We recently completed 8 hours of Teaching with Comprehensible Input (T/CI) teacher training at Temple Beth Israel (TBI). I presented 2-hour sessions on Monday and Wednesday mornings, for 2 consecutive weeks. There were (usually) 9 participants, including 6 TBI teachers and one teacher from another temple, Lori (the education director), and me.
Lori made sure we had a lovely breakfast spread for each training segment, and we shared a bite around the table together before transitioning to our presentation space in the cozy temple library. On the first day, I briefly explained ‘How I got here’ and we went around the table answering the question, “What do I hope to get out of this Hebrew instructional training experience?” Not surprisingly, everyone was looking for ways to spice up Hebrew school, get and keep our kids interested and engaged, and of course, impart real-world Modern Hebrew communication skills.
As I launched into Reimagining Modern Hebrew Language Instruction, I saw my ‘students’ nodding their heads, finding the concepts to be quite intuitive, especially the moms in the room who had observed their own toddlers’ evolution to speaking.
The friendly breakfast and pre-training chit-chat had helped establish a cooperative tone for our first foray into story-asking. My subjects were readily ushered into a short & silly Spanish demonstration-story about a princess who went from place to place looking for her beloved…chocolate.
We debriefed the strategies they observed, and ended the session by perusing my Novice Hebrew Corpus, so that my ‘students’ could see for themselves the wealth of Hebrew/English cognates available to exploit, not to mention the other hi-frequency target language. I’ve found that providing teachers with a list of words – and this one is around 10 pages long! – they’ll be using in class, can be an effective way to start rethinking curriculum!