Cognitive breaks

Sometimes in TPRS I have felt like I need to go the whole period on a story without stopping. This is a false idea. Sometimes, it may happen because the class is so engaged and time just flies. Most of the time, the class needs a break about every 10 – 15 minutes. These little brain breaks keep it fresh, so the students can come back ready.

Here are some things I have tried so far. I may have them turn to their study buddy and talk in L2 about a character, do a little retail, do some TPR, go on a CI tangent about something else. Whatever it is, it just gives them a break from what you are doing. It is important to remember that the talking they do in L2 to their partner may not actually lead to acquisition, but what it does do is make them feel apart of the learning and apart of a club.

The only thing is that I have to remember to give the breaks. Often times I can forget, but I pay for it later when the class runs out of cognitive steam.



Filed under Storytelling tips, Teaching Discoveries

2 responses to “Cognitive breaks

  1. Jim Tripp

    Definitely! We were discussing L2 in the classroom on Ben’s blog, and maybe during those brain breaks, during the first weeks with beginners before we can expect them to output, the breaks should consist of activities that do not involve L1, like a TPR game or drawing or something, but just not speaking L1. Perhaps that would reinforce that “no english in class” mentality, and they wouldn’t look forward to the breaks just to speak English. Just a thought.

    • thomasyoung

      I appreciate your comment. I think that the drawing idea is a good one. I decided to experiment with it and it seemed to work. Thanks!

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