©Marva A. Barnett










SUMMARY OF FREN 332-4 STUDENTS’ COMMENTS RE DISCUSSION IN CLASS, THURS, FEB 22, 1996, WITH MY RESPONSES.

Message #19 (106 lines)
Date: Sun, 25 Feb 1996 14:49:53 -0500
From: mab7b@uva.pcmail.virginia.edu
To: fr332 - 4@virginia.edu
Subject: Vos commentaires

Chers amis,

Voici un résumé de vos commentaires au sujet de la discussion jeudi. Je les écris en anglais parce qu’ils sont presque tous en anglais:

COMMENT EST ALLEE LA DISCUSSION? (HOW DID THE DISCUSSION GO?)

  • "went a little too fast & was fragmented."
  • "good. I understood things much better."
  • Ditto
  • "I got lost a few times, but we reviewed a lot so it was easy to stay w/ the class. I thought the class went smoothly."
  • "Ca m’aide à comprendre l’histoire mieux. It also helped me to see which ideas would be easy to support in an essay."
  • "better than often. Sometimes I feel as if I get lost but today it was more organized."
  • "Un peu confusant [confondante] à cause du texte peut-être. I feel overwhelmed by "Un Coeur simple", and the discussion made me realize that to analyze a story written in French is harder than any English class I have ever taken."
  • ". . . rather well today, although sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the pace and depth of the discussion. Often I feel that we try to cover too much material/reading in one class."
  • ". . OK, but it seemed a little slow. I think that Flaubert has made the discussions slow down a little."
  • " . . .well, but I feel like I am "out of the loop." I have things I know about the story and want to say but can’t express them well in class."

NOTES FROM MAB: (1) If you have an interesting idea, but can’t come up with the French, try it in English—we’ll get a translation from someone else. Next time, maybe it will come in French.

Note that some find the discussion too fast and some too slow. I think that means we’re doing the best we can to hit the middle. Don’t be afraid to ask anyone for clarification.
We are covering a lot more reading and ideas than you did in 331(if you took it). I just had lunch with two former 332 students now in a literature survey class—they’re covering a NOVEL in two weeks. "Un Coeur simple" is a novella. You’re moving into the big time!

QU’EST-CE QUE LE PROF POURRAIT FAIRE? (WHAT COULD THE TEACHER DO TO IMPROVE CLASS DISCUSSIONS?)

  • "Class time is limited, but that’s not the fault of the prof."
  • "I liked when we talked in groups and then had class disc. b/c the simple Qs get answered."
  • "nothing."
  • "I liked the part when we wrote down our questions and discussed them. I think we should continue with that and make sure that everyone is understanding."
  • "It helps a lot that you encourage us to develop and support ideas and work them out, while interjecting when things get too off track."
  • "More time discussing the events in the story."
  • "Maybe focus on one theme rather than jump around b/c that can become confusing."
  • "having to find the ’figures de style’ makes us think about the text on our own, so that we are more prepared for class."
  • "Make sure all are participating in discussion. Also make sure there are no content questions / misunderstandings."
  • "Try to repeat large / important concepts / interpretations. The Qs d’analyse et de comprehension help. Also discuss important events and distinguish between those and unimportant events in the stories."

NOTES FROM MAB:

Your comments confirm my belief that MOST of you understand MOST of what is happening in the story. If you have comprehension Qs, ask me before class or--even better--ahead of time via e-mail. Or ask the class as a whole. We’ll keep using the groups to answer some of these, whenever we have time.

I agree that sometimes the discussion goes in too many directions (I thought Thursday’s did that less.) That’s been in part because I don’t like to squash ideas. I’ll try to do a better job of keeping the focus on the big issues, so don’t be offended if your details disappear.

QU’EST-CE QUE LES AUTRES POURRAIENT FAIRE? (WHAT COULD THE OTHER STUDENTS DO TO IMPROVE DISCUSSIONS?)

  • "look for a trend & try to interject ideas while staying to a common theme."
  • "more participation from everyone"
  • "Everyone should read the story."
  • "Not be afraid to say that they’re thinking."
  • "Everyone contributes well; the disc. flows nicely."
  • "Come to class prepared."
  • "Talk louder and slower! Repeat themselves, too."
  • "Talk in less abstract terms--I think that’s what is confusing."
  • "Others’ opinions make me realize MANY different possible interpretations."
  • "Participate more."

QU’EST-CE QUE VOUS POURRIEZ FAIRE? (WHAT COULD YOU DO TO IMPROVE DISCUSSIONS?)

  • "Think about analytical questions before coming to class so I don’t feel like I’m "on the spot" & pressured to think on my feet—that way I cram up & can’t think."
  • "Maybe read the story twice and try to analyze it before class."
  • "Have a short summary of the events that happened in the section we just read." (to check comprehension)
  • "Try to add more to the discussions."
  • "Maybe think of questions in advance (before class) which would stimulate discussion."
  • "It’s necessary to really think about the readings before class."
  • "I always try to contribute, but often I lose track of what is being discussed. I’ll continue trying to follow as best I can."
  • "Be more involved in class discussions!!"
  • "I could read more closely with a dictionary. I should participate more but I do not feel very comfortable with my French & I don’t feel as if I express my ideas clearly."

NOTES FROM MAB:

These are obviously brilliant ideas, and I AM COUNTING ON YOU FOR TUESDAY. MERCI BEAUCOUP DE TOUS VOS COMMENTAIRES. JE CROIS QUE LES DISCUSSIONS VONT TRES, TRES BIEN LORSQUE VOUS AVEZ BIEN PREPARE LES TEXTES ET NE SONT PAS TROP MALADES. A mardi! Marva Barnett