Do you think that instinctive drive to listen to experts "talk shop" applies to apathetic students, though? I worry that the chance to listen to "experts" (native speakers) chat at the front of the room would be too easily taken as a chance to tune out and relax (especially since what they're getting from the experience is more metadata about how a conversation in the target language works than any particular language content itself). I'm not sure how the "authenticity" rule applies either, for the same reason. I don't see how "We instinctively want to be able to talk like the experts do so we can blend in with them" would apply to a student with no desire to become an expert/fluent speaker. Do you think these are relevant questions, or do you think that the benefit of such a expert-expert interaction to highly motivated students would outweigh the uselessness to unmotivated ones?
My instinct for expert self-talk in foreign language instruction is just normal talking to oneself; "thinking aloud," as it were. I'm not sure the best way to demonstrate that to the class, since I think the most authentic scenario would be to put them in an immersive environment so they can figure it out. But if we had ready access to immersive environments then foreign language classrooms would be in much better shape.
WRT 2, yes, pronunciation is something that was never explicitly taught in my high school language experience, and I think it would help students build confidence in their speaking. I haven't yet figured out the best way to do this without teaching them IPA, but it's definitely something I want to incorporate. Even if they can get the vowel system down (ignoring tricky consonants like trilled R's and unaspirated T's) I think many students would be in a better boat than they are now.
Hello ! I am Jaime who recognized your username on ACX and requested you publish this retrospective. Thank you so much for this; I found it very insightful and very helpful for my research.
I'm currently writing my thesis on spaced repetition in foreign language classrooms, and am planning to become a secondary school French teacher. The curriculum I'm writing integrates spaced repetition into the material reviewed on a given day, without using flashcards, and was heavily inspired by the model in this post. I have no idea if it'll work, but at the very least part of my thesis is creating a bunch of lesson plans, so I figure the worst possible outcome here is that I was wrong about everything but at least I made up some fun activities along the way.
I've suspected for awhile that one problem with school is that they try to get you to learn too much information, so it's nice to hear from an experienced teacher that I'm probably thinking along the right track.
Your commentary on apprenticeship is interesting; I remember learning French in middle and high school that I was deeply impacted by the few times where another French teacher would come chat with my teacher, in French. It was a rare opportunity to witness a fluent conversation in real time. Something I want to prioritize in my French classroom is bringing in guest speakers. I've previously assumed that the primary goal would be the evangelize practical applications of French (which I'm very aware are limited; but you can see how this sort of thing would be very relevant in a Spanish or Mandarin classroom). Maybe a secondary or even primary goal would be the opportunity for students to watch in real time a fluent French conversation, and lacking the spontaneity I witnessed between French teachers as a 7th grader, myself and the guest speaker could make a specific effort to use relevant and known vocabulary. I'm not sure of other ways that apprenticeship-style teaching could be incorporated into a foreign language classroom, but I'm very interested in researching further.
I agree with the overarching sentiment of this post, especially as a tool for making one's writing more inviting to "new people," as it were. I do disagree with the avoidance of the word consent specifically. For one thing, I do remember reading the Tickling post and feeling like it was "somewhat detached from the broader conversation," but I also feel like normalizing using consent to refer to mundane, non-sexual, non-violent situations is a good thing. I suppose it's a personal opinion whether this expansion of the usage of consent is a good thing or not, but I feel like it's a bit less politicized compared to all of your other examples that it's worth considering on its own.
My first thought (just upon reading the title) was to use the green hyperlink as one color, but that sounds clunkier than using bold or italics, so I'm not sure it's the best way to go. I would find the bicolor notation very helpful, fwiw, but I'm not colorblind and I don't use a screen reader, so I have no input there (and no idea how a screen reader would process a hyperlink).
I have generalized anxiety disorder, and in many ways the "panic attacks" i experienced on sprinctec were basically like my typical anxiety attacks, only more intense, so yeah in general i would say that's something I'm more predisposed to.
I'm really not sure how "prone" i am to depression personally, since while I have experienced it to varying degrees throughout my life, it was always as a sort of side effect of other issues in my life and never The issue on its own. However, i have a genetic history of it, so I'm definitely predisposed to it in that sense.
This is something I would love to collect more data on. Everything here is anecdotal and speculative.
The first pill I tried was Sprintec, a combination estradiol and norgestimate, and it caused at least 3x/week panic attacks for the entire 5 months I was on it. I would say do not recommend, but with any birth control YMMV.
Now I am taking Larissia, which is a small-dose estradiol and levonorgestrel combination. I think it has made me slightly more depressive (with slightly decreased productivity as a consequence), but it is FAR preferable to Sprintec and marginally preferable to no-pill.
Off the pill, I find my productivity above-average for about 1 week after my period (I have a very regular 28 day cycle), and frustratingly low for the other 3 weeks (especially the week I am actually on my period). While on the pill, I never get the high of that one post-period week, but I also don't suffer the low before and during my period.
The reason I start Larissia is because I took a levonorgestrel emergency contraception (specifically Aftera), and I was expecting to spend the next few hours bedridden with nausea, but I actually found my mood lightened and my productivity increased, roughly to the level of my non-pill post-period high. Of course, this was just one time, and the Aftera tablet is 1.5 mg of hormone where Larissia is .02 mg. I'm considering switching to the slightly higher .05 mg levo-estra combination to see if I can alleviate some of my current depressiveness.
Hope this is helpful! Definitely a question I've wondered myself, and it's good to know I'm not the only one.
This is a very good post! I've found David MacIver to be a very effective translator for emotional processing, if that's something you're interested in.
FWIW, I'm a big fan of the color !
I love this so much!!! This is my favorite solstice song, and an excellent way to share it.
All of this is super interesting to me! Especially where we differ.
I can't really imagine a stubbed toe, the feeling of walking across carpet, grabbing a cabbage with my hand, but I can vividly imagine a drop of water running down my chest or a spider crawling across it. (Lower resolution is easier to fake?)
I can imagine all of these extremely vividly. Even multiple different types of carpets, and walking on carpets in different shoes. Could you imagine the feeling of lying on a carpet without a shirt on (ie the feeling of a carpet on your torso) ? What about a spider crawling across your hand ?
I am very jealous of your ability to ignore your thoughts and track north. I am terrible with directions, navigating familiar places only by landmarks.
Not to get too speculative, but you mention doing mathematical proofs, which I've never done in my life. Even learning syntax for linguistics (expressed as binary branching trees) was very difficult for me. I'm studying French literature and anything to do with words comes very easily to me. I wonder if there's any tangible overlap between brain function and fields of interest.