Sunday, February 24, 2013

To act or not to act

This is the first in a series of posts (I think) that talk about alternatives to acted stories.  To begin, I'm not in any way saying that I disagree with the importance of using actors to build interest, get repetition, and use different part of speech.  I'm simply saying that while many are successful using actors, I believe that many are not.  I would go so far as to suggest that one reason some people wander away from TPRS is the feeling that they can't be successful using PQA and actors, so TPRS can't be for them.  I strongly disagree, and I think that the people who advocate for acting and PQA would agree with me.  However, there is really nothing given for them to help them other than the suggestion to try it again until it works.  Again, I'm not saying that this advice isn't wonderful.  But if you are new at something or if you aren't new but have tried it and found that it doesn't work for you, then maybe there should be alternatives.

I have asked both on "La sirena baila" and on the Morelist for teachers who no longer use actors to come forward and tell me what they do instead.  I'm asking here, too.  I would like to share my responses with all of you--maybe you can get some fresh inspiration even if you do use actors--we all have those days when it just seems too much.

I've already spoken at length about my own experiences with actors on "Have you considered" To recap just a little, since I have a class that has discipline problems pretty consistently, I have gone away from acting.  Instead, I use storyboards, cartoons, short short stories, legends and other things to keep attention instead of having actors.  I can still go into other persons and tenses.  I often tell a story in the present tense and then work on it again whole class in the yo-form past tense.  Lots of good work on both imperfect and preterit there as well as él to yo, ellos to nosotros.  I can also bring in "t ú by asking PQA about the vocab first.

In the coming posts, I'll talk about using books as vocab and using PQA primarily instead of stories.  I'm open to your stories, too.  In fact, I crave them. We're all made better by sharing others' experiences.

If you can't respond in the comments line, PLEASE respond by email: with what you do instead of using actors.

Also, if you have any areas that you would like to discuss that are problematic for you, please include them as well.

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