Lesson 1: How to Get and Use the Posters
Where do you get the posters? Just send me an email at [email protected] requesting them and I will send them to you.
Read from the scripts while the students look at the projected posters. Discuss with them the information on the posters. Here you are reprogramming them away from what they think language study means - memorization - and what it means in reality - understanding messages. This helps your students to find their voices while at the same time building a feeling that they are in a community with you and their classmates.
Discuss one poster per week. Since there are eight posters, you can get your expectations for the course out and into your students’ minds in the first two months of the year.
Again, the primary classroom goal of the posters is rich metacognitive reflection and discussion about what learning a language requires, but there is a secondary goal - better classroom management. Classes that know how and why you teach behave better. They have less excuses to misbehave.
Having gone over the posters in the first few months of the year, if you ever sense that a class is “going off the rails”, return to the posters and the talking points presented in these scripts to “refocus” your students about what learning a language actually entails. When students start to "space out" in this way, it is often a feeble effort to force you to change your method of instruction to one of tests based on memorization. Some don't like the rigor that your class entails (see poster #7). They don't want to have to show up has actual human beings in your classroom. Obviously, we're not going back to teaching like we did in the last century, so stick by your guns with the posters.
Some teachers may want to put the posters up on their classroom walls, especially posters #1 and #3. This is because they want to be able to walk over to them a lot during class in the first few months of the year. I am giving my Udemy students formal permission to copy and and print those posters so that they can put them up your walls.
This is not production line work. Different classes will move through the posters at different rates because each class is different. Even if it takes you to the end of the first semester to finish the scripts with certain classes, that’s still good.
The posters can be shown at Parents’ Night. You can tell doubting parents that every point in the posters is thoroughly based in the research, and that their children now understand how and why you are teaching them in the way you are. Unfortunately, re-educating parents and administrators about how people actually acquire languages is an essential part of our job descriptions these days.
Again, the posters help break your students of the idea that they can memorize their way through your class without actually developing in their own wheelhouses the ability to interact with you in class in the language in the real way. This point can't be repeated enough times.
Another detail: The words in normal print are your scripted text and the words in italics are explanatory notes for you and are not to be read out to the students. Think of the scripted texts as cue cards functioning in much the same way as a teleprompter works for people reading the news on television.
If you wish, you can also request from me the set of scripts found in this online course of study, but in book form. If you then print it out (it's not too many pages) and have it spiral bound, you can lay it flat on your desk in front of you as you read the scripts to your classes. This frees up your computer screen to project the posters. As mentioned earlier, the format is that you read from the scripts while your students read the posters.