CI & TPRS

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Re: CI & TPRS

Postby ironlady » 14 Apr 2012, 01:42

Yep.
With a false-intermediate (which is how I think of those students -- and I get a lot of them after they've become disillusioned with the language schools), the thing to do is to sort of feel around and get a sense for which patterns they don't yet know and which vocabulary they really haven't internalized, and then bang on those in disguise. The disguise is an interesting topic or lots of embroidery and addition of truly new items that they've never heard of, so that they'll tolerate the repetition they need to get the basics where they belong.

I find this sort of student challenging because my bad teacher brain is always thinking, "But they already know this!" Actually, they might know it, but they haven't acquired it, and it's not why they've come to me for lessons when there are hundreds of Chinese teachers available for less money in Taiwan. A lot of the problem ends up being in my head, not theirs.
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Re: CI & TPRS

Postby Tempo Gain » 14 Apr 2012, 21:16

bismarck wrote:But when looking at the Chinese for these, it's not really easily transferable for all of them. So I started making a more specific list for Taiwan and once I got this far:
What does ________ mean
who
what
where
when
why
how
which
whose
what color is
how much, how many

What list of question words would you guys suggest I use for teaching English in a Taiwanese (Chinese language) setting? I'm specifically thinking of Ironlady and GiT here, but any other suggestions would be welcome.


A few more to consider:
how long
how often
how long _____ it take
what time
what kind of
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Re: CI & TPRS

Postby E04teacherlin » 15 Apr 2012, 01:08

How can often be translated as "duo" when asking questions where how is followed by an adjective.
I fail to see though how that will actually help learning. Would it really be worth it to translate every single possible phrase? Wouldn't that be some glorified version of grammar translation.
If you really wanted to to drive home "how often" wouldn't it be more beneficial to put "often" on the board and then repeat questions like How often do you pay computer games John? Do you play computer games every evening? John plays computer games every day. That's very often. How often do you play computer games Peter? Do you play computer games on weekends? Only on weekends? Peter plays computer games on weekends. That's often but not very often. Who plays computer games more often? Yes, John plays computer games more often than Peter. Does Peter play computer games more often than John? No he doesn't. Peter doesn't play computer games more often than John. John plays computer games more often than Peter. He plays computer games every day. That's very often.
How often do you kiss your girlfriend John? You don't have a girlfriend. Oh, John never kisses his girlfriend. He doesn't kiss her very often. My girlfriend is Jolin (I was tempted to say Ironlady but I am afraid my post gets tempted). I kiss her every day. How often do I kiss Jolin? Yes I kiss her very often. I kiss her every day. Does John kiss Jolin often. No, he doesn't kiss her very often. I kiss her very often.
John is sad because his girlfriend is angry. She is angry because he plays computer games too often. He finds a new girlfriend. He doesn't kiss her very often. He never kisses her. He plays computer games very often. He plays computer games too often. There is a big computer game competition. I play against John. I don't play computer games often enough. How often do I play computer games. Never. How often does John play computer games. Very often. Every day. Jolin is angry because I lose. She says to John "Lin kisses me too often. He doesn't pay computer games often enough. I want to be your girlfriend. You don't have to kiss me often. We can play computer games every day. I like playing computer games very often." They are happy and the never kiss. They play computer games together very often. How often. Every day for three hours.
If they don't have the meaning of often and how often after 30 minutes of that, they will never get it.
It's like when you teach your kid a new word. What's this? It's popcorn. Do you like popcorn? I love popcorn. Does mommy like popcorn? Oh she loves popcorn to. Who loves popcorn more? Daddy loves popcorn more than mommy. No daddy doesn't love popcorn more than you. I love you the most. Popcorn is number two and mommy is number three. Do you want to have some popcorn. The let's run to seven and grab some popcorn. Then when we get home we can pop some popcorn. Popcorn is great.
I seriously doubt that translation can ever get to that.
You don't want to move from translating single words to translating chunks. You want to move from translating to learning the language on its own.
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Re: CI & TPRS

Postby ironlady » 15 Apr 2012, 04:58

E04teacherlin wrote:You don't want to move from translating single words to translating chunks. You want to move from translating to learning the language on its own.

Actually, as the title of this thread shows, we are discussing a specific method of language teaching, and that method has specific ideas about the use of translation for very specific reasons. So this isn't really the place for a discussion of whether or how to translate in general.
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Re: CI & TPRS

Postby E04teacherlin » 15 Apr 2012, 13:39

ironlady wrote:
E04teacherlin wrote:You don't want to move from translating single words to translating chunks. You want to move from translating to learning the language on its own.

Actually, as the title of this thread shows, we are discussing a specific method of language teaching, and that method has specific ideas about the use of translation for very specific reasons. So this isn't really the place for a discussion of whether or how to translate in general.

You totally missed my point. Yes translate as per the method. I meant Bismark and GiT and whomever else should rather translate how as "duo" and then recycle and teach the words that could follow it, instead of translating every possible combination. How long (duo chang) or (duo jiu), how tall (duo gao), how heavy (duo zhong) etc.
The rest of which I typed then used often in a variety of structures, how often, too often, very often, not often enough and had kiss and play computer games as vocabulary items which makes it easy to stay in bounds.
I was responding directly to the method, not trying to start a discussion in translation. The sentence you quoted is meant to mean, don't translate every single chunk of language in which how could appear if it is possible to translate it as a single word and then teach the language associated with it. :)
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Re: CI & TPRS

Postby ironlady » 15 Apr 2012, 22:13

Yeah, but if you were more familiar with the method we're talking about, you would realize that we do not use question words as items for repetition. There's no need, because over the course of the thousands if not tens of thousands of questions that get asked in a good TPRs classroom over the course of a year (average 5-6 per minute when input it going on), the question words get ample repetition. Since we are aiming to have students acquire the question words in this way, rather than in a concentrated manner, we post them on the wall.

TPRS is designed to impart the STRUCTURE of the language, not vocabulary per se. "Often" is not a structure. It's something that needs to be put into a structure and presented as an item for repetition. We would question about the frequency of the action, but we would not use "often" as an item.

I would not post all the vocabulary GiT speaks of, because I don't want things to deteriorate into a substitution drill. I would post uncommon or "fun" words that we want to use in class for interest but that I do not expect the students to acquire. Generally, they go ahead and acquire them in that situation anyway. :lol:
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Re: CI & TPRS

Postby E04teacherlin » 15 Apr 2012, 22:43

ironlady wrote:Yeah, but if you were more familiar with the method we're talking about, you would realize that we do not use question words as items for repetition. There's no need, because over the course of the thousands if not tens of thousands of questions that get asked in a good TPRs classroom over the course of a year (average 5-6 per minute when input it going on), the question words get ample repetition. Since we are aiming to have students acquire the question words in this way, rather than in a concentrated manner, we post them on the wall.

TPRS is designed to impart the STRUCTURE of the language, not vocabulary per se. "Often" is not a structure. It's something that needs to be put into a structure and presented as an item for repetition. We would question about the frequency of the action, but we would not use "often" as an item.

I would not post all the vocabulary GiT speaks of, because I don't want things to deteriorate into a substitution drill. I would post uncommon or "fun" words that we want to use in class for interest but that I do not expect the students to acquire. Generally, they go ahead and acquire them in that situation anyway. :lol:


I never said use question words for items of repetition. I said use the words that follow how as items of repetition in a variety of structures. There is no point in making a poster for the following words, how often, how tall, how big, how far, how heavy, how expensive, how cheap, how long...etc when how can be put on that poster and like you said acquired over the period of a semester or year as "duo" instead of always thinking that it means "ru he" or "ze me". When the words tall, big, long, expensive, cheap etc have been acquired by use in a variety of structures then any question with how --- will be easily understood.
I also did not say often is a structure, which is why in both my posts I mentioned that it should be learnt in the context of a structure and I even posted "too often, very often, not often enough, how often etc." That would be four different structures and I am sure you could probably think of more. I also said that it is not necessary to limit the class to one structure as they are all easily understood in the context. Similarly, I assume using tall or big as words in those exact same structures would help students acquire them better in a different context.
As for uncommon or fun words - I did mention kiss and play computer games, pretty relevant to Taiwanese students and enough to get some smiles and growls.
I guess the main point I was trying to make is that it is not necessary to translate every question structure in which how appears as a separate question.
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Re: CI & TPRS

Postby Tempo Gain » 15 Apr 2012, 23:06

E04teacherlin wrote:I never said use question words for items of repetition. I said use the words that follow how as items of repetition in a variety of structures. There is no point in making a poster for the following words, how often, how tall, how big, how far, how heavy, how expensive, how cheap, how long...etc when how can be put on that poster and like you said acquired over the period of a semester or year as "duo" instead of always thinking that it means "ru he" or "ze me". When the words tall, big, long, expensive, cheap etc have been acquired by use in a variety of structures then any question with how --- will be easily understood.


I agree with you about the how + adjective construction in general, but I will point out that with regard to what we were discussing here, it would clearly be impossible to post every such combination "on the wall," to begin with. It could be useful to post "how _____".

However, I disagree about "how often" and "how long" (coincidentally the terms that I mentioned previously :cactus: :) ) -- these have specific uses that would be useful to give a long-term reminder of.
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Re: CI & TPRS

Postby ironlady » 15 Apr 2012, 23:40

Posters in TPRS are not intended for long-term reminders (maybe that's not precisely what you meant), or to present vocabulary. They are aids to make input comprehensible, nothing more.

Whenever I use a question word that I am not certain all my students have acquired (at that moment in time), I pause and point to the word on the wall. Done. Made comprehensible. I don't have to translate or gesture or whatever. It's always there for me to use.

I post question words and logical connectors (although, therefore, if, etc.) since these are things that are used no matter what the topic or type of interaction that's going on.
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Re: CI & TPRS

Postby Tempo Gain » 16 Apr 2012, 00:26

ironlady wrote:Whenever I use a question word that I am not certain all my students have acquired (at that moment in time), I pause and point to the word on the wall. Done. Made comprehensible. I don't have to translate or gesture or whatever. It's always there for me to use.


Indeed, that is what I meant.
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