During my prep period today, a 4th grade student passed me in the hall.
“¡Hola profe!” he said. We chatted in Spanish for a bit and then I asked, “¿Adónde vas? Al baño o a clase?”
“¡Al baño, profe! ¡Adios!” and then headed to the bathroom beaming with pride.
This is why I teach using Comprehensible Input. “Being successful” is no longer defined by your ability to memorize vocabulary or conjugation patterns. It turns into a game. By making the experience engaging and comprehensible, students feel empowered to TRY and make mistakes.
For those kiddos who really struggle academically or socially, this is huge. Giving them a learning experience that sets them up for success gives them confidence that will (hopefully) carry over into other parts of their lives.
I refuse to play the part of the omniscient teacher. I am a coach that is committed to providing a comprehensible experience in a new language for my students. When I make mistakes, I walk my students through how to fix them. When I don’t know a word, I model the process of how to look up a vocabulary word in an online dictionary.
…and I also enjoy helping my students tell their own unique stories about Señor Gato who apparently is the head of a group of malicious kitties that cause trouble in Cotton Candy Land. This is probably my favorite part. Talking about cats. All day, every day