We’ve all heard of “boot verbs” to teach the conjugations forms of stem-changing verbs.
Take the i–>ie stem changing verb querer:
Cute, right? Well, sure….If you want your students to only be able to memorize verb forms without actually acquiring them or being able to use them in context.
At the Comprehensible Midwest Conference, Dr. Krashen delivered the keynote. As CI teacher knows, teaching verb conjugations as a way to acquire the language would not fall under the umbrella of teaching with CI. If we are using grammar concepts to teach the language, our students are probably not acquiring the language. “When your hidden agenda is the future tense it’s hard to make class interesting” – Steven Krashen.
The key is to make language compelling and personalized (and comprehensible obviously). He used the analogy of eating a well-balanced diet. In your diet, you don’t think to yourself, “well, I need to take some vitamin A now, and then later I better take a dose of protein.” If you have a well balanced diet, your vitamins and nutrients will be present in your food. Your nutrition is not sheltered. Well, grammar is the same. We do not need to have a lesson on boot verbs. Stem changing verbs by themselves should not be the focus of a lesson. Boot verbs should be part of the input we give to our students. Over time, they will acquire all the necessary structures they need to be able to use them in their communication.
With that being said, I’d like to redefine what a boot verb is. A boot verb should be a verb that you can use when talking about boots. What type of structures are compelling to students to talk about boots?
These are MY boot verbs:
My boot verbs include Se pone, tiene, quiere, va, and necesita. I can use these verbs to talk about boots. What are your boot verbs. Share them on twitter with #MyBootVerbs or leave them in the comments. Give us a sentence talking about boots.
What about Flip Flop verbs?
Talking about “Sandalias” are one thing. But it is even more compelling to talk about “Chanclas”?
My flip flop verb is : Tiene Miedo. Tiene miedo cuando su mamá viene con la chancla.
Or what if we show the boot verbs for students with a more analytical learning style, but the way we work WITH the language includes lots of Y/N personalized questions and class surveys?
I don’t think this is an either / or question.