn’t wait to tell me her story. She had been at church yesterday, and someone asked her to talk with a Russian man for the 45 minutes until his interpreter arrived. There was one other person who was studying Russian through an on-line program, but she said he didn’t know very much. The Russian knew only one word in English: “Good,” so Robin launched into introductions and started talking with him and telling about herself. She was delighted to realize that she could communicate. She didn’t remember everything they talked about, but she was even able to tell him that the brother of a friend had made the pecan pie. (I guess retelling the story of the video of Masha and the bear making wontons came in handy after all.)
Right after Robin told the whole class the same story, I pulled up the “Can-Do” statements and we talked about everything she’d been able to demonstrate. I’m wondering whether the fact that we had used them this year made her less fearful about talking. She kept saying how much fun it was to talk with a real Russian, “no offense to you [to me, the teacher]. It really works!”
More later. I’m going to sleep!