Despite the obvious physical barrier, teaching CI online is not very different from the brick and mortar setting (e.g. use words students know, establish meaning of new ones, talk about compelling things, don’t force speech too early, etc.). The format for online teaching, however, typically involves an element of asynchronous “independent work” that most closely resembles traditional drill and worksheet exercises, which we know does very little, if anything for language acquisition.
If students must do something on their own, they should be reading. The problem with most language courses is finding appropriately leveled reading material, let alone that which is compelling to read. One solution is using a Google Add-On (autoCrat) to give some personalization to a story you’ve typed up. Think of the process as an automated virtual individualized TPRS-like story-asking.
It’s probably best to see how this works, so click here, then check your email in a few minutes. That’s pretty cool, eh? If nothing happened, try again but use an email address that isn’t set to forward).
Each student will receive the same story your wrote only with slightly different details. While each student only gets one story, you can see all of them in a specified folder in Drive. Use these in class to compare details, invite students to read each others’, or assign other activities. You could also choose not to commit readacide, and simply provide them with some understandable Latin to read.
Be advised, this is not low-prep, and will get old if you use the same story template over and over…so don’t do that. Keep them short and familiar to students (e.g. if you notice that students choose similar details in each story, consider writing them into the next one in order to engage them a bit more with the content). This is just the START of what technology like autoCrat can do for teaching CI online. I’ve created instructions on how to accomplish this.
All of the documents you’ll need to use autoCrat are in this folder; I suggest beginning with the Instructions.