Civility Online

I agree that we absolutely need to support new teachers in their quest to become better practitioners of TPRS and deliverers of CI. I felt very badly that people were called bullies on this list serve, and it’s been sitting in my craw for a few days now–and I wondered why it was bothering me so much. Still working that out for myself. Not here to judge–just curious about the use of the term.

My thoughts:

I have seen zero evidence of bullying on this listserve. 

I have seen difference of opinion.

I have seen disagreement.

I have seen the usual human difficulty in interpreting people’s intentions when using the written word to communicate ideas in an online format.

I’m not even certain I’ve seen rudeness, much less bullying.

I have noticed very distinct communication styles between men and women on this list–that’s a whole other topic.

Perhaps clarifying the definitions of a some terms might help.

Here are some comments culled from an article on the subject of bullying by Inge Whitson, psychotherapist. The full article can be read here: Rude vs. Mean vs. Bullying: Defining the Differences

Rude = inadvertently saying or doing something that hurts someone else. Incidents of rudeness are usually spontaneous, unplanned inconsideration, based on thoughtlessness, poor manners or narcissism, but not meant to actually hurt someone.

Mean =  involves “purposefully saying or doing something to hurt someone once (or maybe twice).” Unlike unthinking rudeness, “mean behavior very much aims to hurt or depreciate someone….Very often, mean behavior is motivated by angry feelings and/or the misguided goal of propping themselves up in comparison to the person they are putting down.”

Rudeness and meanness are different from bullying in important ways that should be understood and differentiated when it comes to intervention.

Bullying = “intentionally aggressive behavior, repeated over time, that involves an imbalance of power. People who bully say or do something intentionally hurtful to others and they keep doing it, with no sense of regret or remorse — even when targets of bullying show or express their hurt or tell the aggressors to stop.”  Here are some examples: social exclusion, hazing, or rumor spreading, and cyberbullying. The key aspect to all of them is the ongoing nature of the behavior, which leaves the victims feeling powerless and fearful.

Un Regalo Especial

Los Diablitos Amorosos

In a TPRS class, the teacher introduces a small core set of focus verb phrases to students. After making certain the student(s) understand(s) the meaning of the verb phrase (written translation, gesture, picture, etc.), the teacher asks customized or personalized questions of the students in the Target Language so that

  • the phrase is heard many times in context,
  • students understand the meaning more profoundly from being used in context,
  • ideas start to bubble up from the students’ comments during the questioning which can be incorporated in a story.

Continue reading “Un Regalo Especial”

Piratas Quiz #1

I gave a pop quiz. OK, it was really a pop test.

Section I:  Aural Comprehension – 10 T/F questions from Mira’s Treasure Chest

Section II:  Vocab/Structures Section – 25 words or verb structures to translate from Spanish to English – I had the kids turn these in immediately after finishing them. I did a quick correct. If the student missed more than 2 or 3, I didn’t correct any more. If they only missed a few, they qualified for the Advanced Challenge section – 15 more verbs in different tenses (present, imperfect, preterite). I did not score this section in the traditional sense. I made up a rubric that I will share in the next post.

Section III:  Reading Comprehension – 15 multiple choice/fill-in Spanish, covering the main points of the chapter – from Mira’s Treasure Chest

Section IV:  Personalized Reading – I made three charts on big chart paper, one for each main character: Raquel, Henry Morgan, and Antonio Medina. I wrote  six “I” statements on each chart (in bold marker) from each character’s point of view:

Raquel:                                                                                                                 Yo:

  1. Soy rebelde. (I am a rebel/rebellious.)
  2. Mi familia me importa. (My family is important to me.)
  3. Tengo un novio. (I have a boyfriend.)
  4. A mi me gustan las aventuras y la acción. (I like adventure and action.)
  5. Quiero ir a España. (I want to go to Spain.)
  6. Mi papá no me permite ir a España. (My father won’t let me go to Spain.)

Henry Morgan:                                                                                                   Yo:

  1. Soy talentoso/a. (I am talented.)
  2. La gente me tiene terror. (People are terrified of me.)
  3. Soy agresivo/a. (I am agressive.)
  4. Quiero más dinero. (I want more money.)
  5. Soy inglés. (I am English.)
  6. A mi me gusta el mar. (I like the sea. To me the sea is pleasing.)

Antonio Medina                                                                                                Yo:

  1. Soy arrogante. (I am arrogant.)
  2. Pienso que soy más inteligente que otras personas. (I think I am smarter than other people.)
  3. Soy español. (I am Spanish.)
  4. Tengo mucha experiencia en la navegación. (I have lots of navigation experience.)
  5. A mi me importa mucho el dinero. (Money is very important to me.)
  6. Tengo una novia. (I have a girlfriend.)

I pinned the charts to the bulletin board outside my door.  As the students finished Section III and turned it in, the went outside in the hall where they read each item and decided whether or not they shared that characteristic with the character. Then, they wrote their initials next to the statements with which they agreed. They really liked this activity. There was much chatter and laughter during the task. It provided a good physical break during the test. I didn’t tell them, but, of course, this section was not graded. I walked out several times to watch them. It was a kick to see them so personally engaged with the text. I suppose you could say that there was a lot of “negotiation of meaning” among the kids in English. Yes, they read the items in Spanish. Then, there was much discussion about their personal experiences or points of view. During the discussions, much meaning was clarified—but not all.

On the items “Soy español” and “Soy inglés.” we ended up talking the next day about what those really mean (not that you speak the language). Interesting.

Section V:  When they came in from the hallway, they chose a picture of one of the main characters (copied 3×4 approx) and a 9×12 piece of white construction paper. Their job was to make an artistic interpretation with symbols and words/phrases in Spanish to show their knowledge of the character. They took them home to finish, but got started in class. They could use their notes for ideas (reading, once again!)

I will take some pictures of these and post them later. Pretty cool.

I will discuss how I believe this quiz differentiated assessment in some ways. Want to post this, so I will now–even though I’m really not finished.