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Béisbol, baseball

A little tweak that makes life easier for struggling beginners

béisbolMy Spanish 1 kids are at the point that they mostly understand many cognates when I say them in my wonderful Spanish accent, but there is always someone who cannot hear the elephant in elefante. And everyone, even my superstars, occasionally have their slow processing days when the word hospital sounds nothing like hospital.

We have come up with the perfect class routine to tune all ears to the cognates. When I say a cognate I pause, then say the word béisbol to which the entire class responds “baseball!!”. Now that they are alerted to the presence of a cognate I repeat the cognate and the students who understand (usually most of the class) shout out the word in English.

I love this little routine because students who did not instantly understand the cognate have a chance to process before I give them the answer, the students who did hear it are proud that they can demonstrate their mental agility, the quiet students who are not willing to admit that they did not hear the elephant in elefante are able to comprehend, and the entire routine is so quick that our class story is barely interrupted.

8 thoughts on “Béisbol, baseball

  1. […] is why I include all cognates in the word counts of my novellas, and consistently use Mike Peto’s “béisbol” routine. Let’s be honest and recognize that sometimes, what seems obvious to us just […]

  2. […] so naive as to expect students to recognize each cognate effortlessly, which is why I still employ Mike Peto’s “béisbol routine” daily, but I’ve already seen positive effects if using cognates more deliberately this year. The […]

  3. […] physical item. 4) Use a super-clear* gesture. 5) Use a super-clear* synonym/antonym. 6) Mike Peto’s “béisbol” routine (if the word is a […]

  4. […] enough, and students need help getting there. Cognates aren’t always obvious to students, so Mike Peto’s “béisbol” routine is simple and effective. Lastly, it’s important to highlight Statements with some sort of […]

  5. […] this morning when I should have been planning, I read Mike Peto‘s post, Béisbol, Baseball. And I’m SO GLAD I DID! I knew immediately I had to give it a try today! I was presenting the […]

  6. I also like calling attention to cognates, but this is a much quicker and more efficient way to do it. Usually I stop and write it out on the board, but this seems like it will help them to listen for the similarities once they know it’s a cognate. Thanks for the idea, it’s definitely something to add to the repertoire!

  7. Great tip, Mr. Peto.

  8. What a wonderfully simple idea! My Novice Low Japanese learners face the same problem, so I can absolutely see us using this technique. Thanks so much for sharing.

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