Ted’s full presentation is here (that he shared freely and openly with us) but I will highlight some of the, well, highlights below.
- The idea of ‘sheltered’ vocabulary and grammar was reinforced. It was a term I had heard but wasn’t quite comfortable with.
- Ted tends to focus on sheltered vocabulary but not necessarily sheltered grammar (or at least sheltered grammar with exceptions).
- He focused on the importance of reducing the number of unfamiliar words in a text, that not uncommonly students see texts with upwards of 75% unfamiliar words (I would say that’s the case in my classroom).
- This focus reminded me of Kitchell’s cricket experiment way back when (I believe in 2001), when he gave us an article about a cricket match that none of us could understand (because of the unfamiliar vocabulary) even though it was in English.
- It was somewhat heartening to recognize things that I already do, albeit mostly in isolation, in addition to all of the things that I don’t do.
- Much of the presentation and slide show consisted of the stories themselves, composed in simple Latin, with sheltered vocabulary, often incorporating his students themselves or his students’ ideas.