Sunday 10 August 2014

Turkish Session Diary 6: A breakthrough!

In my last Turkish Session Diary post I said that I believed I had made probably the most important innovation yet with my group by introducing role-playing games to help my learners get used to using what they had learned by repeating set conversations.

Now on Week 13 I think I have really started to tap into the WAYK magic like never before, by teaching them how to pull (hunt) language from me instead of relying on me to push it to them.

Ever since I played with Arne I realised that this is what I had been missing all along. Using nothing more than a Setup and sign-language, and no English, to pull language from someone was a very different experience. While learning something by rote and then being forced to use it is undoubtedly effective, going out and getting what you need as you need it is even more so. But how would I get my group to do it? And how would I rein the process in and ensure we learn language systematically?

After watching a number of videos (such as Tea with Grandma in Latin and ASL from back in 2010 and the Advanced WAYK: Mandarin Push/Pull and Advanced WAYK: Spanish Push/Pull demonstration videos) to make sure I understood the concept, I hit upon the idea of first demonstrating how to pull by pretending to be an English student and hunting English from one of them. This proved to be quite effective.

I also realised that language hunts can be random, but they can also be planned. This is something I'm going to be working on a bit more. For next time, I'm going to come up with a goal conversation to function as my lesson plan, and then talk with the group about how exactly they're going to pull it from me. So before we start we will have decided what kind of Obvious Setups to use and what kind of questions to pose. I expect we will be Drawing a Blank a lot.

All things considered I think this introduction went as well as could be. Check it out!

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