So, this year, I set out to increase the Value factor of bilingualism in my students' minds. To do this, I asked them to write a future diary entry with these directions:
- Imagine yourself 10 years in the future, when you are completely fluent in French!
- You have been working in your career for a couple of years and/or your family has been established.
- Write an imaginary diary entry about a day when your bilingualism plays a big part in the events of that day.
I had them write for exactly 10 minutes in English, and then they shared their stories with their groups. Each group chose the best story and I read that one to the class. Then, we talked about the advantages that bilingualism brings to life. My favorite is that the students are convinced that bilingualism saves lives! (In many of the diary entries, the students have saved the life of someone in a heroic way just because they understood the person's needs.)
I have made it a point to read each student's diary entry and write them a nice little note reacting to it. I get to know about their future dreams and ambitions, which in the past, I never knew very well. (I even learned that two of them want to be World Language Teachers (talk about pressure)!
At any rate, my thinking on this is that they will know that it will take some time, but that it will pay off in the long run.
For more about increasing their Expectancy of Success, you can read my blog entry here.
*I don't remember where this figure comes from, but it is what is floating around in my head.