The Special Person Interview – Michele Whaley

How can we get to know our students? How do we develop a classroom community that knows and cares about its members, whether face-to-face, or online? The Special Person Interview supports teachers as they help their students learn about one another. This session will start with an interview of one attendee, then offer the presenter’s experience and variations on the Special Person Interview. Small groups will share and add their ideas for using the interviews in breakout rooms. When the group comes back together, each “room” will share and post the information.

The Special Person Interview is one way to create community while speaking in the target language from the very first day. It seems simple to students who are participating in a skilled teacher’s classroom, but teachers often feel stymied by speaking simply enough that beginning students can understand, and by finding out information about members of a group. By knowing about the support available, hearing a sample interview, and learning that there are many ways to do these interviews correctly, teachers realize that this powerful tool is similar to asking a story, and uses the same tools. The Interview contributes to a shared group language and vocabulary, and it can preview, introduce, or review almost any thematic or text material in a way that is enjoyable for students and teacher alike. Then it permeates the teaching and starts to blend with all other approaches the teacher might use, allowing personalization whether the source of input is a song, a movie, a poem, or a novel. 

This presentation takes place in “English 2 room” on Monday July 27th at 20:00 Paris time (CEST). To access the room, please click here to consult the visual map (restricted to registered conference attendees).