Sandy: I read some interesting research about using a laptop to take notes in class.
Tim (rejoinder): Oh, yeah?
Sandy: Of course, typing is faster than handwriting notes.
Tim (rejoinder): Right.
Sandy: But when we type, we tend to type verbatim notes, every word we hear.
Tim (rejoinder): I see.
Sandy: But when we hand-write, we tend to be more selective, which is more useful.
Tim (rejoinder): Wow! That’s interesting!
(This posting includes a handout which you are welcome to use with your students.) Rejoinders from CS
Making conversation magic happen
After a colleague used these techniques, she told me with wonder in her eyes, “I saw magic happen in my class today. My students suddenly became very animated, their voiced rose, and they were laughing!”
Then she wondered if it was some kind of set up. In other words, by using these techniques, students have no choice but to feel like someone is interested in what they are saying.
In a sense, she is right. But isn’t that what we hope our students will experience? These are the two techniques:
1) Use rejoinders to show that they understand what the other has said by giving understanding responses.
2) Ask follow-up questions to maintain the conversation and to show interest in each other..
When someone uses these in a conversation, their interlocutor can’t help but feel like someone thinks they are interesting to talk to.