My last post described how I don’t push or spend time emphasizing correct French pronunciation in my classes. The evidence behind this practice shows that given enough comprehensible repetition, students eventually self-correct once they HEAR the sounds. I shared the example of my student eventually vocalizing ‘beaucoup’ correctly.
The very next week, I was humbled. I was concluding a very left-brain activity (the methodology that is least effective for long-term retention) and suddenly realized that harping on the correct use of language was just as counter-productive and demoralizing to my students. In fact I FELT like I was grinding a couple down into feeling like they were not very good at French.
I spent about 24 hours beating up on myself. (do Math teachers self-reflect as much as language teachers????) But out of that failure was born a new approach to the same material.
So two lessons learned:
- teachers are fallible and inconsistent
- out of failure can come some of our best ideas