Friday, February 28, 2014

The Teacher is Stupid! A Twist on Choral Reading

I use choral reading/translation in my classes a lot. A video of the procedure by Ben Slavic, my teacher in this and many things, can be found here:

And here is a shorter video of  my classes doing a choral reading/translation:

Basically, the teacher (or, better yet, a student) uses the laser-pointer to point the class through a reading of a text. When the pointer points at a word, the class gives the translation. In this way we read through the entire text.

A fun change is to play the game I just made up: "The Teacher is Stupid." The pointer still points through the text, but now it's only the teacher giving the meaning in English. There's one catch: The teacher makes mistakes on purpose. Everyone looks and listens for the mistakes. When a student hears/sees a mistake in the teacher's reading/translating, he yells "Stupid!" or "Wrong!" or "Terrible!" or whatever in the target language. Normally this sounds like the whole class yelling at me. After they stop me for a mistake, they have to go back and do the sentence all together as in normal choral translation. When they get done doing the sentence correctly, it's back to you the teacher and everyone listening and waiting for your next mistake.

Most of your mistakes will draw on their knowledge of vocabulary. You can also make mistakes to make points about grammar, like saying "is" instead of "was."

One tip: Be sparing with the number of your mistakes; the fun is in the anticipation.