At iFLT 2019, Martina Bex presented on content-based instruction (CBI), only with an important caveat you’d expect from the conference: a focus on comprehension, hence CCBI. I was delighted to see how similar her three steps were to the framework I’ve been developing with John Bracey, David Maust, and John Piazza, which we presented at ACL’s Centennial Institute. Martina uses slightly different terms taken from Bloom’s Taxonomy to describe the same process we’re using (hers on the left, ours on the right):
Knowledge = Connect
Comprehension = Explore
Analysis/Synthesize = Create
Martina’s presentation showed how simple the process can be, making the concept of teaching Roman content in Latin more approachable. How? The format she shared was for a single class. Of course, the idea is not to teach random new content every day, but instead to have each day’s content within a larger unit, but still, this “bite-sized” approach feels more manageable for anyone looking to teach content in the target language. So how does that differ from the unit template the John’s and I shared at ACL?
Following Carol Gaab, and M & M (i.e. Mira Canion & Martina Bex), here’s a quick post on how I’ve organized the Pisoverse. While those authors have hundreds of titles to address, I have just 8, and they’re much smaller in scope. After all, I write novellas, not novels. Still, there is method to my madness…
You might have caught my variation on Martina Bex’s Word Race. While students certainly were hearing more target language, there were too many that went by too quickly while reading with enough repetition for the novice. Well, here’s an update that reaaaaaally gets students listening to the target language in a more structured, less-harried way:
- Instead of one large word cloud with many English phrases from the text, create 4 smaller ones that each contain one true phrase from the text, and three other phrases. I’ve been doing 1 funny phrase, 2 possible phrases, and the 1 from the text itself.
- You still read the text out loud as usual.
- After the victory dance (i.e. when the faster student is first to circle/highlight the phrase they hear), announce the next quadrant so that students know to listen for the next set of phrases, and begin reading where you left off. This avoids the pacing issue of students listening for many phrases on one large word cloud, and also gives a “reset” moment to the game.
Here’s a link to the a full size template. To use it, Make a Copy to your Drive, create 4 word clouds using Wordle.net (using Mozilla Firefox, NOT Chrome), save the word cloud files, then past them into each quadrant.
I just went to my first iFLT conference. I got to chat (live) with Bill VanPatten and Stephen Krashen, saw master teachers teaching with CI, and went to some awesome presentations. I don’t take detailed notes during presentations, but as you can see there’s plenty to take away from a few ideas I emailed to myself over the week. This post includes what I intend to think about and/or change for 2016-17, and would recommend others considering as well. Some of the ideas were ones I’ve seen before but just haven’t gotten around to implementing them, while others were completely new. They’re organized by who inspired me:
**Updated English Quadrant Word Race to improve gameplay**
This is my take on Martina Bex’s Word Race. I consider our activities to be evolved versions of “flyswatter” games that now align more closely to Second Language Acquisition principles. Skip to Martina’s process if you’re unfamiliar with it, then come back to read about my Curriculum Vocābulōrum Variation: