Where’s the dog? Stage 3

Stage 3: Powerpoint for this version (Powerpoint 2011): Dónde está el perro 3

We’re not done yet.  As pupils get used to the game and how it’s played, and their appreciation of how lessons run and what they are allowed / not allowed to do, the rate of progression which I introduce picks up quite quickly.  You have to work out for yourself when it’s right to move on a stage, and if you get it wrong, it doesn’t matter, you can always go back a stage.  And if you feel you’re stringing the whole thing out too long, you can always change the dog for something else.  I have a veritable zoo in my cupboard, and it’s a great way of teaching them vocabulary for animals without having to have a lesson on animals.  Incidentally, in French this is an excellent opportunity to show the correspondence between Le and Il (in blue), and between La and Elle (in red): (Où est le chien? Il est là! / Où est la vache? Elle est là!).

In this stage (by which point you may want to use different numbers, starting at, say, 60, or counting in multiples of ten or a hundred), the whole thing kicks off with trying to remember who won last time and who lost.  What a good opportunity to show the difference between singular and plural verbs: Perdió Jane / Perdieron Jane y Charmaine / Jane a perdu / Jane et Charmaine ont perdu.  In Spanish this, I think, is the best way for them to “catch” the unEnglish word order of verb-subject.

The request to be the volunteer is fleshed out a bit and there are more imperatives for slinging the pupil out.  You could, of course, use just as many the first time around, but if there is too much new language, it won’t “take”, and the activity is reduced to pupils reading off a screen rather than acquiring these new phrases and structures.  Within this interaction within the classroom, the scope for using negative imperatives is significant.  Here, “no mires” (ne regarde pas).  It is useful in French, but especially so in Spanish, where negative imperatives use present subjunctive forms.  –ar endings and –ir/-er endings swap over, and it’s a detail which can normally be very confusing to pupils who haven’t got their endings and infinitive categories clear yet.  However, in the context of classroom interaction, the intensive, episodic nature of the experience makes both the meaning clear and the pronunciation (as long as you check it).

Here also, the class is given more language for hiding the toy and for checking with the returning pupil that they haven’t looked or seen anything.  Incidentally, this is a good moment in Spanish to produce a packet of Bisto and wave it around, don’t you think?  Ah, Visto!  It will stop those Vs being pronounced as Vs, that’s for sure.  Try it.  They’ll think you’re mad, but we just have to put up with such rejection.  It’s all part of the job. (Ask Ofsted).

Having hopefully located the dog’s hiding place, and announced its whereabouts, the class plays deaf: “¿Está dónde?”, emphasis being placed loudly on the dónde.  There’s another interrogative hammered home, and we’re only 5 minutes into the start of the lesson.

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