Monday, August 28, 2017

Teaching and Masking Grammar While Staying in the Target Language

As World Language teachers, we run into the big question: Should I focus my attention on communication and practicality or should I focus on grammar.  Often, I hear teachers ask (myself being one of them) “How often do we visit a country where the target language is spoken and get asked to identify the parts of speech?”  Probably not too often.  But does this mean we should ignore grammar altogether?  While more recently, many of us as World Language teachers are more communication and practicality focused (again, myself included), we must take into consideration

Monday, August 7, 2017

5 Tips for Using Bell-Ringers in the WL Classroom

The summer is winding down and several teachers are preparing to return to school in the United States in the next few days or weeks.  This post includes advice for getting the most out of the time you have with your students by implementing Bell-Ringers once class begins.

Research has shown over the years that Bell-Ringers are beneficial in many ways.  Namely, they help to set the tone for the students that it is time to focus and learn.  They also help students engage their prior knowledge from a previous class period.  And finally, they allow the teacher to complete daily administrative tasks that are required such as taking attendance and passing out papers.

Here are 5 tips to ponder for the upcoming school year:

1.  Have a Bell-Ringer already displayed on the white board or written on the board as students enter.  Be sure to always include an example response so students can see what is expected.  This will also eliminate students asking, "What are we supposed to do?"

2.  Be sure the Bell-Ringer takes 5 minutes or less to complete.  If the task is too complicated, students will be less likely to dive-in and respond to it.  Plus, it is important to devote other time to learning new concepts.

3.  Provide students with an answer sheet for the entire week or require them to keep their answers on one sheet of paper.  This will cut down on the amount of paper shuffling that you do during the year.  It will also encourage the students to be responsible for keeping up with their work.

4.  Take up the answer sheets on Friday or the last day that your class meets for the week.  Quickly look that the students attempted the answers and that they corrected any errors that they might have made.  This will also give you an extra opportunity to see who is struggling and needs more of your attention.  Add this assignment as a class work grade for class participation.

5.  Spice things up by playing your favorite target language music as students complete the Bell-Ringer.  Mix up the genre each day and be sure to write the artist's name on the board so students can listen to the music on their own time outside of class.  Have a rowdy class?  Play music with a slower rhythm to calm them down.  Have a class who is still asleep or drowsy?  Do the opposite and play tunes with some pep.

Here are some ready made Bell-Ringers to help save you some time and planning.

How do you use Bell-Ringers in your classes?

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Engaging Projects for the WL Classroom!

Spring has sprung and students and teachers alike are wishing the days away.  Spice up your world language classroom with the project ideas listed below and save yourself some time and energy! 

French Adjectives Poster Project
This project allows your French students to practice using regular and BANGS adjectives to recreate 18 different sentence fragments in French. This assignment is perfect for review to begin the semester, to practice, or to prepare for the final exam.


Spanish Selfie Project Una Rutina Diaria 
This is an engaging project to do with beginning to intermediate Spanish students. The final product requires students to create selfies of twelve different activities they do in a single day and create a hashtag for each one. Students will need prior knowledge of reflexive verbs, activities, and time.

 Spanish Food Comida Project
Project allows students the choice of making or performing one of the following: skit, interview, comic strip, Children's book, storyboard, or powerpoint. Great way to differentiate and use multiple intelligences!

Create a New Restaurant A French Project
Students will use the food vocabulary that they have learned and create a new fast food restaurant. Students will write a press release in French announcing their new theme restaurant, and create the menu.

 French Biography Project
This is an activity for French students in which they research a French speaking person and create an infographic about his/her life. There are two options of the project to allow for differentiation. Option 1 is appropriate for beginners. Option 2 is appropriate for intermediate learners. Students will practice giving descriptions, reporting facts, and asking questions.

Spanish Fairy Tale Writing Project 
This 2-3 week Spanish lesson plan is a fun fairy tale project which combines grammar, advanced vocabulary, a speaking component, and advanced verb tenses. This can be used any time of year, but it works especially well as an end of year, final Spanish project. 

Todo Sobre Mi
Use this Todo Sobre Mí guided monologue template to give your Spanish students a format to give an oral presentation about themselves.

 El Alfabeto y el Armadillo
Need an end of year project? Students complete this book by “scrapbooking” with their own choice of personal photos, colorful magazine pictures, computer images and some of their own drawings. In addition, students will enjoy writing about what interests them. It’s a keeper!

Facebook Profile and Newsfeed
Students create their own 'Facebook' profile page. Students can create a profile page for themselves or for a famous person. This includes biographical information such as their favorite sports, music, books, movies, and tv shows.

 French Selfie Project Les Loisirs
This is an engaging project to do with beginning French students to reinforce vocabulary for leisure time activities and preferences. The final product requires students to create selfies in which they participate in activities that they enjoy as well as name where they are.