Here it is: Sunday evening before we begin week 6 of our longest term of the year. Dinner is in the oven and the dogs are lying down exhausted nearby after their long beach walk. This part of the week always finds me with mixed feelings. Part of me is really excited for the week ahead as I contemplate (with fingers crossed) the lessons planned for the classes while the other major feeling is regret – another weekend is almost finished. I really enjoy my weekends as they give me the time and space to reflect back upon the past week’s lessons, the opportunity to catch up on all those boring jobs that mount up over the week as well as catch up with friends & family and hear how their week went.
This term, as already mentioned, the older students have been working on the tutup pintu (close the door) story. I tried to do an embedded reading style approach where I simplified the story initially for their first time with the story and then added some extra detail the second time around. To do this, I made a powerpoint of the Harry Potter version created by one of my classes but found that other classes were not so keen on a version that wasn’t of their own creation. In fact that is putting it mildly! It flopped big time. So instead I reverted to what I have done in the past and simply re-asked the story inviting class input with
1. Characters (who)
2. Place (where) &
3. Reasons (why) to try and elicit extra details.
While some classes came up with some brilliant and creative characters & other details, the stories were still pretty basic and I am at a loss as to how I could move on and use them for embedded readings in a way that is both engaging and develops students acquisition of Indonesian. If anyone has any suggestions, I’m all ears!!
I read on Laurie Clarq’s Embedded Reading website that:
An embedded reading is three or more scaffolded versions of a text. It is designed to prepare students to comprehend text that the students perceive to be beyond their capability.
Embedded readings provide information in the target language in a way that actually develops the students’ reading skills. Using embedded readings not only allows students to acquire language, it provides a framework for improving reading abilities.
The first version of the text, or the baseline version, is at a basic level, easy for any student in the class to understand. It is a summary or an outline that provides a strong foundation for success. Each succeeding version of the text contains additional words, phrases or sentences that provide new information and/or details. The final version of the text is the most challenging. However, each and every version of the Embedded Reading contains the baseline version, and each subsequent version created, within it. The scaffolding of the versions builds success, confidence and interest.
It all sounds so easy and such a brilliant concept but I haven’t yet worked out how to actually implement it successfully with my students. How do I add detail to a story that isn’t mine in the first place? Students do not take kindly to anyone tampering with their story!!
So my questions are this:
1. Are ’embedded readings’ more suitable for secondary students or at least those students who have had more years of input than mine?
2. Do they work best with stories that are not generated by the students?
3. How on earth do teachers re-present a story with added detail in a way that is engaging for primary students other than just projecting it up on to a screen?
4. Am I expecting too much of my students?
All feedback gratefully received!