I FINALLY started doing Special Person interviews regularly.
I’m doing them with Spanish 1 because as a department we agreed we want semester 1 to focus on students being able to talk about themselves. Special Person interviews are SUPER easy for that.
The questions we’ve been focusing on in Spanish 1 are basically the first page of THIS document from Bryce. My process through one question in level 1 goes something like this:
T: What’s your name?
T: Class! His name is Justin! (I hold up a quotation bubble I have on a stick, to signify that what I’m saying is what the student would say)
T (as student): My name is Justin.
T: Class, does he say “My name is Justin, or his name is Justin?”
Class: My name is Justin!
T: Right! “My name is Justin”
After circling a couple questions, I go back to the class.
T: Class, (In English) What are some things we can say about this person so far?
This gives students the opportunity to output IF they feel they are ready. Any time a student says something REMOTELY correct, I try to praise them (I’ve been slacking on this one… oops), then I make sure I restate it correctly. Then I move on…
T: Class, (In English, again) What are some things he could say about himself?
Once again, this is voluntary, I do not force output. If no one can come up with anything I review what he would say by putting my quotation bubble on a stick up and speak for the student.
After we get comfortable with those question (aka, once students start answering me in full sentences when they are the interviewee because they feel confident) I move a little quicker and add another question to the mix. I always love the “do you have an animal” question because we LOVE animals!
Not only have I been doing special person in Spanish 1, but I’ve been doing it in Spanish 2 as well. It started off the same, using the first page of questions, gradually adding more questions, and moving through practiced questions quicker.
Today I started introducing some first person past tense. So I asked the first “get to know you” questions and then moved on to “What did you do after school yesterday?” For Spanish, that mostly means use of the preterite (which is a focus for Spanish 2).
So I follow the same procedure as before. Ask a question, answer question, say what the student would say, ask students to talk about the person, and ask students to say what the interviewee would say then with Spanish 2 I’ve added in the question “Who could use these words to tell me about what THEY did after school yesterday?”
Anyway, one of my high fliers (who often gets bored because she thinks I spend too long on a single story) said that even though the process was similar, interviews are interesting enough to keep going.
So if you haven’t tried special person yet, I suggest trying it! Even if it’s for 5 minutes (although I’ve only been getting through like… one person MAYBE 2 people in a class period with additional things that I do in class.