Jason Renshaw describes a lesson here based on the “disappearing dialogue” technique, which he used with a text created by the students with his guidance. I also read Anna’s very helpful description of her adaptation of it here.
Had my first shot today at adapting this with 4 of my fairly strong Hard of Hearing 10th graders. I knew there would be problems but I also know that I need to try something out in order to understand how it ticks and what I need to adapt.
Instead of Christmas we created a passage about the upcoming Purim holiday. It started off well. These are kids who have a better vocabulary and do speak a bit. However, they don’t understand each other in English and I had to write every single thing they said down. Which is fine for the first part, as we were creating a short reading passage. The difference between the vocabulary item “party ” and “celebrate” came up and that was good. They also confuse between “Present” as in “gift” and “present” as in “present simple”, which they practice (I said they were pretty strong!)
We wrote it using Passive as we’re working on that now.
After we read the finalized short text (6 short sentences). I erased all the verbs + aux verbs (6). Then I made the mistake of having them copy the text and fill in the missing words. WRONG. I should have offered each one the board-marker and have them choose a missing word to fill in on the board. Then I could have erased more words and repeated the process. This way I was stuck. There was no way that I could give them new paper and have them copy it out again with more words missing – they DO NOT LIKE COPYING OFF THE BOARD.
By reflecting on this blog I find that I actually defined what I could have done differently and see how it could work even with the need to write everything down. Especially if I let the pupils come to the board (some want to stay there!).
Since it’s a learning center, I had other kids in the background doing other stuff (two were taking a test and two were with a teacher’s aid). I’m eager to try the strategy again with Deaf students who don’t speak English orally (we use Hebrew and ISL in class). But I’ll wait until I have assistance in the lesson again. I ususally don’t spend more than a few minutes at a time by the board explaining something. This activity requires a frontal lesson and I can rarely include everyone in anything at the same time.
So, this post is a “to be continued one” too!