Wednesday, August 7, 2013

First full day of instruction--2nd year

Second year, for me, is a continuation of the TPRS used in the first year.  Our students that continue into the second year have a grasp of pretty much all of the vocabulary used in first year (we use LICT).  We had excellent first year teachers in Peggy Patterson, now in Ecuador, and Jeanette Apaez.  When the students come to me, I can start right in, and I can be sure that 90% of them will be with me all the way. 

However, there are always transfer students and students who aren't in that 90%.  Therefore, I go slowly and carefully during the first days (and afterwards, too, of course!  Slow and steady wins the race--and assures acquisition).  I start by simply making a story.

There is a girl.  Her name is Gwendolyn.  Class, is there a girl?  What is her name?  Where does she live?  Is she tall or short?  What color is her hair?  What color are her eyes, etc.

Gwendolyn likes lots of things.  What does she like?  Get 2 things and then ask "What does she like more--apples or swimming?  Does she like anything more than swimming?  Flying?  Is there anything strange that she likes?  Swimming with seals?  Where does she go to swim with seals?  I ask for volunteers to give the answers.  Candy helps. 

After we have the basics of the start of a story, I go into story mode.

There was a girl named Gwendolyn.  She liked to swim with seals at the beach.  Class, which beach did she go to?  She really liked to go to San Diego.  One day, she went to swim with the seals, when--oh no!! Class, what happened to Gwendolyn in San Diego?  You get different responses and either go for the best idea or ask the students which was right.  That's right, there were no seals in San Diego!!  Class, why weren't there any seals in San Diego?  Options.  Wow, all the seals were visiting Mexico!  So what did Gwendolyn do?  Oh, she went to Mexico.

After that, we retell the story.  There was a girl named ___________.  She liked to __________.  She swam at the beach in ________________.  She always swam with _______________.  One day, she went to San Diego to _______________, and, oh no!! _________________!  etc.  This is done orally.

After the retell, time permitting, the students can either do a CLOZE retell in the 3rd person (same story) or retell the story to each other.

So, that's what I do in the first days.  Any questions?  Comment!!


  1. do you write the story line by line or do you just say it orally? Do you put it on the board? Thanks.

  2. I ask the story orally first. Class, there is a boy. What is the boy's name? Where does he live? Etc.

    After that, I get volunteers to tell me what happened, line by line. I write it on the board as they say it to me, and we correct as needed.


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