Having focused more heavily than usual on comprehensible input in the form of stories since August, I am now beginning to see the fruits of this work showing up in my reading classes. I am glad I put off serious reading (i.e. a full 40% of the week) until now.

The kids are able to translate easily, of course, because they are using sound, not the left brain, to do so. But the cool thing is that, as soon as we finish translating each paragraph, I am able to engage them in immediate and almost  effortless conversation that connects the facts in the book (Pauvre Anne in this case) to their own lives. I am able to bring in interesting new facts and characters like today’s Italian newcomer Bracco Bama (Anne’s friend) at will.

(By the way, “Bracco” is pronounced in the Italian way, first syllable heaviest, and then the second trailing away as if you were in Brindisi eating spaghetti. But Americans who do not live in NYC do not understand this and insist on saying his name with a “k” sound – Bracco Bama).

Anyway, had I tried this kind of reading earlier, it wouldn’t have worked as well. Now, with the kids’ rich auditory history, the details, true or not, that we add into the discussion (which can be called “Reading PQA” – RPQA) amaze them and me. Confidence is high. They know they are learning.

They are acquiring the French language, pinning it on their knowledge of its sound and, now, what it looks like on paper. The formula works – first they mostly listened, now they are reading and talking.

Writing, another skill I have put off this year in order to  test the value of massive verbal input in the form of stories all the way into January, will also fall to the mighty strength of the kids’ ability to understand the spoken language.

 The only caution here is that when you do reading classes, you must allow no idle commentary. Idle comments in reading classes, indeed, in all TPRS classes, are much more deleterious than they appear. Don’t allow them.

Another caution (my opinion only) is to read and translate yourself. Having the kids translate the text doesn’t work for me.


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