Today marks my first workshop at iFLT 17 and it was wonderful First, I spent some time with Jason Fritze. He has great energy! We learned many techniques that he used with his elementary students that would work really well in middle or high school too! I especially liked when he told us all to lean in to hear his “secreto”. It is a wonderful way to get students to listen closely and create more reps of the first person.
Some other things we reviewed were TPR, brain breaks, training students to listen closely and the power of PQA. He highlighted the benefits of TPR which are using target language, classroom management and finally keeping students moving and engaged. Next we talked about PQA (Personalized Question and Answer). He explained that PQA is about creating a classroom community with no affective filter. According to Jason, no matter what methodology a teacher uses, they DO in fact incorporate PQA because it is essential to communicative language teaching. With PQA the class gets to know each other, feels safe and laughs often. I had an aha moment when Jason said that PQA helps the teacher transition into highly personalized TPRS stories. I will definitely be exploring with this piece of advice in the new school year. A great reminder for all story asking is that we should not take the first option that students offer. We should let them give more options to teach the art of listening closely.
Building upon Señor Wooly’s introduction yesterday morning, Jason said, “The reality is that student authenticity is THE most important.” We must create a classroom culture where students are comfortable and ready to take risks with language and PQA makes this possible!
Another wonderful “secreto” I learned from Jason is “The power of NOT”. The story you create as a class is about the conflict of what the student does NOT have. Fritze also revealed to us that PQA IS the story. In reality our students are the story. Therefore if you are doing PQA and students are really engaged, you are creating community.
From this first session I got some great ideas to use with my new students in the fall. Jason used the game, “Soy yo” This is something that I often do the first day we go back to school to get students used to hearing the target language. If you are uncertain as to what it is, the teacher makes a statement and if it applies to the student, they stand up and say, “Soy yo”. I intend to use this not only as warm up for students but also to gauge their interests to create more personalized questions for each class based on their likes and dislikes. A colleague and I also realized that a picture talk of our summer vacation with PQA built in would be another communicative tool to use in the fall to get students talking about their vacation!
Thank you Jason for your energetic and insightful session this morning!
Blog post by Arianne Dowd, our official blogger of #iFLT17!
Stay tuned for more updates from iFLT throughout the week!