Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Guten Morgen Frau Wylie!

You know when it's going well, when your students shout at you in the TL from all angles as they are passing!  This is the language I love!  I also love the language you hear when you least expect it in lessons.  For example, something last lesson made of one my Year 7 pupils say under his breath: 'Das ist nicht fair!".  I giggled inside because I wondered if he had realised he was complaining in German?  When it becomes normality to speak in German in a German lesson and French in a French one, you've got it.  If they are speaking with each other in the TL, that's even better.

Along with all my routines in my lessons, their own use of spontaneous language is rewarded by the giving of small sticky dots, which they collect on a grid in the back of their books.  Once they have 5, they can claim a merit.  There is usually a race at the start of the lesson for someone to ask 'Darf ich meinen Blazer ausziehen?' before anyone else, because they know that copying someone else saying it won't cut the mustard; it has to be spontaneous.  I know it isn't completely spontaneous, but it has that feel of real communication for the sake of actually needing to communicate, rather than learning the words needed for the lesson objectives, then switching to English for the general running of the lesson, which is, in my opinion more false!  It's all about creating the right atmosphere, or as my wonderful and inspiring ex PGCE tutor, James Burch used to say, it's about 'suspending reality'.

Come to think of it, I should be rewarding them for shouting at me in German in the corridor; this is the ultimate example of spontaneous TL.  Pass me the sticky dots...


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