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Kagan Structures and fridge sheets

http://jalt.org/pansig/PGL2/HTML/Nakagawa.htm

Ha ha! Just picked up on a revolution mentioned on the jolly friendly mflresources forum. It's called Kagan Structures. Try the link and have a quick read if you have the time. In a nutshell, it seems to be about getting kids to work together better and be more involved in a supportive, non-threatening and active classroom. Amen to that.

Trouble is, there doesn't seem to be much new in it, as far as I can make out from my brief perusal. If you are daft enough as a teacher to do all the talking, not do any cooperative pair or group work, not build their self esteem, then this might be the panacea you are looking for. If not, get out your barge pole pronto. Apparently one school at least is going for this in a big way and is instructing every department to use Kagan Structures and document how they are doing so. Perhaps the same school once labelled each child's desk with a K for Kinaesthetic, A for Auditory and V for Visual. Like many ideas (and this one is not actually that new as the Spencer Kagan research goes back to the mid nineties), there are good bits in there, but some of the "cooperative learning structures" do not fit well with language teaching.

Money is being made here too: see http://www.kagenonline.com and you'll get the picture.

I suppose I shouldn't be too cynical...

Meanwhile, back in the boring world of the pragmatic and useful, I've pinched an idea from the creative Vincent Everett and made a "fridge sheet". This is an A4 sheet summarising all the key language points for Y7 French (based on Tricolore Total). The idea is that the pupil sticks it on their fridge or maybe a noticeboard at home, and gets a family member to help them practise whenever they can. Fun for all the family! Well, maybe not quite, but seems like some kids would pick up on this and benefit. Thanks to Vincent. I've posted it on the Y7 page of frenchteacher.net.

http://www.frenchteacher.net/Y7/Y7index.htm

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