Start From The Heart: Solving Problems-Comprehension Checks For The Win!

by lclarcq on August 17th, 2018

filed under Archived Posts 2018, Classroom Management, Problem Solving, Start From The Heart, Starting The Year, TPRS techniques

Knowing why to use Comprehension Checks and knowing how to use them aren’t really the same thing. Let’s try to make a connection between the two:

Why? To allow for and encourage processing time.
How?

Create a signal/gesture that indicates that the students are going to think about a piece of the
language that they see/hear. For example: Tap your forehead.
Repeat the language before iliciting an answer/response from the students.
Pause.
Then use a Comprehension Check from the previous post.

This is helpful to plan for when utilizing new or difficult to process language.
(Hint: Don’t overuse this….once or twice in a 10 minute period is enough even in a beginning level class if the language is being used slowly, carefully and in the most comprehensible way possible.

Why? To assess the level of comprehension of a particular item.
How?

Identify an item that may need clarification. (HInt: not every item needs clarification!) Me falta
Ask a student to connect language to meaning using a Comprehension Check.
(Hint: ask a student who will know!)
Repeat the item in context. Me falta la contraseña. No puedo usar la computadora.

Why? To allow differentiation of instruction/assessment.
How?

Identify a section of difficult or advanced language.
Ask a student (Hint: who can answer the question!) to assign meaning using a
Comprehension Check.
Ask another student to agree or disagree with the first student.
or
Ask a student the meaning of a piece of less-challenging text then ask a faster processor another way to
say it in the target language.

Why? To fill in meaning for students who have been absent.
How?

Identify the language that will need to be reinforced then….
Ask a student to give the meaning in English in a loud “stage whisper” whenever the word is used.
or
Have the student yell out the meaning
or
Have the student hold up a sign with the meaning in English/picture
Have all students do a specific gesture.

Why? To get more repetitions.
How?

Very, very sporadically. And carefully. Preferably with humor or dramatic effect.

There are even more ways to utilize Comprehension Checks, but it’s only the beginning of the year so we’ll stop there!

with love,
Laurie