I have been busy in good way lately. I am now offering French online tutoring on Verbling and I get to meet new learners from all around the world with different needs. It has been a steep learning curve for me to try to facilitate comprehensible input at different levels and needs but it has also been a great source of joy and accomplishment. In an effort to provide meaningful resources for my learners to keep acquiring French outside of my sessions, my Dear Man and I have been making short videos with comprehensible French stories. Videos are uploaded on my YouTube channel every Tuesday and so since today is Tuesday, here is a video about problems at the hotel:
It is another adventure to script, shoot and upload those videos but it is exciting and I got positive reviews from my learners who enjoy watching the stories unfold. Sometimes the videos are even inspired by my learners’ own invented stories, so it is even more enjoyable for them to watch!
In January, I also had the opportunity to substitute the Spanish teacher at my school which gave me the chance to experience the pure comprehensible approach firsthand. I was so excited to try the Invisibles by Ben Slavic where learners invent a character from scratch and they draw a story line around the character. It was so much fun and for the first time I could see learners being captivated by the content and not the form. I would literally let the story flow and we ended up my 3 weeks of substitutions with Cro, the panda who goes to space to make a music video, Rafael, the Penguin who travels to Africa to see his brother, Susan who is scared of Playmobils and a giant cat called Viktor who lives in Siberia and gets married to a mouse!
I also got to try out story listening with a whole class and grade 11 especially enjoyed my weekly Spanish tales and stories. It was truly enlightening to watch learners “get deeply but effortlessly involved in a story”. It also took a lot of energy. I had to facilitate Spanish all the time, for a whole lesson! Fortunately the amazing brain breaks from Annabelle Allen were giving me (and my learners) much needed pauses. For the first time in my teaching career, I could feel my learners were acquiring a lot of Spanish.
Language acquisition was really happening!
What about you? What have you experienced so far this year?