Discussion Points

  1. Drills vs. Communication task
  1. What purpose do the assignments I give really serve?
  1. communication tasks allow students to give real answers rather than try to formulate a fake answer to meet the need of a grammar topic
  1. a question --- How to include MORE communication tasks?
  1. PQA - individual, class, partners? Does this fall into the question and answer trap?
  1. an answer: Maybe, sometimes. I think the question becomes how this is used (What is your purpose!!!)
  1. teacher asks questions and kids answer (trap)
  2. teacher asks questions, kids answer, story developes (not trap)
  1. story listening/TPRS?
  2. Purpose-based: QR code “monster hunt” dictatio that describes a creature students then get to guess
  1. Defining communication (leave open for Chapter 2)
  1. is it just question and answers (as many instructors fall into?)
  1. p. 4 “teaching materials support the notion that communication = question & answer.” Worth noting that teaching materials tend to shape teacher understanding, and those that purport to be communicative generally aren’t.
  1. key - communication is negotiating meaning (see important definitions)
  1. Interaction 3 -- clarifying meaning with ESOL students creates discussion and allows students to express themselves and their thoughts.
  1. a question --- do our own students get caught in L1 trying to express themselves? Do they freeze thinking they should be able to say something when their inner language rules aren’t ready? How can we build confidence and allow students to communicate in a way they know and are comfortable with?
    Answer?: BVP recently discussed this in one of the episodes I listened to. What gets kids stuck is asking them to output at a level they are not yet ready for. It is better to structure questions that are at their proficiency level. In Latin I and II it should probably be yes/no, either/or questions as much as possible. Students who can produce more will do so on their own, but students are less likely to be frozen.
  1. Importance of comprehensible input
  1. p. 7 Mackey experiment. Interactive vs observational: observation has no purpose, so its efficacy was limited compared to the improvements of students who were communicating to perform tasks. That said, observation was four times more effective than traditional instruction (the control group).
  2. Lee emphasizes that CI is effective but there should be interaction and production for students to learn production skills. This is written in 2000 and I believe a lot of that has shifted towards allowing students to produce in their own time.
  3. I personally feel that purpose and task-based teaching serve to make sure that students are focused on something other than the language so I am looking to add that to my CI thought-process.
  4. a question --- how do we find balance between teacher input and communication tasks?
  1. TPRS and PQA?
  2. Dictationes
  3. limit, limit, limit vocabulary
  1. Negotiations
  1. some suggest it is an aside, a response to problems in comprehension
  2. is it, rather, a principle piece to communication?
  3. Examples:
  1. I negotiate meaning when I am intrigued in a conversation and want more info than is given (compelling)
  2. I negotiate meaning when I am pulling details from students about experiences and stories (compelling/comprehension)
  3. I negotiate meaning when I tell stories with my students, asking for details and thoughts on characters and plots (compelling/comprehension)
  4. I negotiate meaning when making appointments, holding debates, etc. (comprehension)

Important Definitions:

  1. Communication: expression, interpretation, and negotiation of meaning.
  1. Has added purpose to this definition since the writing of this book (TeawithBVP 12/8/16):
  1. to learn something
  2. to build something
  3. to create something
  4. to socialize
  5. to entertain
  1. Negotiating Meaning: interactions during which speakers come to terms, reach an agreement, resolve a problem, etc.; the purpose of language use is to accomplish some task rather than to practice any particular language forms.
  1. source of task focus in communicative teaching
  2. represents the coming together of two minds for a purpose—language is secondary
  1. Behaviour and  Audio-lingual
  1. habits formed by memorisation and no errors
  2. theory that language is based on mental habits (instead of the mental map of linguistic structure BVP discusses)