Live Typing: A Story Review

In an introductory session of Mandarin with La Sripanawongsa at Comprehensible Midwest 2019, I experienced not only a lively and helpful session learning some basic Mandarin, but I witnessed a CI activity that I want to pass on.  La called this “live typing.”  It works like this as a review of a story that students have just been asked, told or read together.

You, the teacher, sit at a computer that is projected onto the screen with a google or word document open.  Be sure to set the font on large type. Today, I did this using Arial 18 font.

Ask students in the target language to retell you  the story. As they do, you type it on screen.  If they get something out of order, no worries.  You have all these quick and easy editing options.

When the story is complete, you can:

  1. do a choral read and translate
  2. ask for a volunteer to take a pointer and point to words as the teacher reads in L2 and class gives L1 meaning
  3. let volunteer point to L2 words as the teacher gives the English meaning.
  4. Play a round of stultus

This can be a warm up activity (which is how I used it today); an integration activity at the end of working on a story; a brain break from another activity; a review for a formal assessment and certainly an informal assessment all by itself.

I did it today with Latin 4 and 5 students who are reading Itinera Petri and Pugio Bruti respectively. Some really nice things happened.

  1. As one student offered an element of the story, it reminded others of next bites.
  2. A couple of students began to notice that I typed things that were a little different from what was said.  That’s because I was acting as the Monitor–the editor for good Latin.  They wanted to know more about that.  In other words, it created natural, organic interest and curiosity in Latin and syntax.
  3. And, of course, in the space of about 10 minutes, we had retold 5 capitula of the story before beginning capitulum 6.

I’ll be doing this again.

Bob Patrick