There is a huge push lately towards on-line classes. Students are encouraged to enroll on line for credit recovery and for enrichment. In some areas it might work, in math for example. But the on line solution is not a good fit for other disciplines. I had a good chuckle with colleagues the other day when we heard that on line P.E. would be an option for students needing credit recovery. What?! Read the notes and take the test and now you know how to play volleyball kids! It doesn’t seems like it would work, at least the way it is being offered right now–you know, with multiple choice tests to measure progress. On line choir or band seems a bit silly too. In some areas, students need to listen to one another, work with one another, develop social understanding, negotiate meaning and sense if the tone is right to create something beautiful together.
A foreign language class taught with comprehensible input strategies is more like choir, band or PE. It does seem like it would work well online either. Language is alive and a language class needs to have much more of the feel of a choir class or band class than a “just the facts, mam” class like old school math or history.
To teach with C.I. interactively and compellingly we need practice, examples and training. We need to keep working at it. Here is a free resource to begin doing that, a story we recently did in Spanish I and ideas on how to teach it:
Wait till you see what the students did with it! Coming soon, stay turned…