4 thoughts on “What’s our scale?

  1. Hmm, good question. I guess my thought would be: in a dream world, we take them to a point where they can start having conversations on their own and get to a level of fluency. For the time being, I think we start at the beginning and go as far as we can, focusing on getting a solid grounding in basics, even if this means more beginner lessons, rather than rushing to have advanced lessons. Others’ thoughts?

  2. Hi! That’s a very good question, but I’d been focusing so much on the first few lessons that I hadn’t looked that far ahead.

    There are real limitations to what CAN-8 can do. It has an interactive feature, a sort of chatroom where you can sign in and talk with your classmates in Mi’gmaq, but that is its only real way to get speakers in touch with each other. As it is a mainly-solitary tool, I feel like it can’t bring a learner up to the point where they have complete linguistic competence in a language. However, it is a great starting platform for taking off some of the pressure of face-to-face conversation, and it’s also very useful in that you can make it repeat a snatch of conversation as many times as you need to grasp it (something real speakers may not have the patience for).

    What I’m getting at is basically what was put very well by Jessica–CAN-8 can be used to establish a broad set of basics for now, with the goal of helping learners achieve fluent interaction later.

    Now, how we define basics is another question, too, but maybe one for a different comment thread?

  3. Just to add to what Elise said. So far our focus has really been establishing a generic template and repertoire of exercises that can be used as a basis for designing future lessons as well as building our own pilot lessons for review by the language teachers. Ultimately, as Jessica said and Elise recapitulated, a program that accompanies a learner from step one to complete fluency would be the ideal but the short term goal, as far as I have understood it, is to build a couple of solid and inviting introductory pilot lessons to present to the community and which could be used by teachers in the community as an template to create their own lessons and then to work form there.

  4. Agreed. And we now have what seems to be a good outline of an effective structure to the lesson components. So our next big task is to work out exactly what lexicogrammatical and situational/pragmatic content will actually take people through those basics, i.e. to functional conversational competence. Therein I think lies still another task: a crucial and often omitted component is teaching learners how to cope not just with the strictly linguistic aspects of this process, but also the socioemotional, since a solid grounding/confidence there really determines success/failure/efficiency even more than good grammar/vocab/usage presentations ever do. Should we consider incorporating that into the lessons as well?

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