I am lucky that I have found a method that fits so well. If you look back through my posts, I have nothing but good things to say about storytelling as a method of language acquisition: it is fun, interesting, motivating (for me and the students), and it’s effective.
If there’s one problem I have with it, though, (and it’s more of a problem of my style than the method as written and presented by the developers of the TPRS method), it’s that it allows me to be lazy…Maybe lazy isn’t the right word, but it’s the best that I can think of. I am not lazy in terms of my time in the classroom, preparing original stories/reading stories from the Look, I Can Talk book, or grading work.
It’s not laziness as much as it is comfort.
I am very comfortable being in front of the room and improvising. I began the year with Circling questions written out beforehand for every part of the story. As I have continued using the Circling method, though, I have pretty much stopped doing that. I have been simply telling the stories, doing a lot of improvisation (I try to let the kids guide the stories as much as is possible), and asking questions as they occur to me.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s been working well, but I think it could be so much better. By planning out my questions beforehand, I can make sure that I get the amount of repetitions of language terms that is required for true acquisition. I can also make my stories more interesting for the kids and more motivating.
I can walk in a room with the bare bones of a script and have a good class, but how much better could it be?
My thinking now is that it could go from good to great!