Due to scheduling conflicts over the past couple of weeks, Eli and I have not been able to meet. Instead I have been reciting the alphabet on my own as well as attempting to memorize the words he has taught me. Today, we were able to meet for the first time since before spring break. We, like every other lesson, went over the alphabet, but instead of showing three weeks’ worth of practice, my phonetics had actually gotten worse. Somehow all of the practice I did at home and in my free time over the past weeks didn’t show.This both confused and frustrated me.
I have to admit, even I’m getting bored with my Independent Learning Project blogs. Although attention to detail is crucial in learning a new language, it isn’t necessarily blog-worthy. I felt myself getting bored with the same lessons and repetitive blogs, so I asked Eli if we could switch it up a bit this week. First after going through the alphabet normally, I practiced how letters sound in words rather than just how they sound in the alphabet. Exiting right? Just wait, it gets better. After completing the alphabet, we went on a walk around campus while practicing words, phrases, and complete sentences.
This week’s lesson made me ponder two things. (1) In order to completely master a skill, not only is constant practice necessary but also attention to detail. My coaches always say they would rather players practice a skill slower while making sure it is done correctly than sloppily at full speed. This also applies to my Spanish-speaking endeavors. Instead of just practicing as much as possible, I need to make sure to practice well. (2) Students have more fun when they aren’t doing the same activities during every lesson. Every lesson Eli and I have had appealed especially to auditory learners because we were speaking and listening throughout. Later, we advanced to writing words and phrases which I (a visual learner) appreciated. Although I’m not a kinesthetic learner, today’s lesson has been my favorite. I loved getting to move around while still being productive. Most of all, I loved that it was different.
This got me thinking about my future classroom. In my high school English class, we did the same thing every day for years. While I didn’t mind, I’m sure some of my other classmates couldn’t help but be bored out of their minds. As teachers, we must remember to not only teach the method that is easiest or how we were taught but switch up our lessons to effectively teach the entire class.