Thursday, October 29, 2009

How do you say 'influenza' or whatever it was I had in Japanese?

After 3 days battling what may have been the flu (I say may have been because although I suffered, I think the flu would have been much worse), I have recovered enough to be able to update my blog.

Before I begin, I should mention that most of what I say in Friday’s post will resemble quite a bit, if not perfectly, Monday’s post since I use the same textbook and activities in both.

I started this class by passing back their review quizzes, and then I reminded them about the absentee slip and the deadline for submission. I then had them do the review test for last week, and I followed that with the word stress. I was quite sore from the past weekend playing sports with students at an extracurricular event that I was not really able to stomp along with them, but chose different students to stomp out the stress and had the classmates repeat.

I then started the chapter in the same way as Friday walking around complimenting people on things, then asking them to write down as many things as possible that we can compliment someone on. At 9h45 I had them come up and write their answers on the board. Many of the students had used more tangible examples such as possessions, so I gave some different examples such as cooking or language to illustrate the intangibleness of what can be complimented on.

Next, I told them to keep their books closes, and I dictated these questions to them.

What are they talking about?
Who gave it to her?
Why did they give it to her?

There were only three questions because unfortunately, the dialogues in the textbook are rather short. Once they were finished I asked individual students for the questions to make sure they were OK before we listened. I then played the CD twice and took their answers orally. After that, I told them to practice the conversation four times before moving on.

The last activity of the day was the same one I had tried to do in Friday’s class, but ended up assigning as homework. I realize now that this activity does take a lot of time and maybe even too much time. The first part, the dictation, did not seem to take them too long to complete, but putting together the five conversations was very time consuming for many, and if I had not told them to stop so we could correct as a group, we would not have been able to finish on time. As I had wrote in Friday’s post, I gave them an example in the hope that it would clarify things, but it may only have done so slightly, although I may be too hard on myself because when I was walking around observing, many students seemed to know what to do; it was just that putting together the puzzle with so many pieces proved more challenging than anticipated. I think the task though, still has potential and that it may be better in the future to modify this activity, maybe reduce the number of dialogues, or practice some dialogues first, let them get the idea of the conversation pattern in their heads, and then let them try, and see if that helps them work through the task better.

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