I interviewed a teacher about his use of technology and, unsolicited, he burst out in praise of two things: his SDAIE training and his classroom projector. What was the marriage of training and technology that made him so happy? It’s called Coffee Klatch (an Americanized version of the German word kaffeeklatsch, which means “coffee gossip.”
Here’s an example that he gave me that relates to teaching the vocab for the story Lucky Dragon.
Students stand in pairs, one facing the screen, one facing away. The setting is described to the students as “pretend you’re at a social gathering, a fancy party, and you are talking in low tones to your partner about one specific topic so that no one else can hear.” He describes how a student interjected excitedly: “Oh! Like we’re gossiping?” They get the idea immediately.
On the screen is a Powerpoint slide with the following lines:
•To be shocked is: to feel a lot of surprise.
•The term shocked can be defined as: feeling a lot of surprise.
•The term shocked signifies a feeling of a lot of surprise.
•The definition of the term shocked is feeling a lot of surprise.
The student facing the screen whispers these lines in low tones to the their partner. Then the students switch positions and a new set of lines appears, recited in low tones by the student now facing the screen.
•Based on what you’re saying, to be shocked is: to feel a lot of surprise.
•So, you’re saying that shocked means: someone feels a lot of surprise.
•In other words, shocked means: feeling a lot of surprise.
•The definition of the term shocked is: to feel a lot of surprise.
Student engagement: check!
A real life social context to provide meaning: check!
Easy system for monitoring student participation: check! (watch the mouths of the partners facing the screen)
Story or text-based vocabulary: check! (shocked)
Academic language: check! (in other words, definition, defined, signifies)
Try out this SDAIE (Specially Designed Academic Instruction in English) strategy with academic language and sentence frames projected onto your screen and let us know how it works with you.