One issue that makes Choral Translation boring is the slow, drudging nature of translating word for word. When overused, you can actually hear students dropping out of unison responses. Rather than pulling the “c’mon, guys” pep talk that fails nearly every time, try Fill-In Choral Translation instead…
Just translate aloud, yourself, and signal when you want students to fill in a word or two. That’s it!
I’ve observed that students attend to meaning a bit more since they don’t know when you’ll ask them to supply a word. Therefore, this strategy is good for keeping students a bit more engaged throughout the process, which isn’t a fun process to begin with, but suuuuuuper helpful in the beginning, or anytime you need to process longer sentences as a class. I think of this strategy as a variation of the annotation tasks I got from Jon Cowart:
When reading, have students draw circles, lines, etc. to annotate something as you go. This could be anything on the spot (e.g. “circle what Sulie wants,” or “underline all the words in this paragraph that take place in the past”). Use to keep students focused, then collect these to get a score for the gradebook representing who was receiving input. If a student left the room, especially for a longer time, they simply weren’t receiving CI. The gradebook can reflect how much class they’re missing, whereas some grading systems allow kids completing assignments at home, yet messing with class to earn credit.