flammable hippo wrote:
Chinese classes were entirely in Chinese from day one.
How exactly did you know what was being said if it was the very first class? That seems kind of early to start teaching entirely in the other language since most likely people will be sitting in their chairs not understanding anything.
If this was an advanced class, then that's a different story...
Because you start with very simple phrases, quite easy to understand given context.
Like Chris Kern, my Japanese class was in Japanese from day one. This is what the teacher did.
Teacher (holding up picture of morning)
Teacher (indicates the class)
Us (Unsure, but basically understand)
Teacher: はい、もう一度言ってください！おはようございます！(Indicates the class)
Teacher (holding up picture of afternoon)
And so on for fifty minutes. These "Greetings and Useful Phrases" were in the textbook (along with Classroom Instructions like "Please say it"). What we didn't quite get in class we soon figured out after reading that part of the textbook. Of course, a few us read ahead before the class anyway, so we had an idea of what was coming. The teachers handed out weekly lesson plans, so we knew what conversations to practice and memorize. The class was essentially time to recite the conversations, and drill the grammar points. Our vocabulary quickly grew. The very first conversations we had to memorize were
A. 分かりますか？ B. ええ、わかります。
A. 今日しますね？ B. いや、違います。明日しますよ。
A. 分かりましたか？ B. ええ、分かりました。
A. 作りましたね？ B. はい。昨日作りました。
A. できましたか？ B. できました。はい。
So, by the second day we'd been exposed the verbs "understand", "do", "be different", "make", and "can/finish", as well as "today", "tomorrow", "yes", and "no". Needless to say, the first chapter covered verbs: positive, negative, and the perfective forms thereof, so by the end of the week we could say "I understand", "I don't understand", and so on.
Vocab from there quickly grew, and we were practicing it everyday. The greetings, useful phrases, and classroom instructions were learned with minimal fuss by the end of the week.
With our textbook explanations and the twice-a-week lectures in English, we could afford to spend 50 minutes a day in a completely Japanese environment.