Tuesday Tricks: Foster Curiosity

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April 17, 2012 by k. liz

I’ve been so excited recently because my students have been picking up on things that I say and then asking me what they mean. I think that this is huge for their language development. I honestly hadn’t expected it, and I don’t really know how to encourage it or help it to grow, but I will just say that it is something I am so excited about.

I want my students to see that I am excited about them asking questions, and I will go to many lengths to answer them! I have used translation, demonstration, acting, synonyms, everything to try and get them to understand. But, I just wanted to share this with you today. Don’t ever get tired of the questions, because it shows that they are thinking about their own learning. This is something that is hard to teach, but huge for a language learner!

Here are some of the questions I’ve received this last week:

“Ama, teacher, neden the wolf sad?” (But, teacher, why is the wolf sad?) 

This one took me a little bit to figure out, but we have been doing the 3 Little Pigs non-stop for the last week. We have been doing story repeat (next week’s post!) a lot, and there is a line that is repeated several times that goes “And the wolf said . . .” So, for my student to stop and think about the fact that he didn’t understand why the wolf was sad, and to ask me, prompted a discussion on the verb “said.” Granted, they are 6, and we didn’t go into the conjugations of the past tense, but I was happy that he was listening and discerning. In the same context, I have been also asked,

“Teacher, what is chimney?”

“Teacher, the end ne demek?” (Teacher, what does ‘the end’ mean?”) 

and one more, while watching a Bernstain Bears episode on bad dreams,

“Teacher, scared ama no, scary?” = Teacher, we learned scared, but they are saying scary. Why? 

I’ve just been thrilled that these little people are becoming more and more aware of the language that surrounds them. I hope that it will continue!

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