It’s not easy to teach a foreign language by staying in the TL. Neither is managing off-task behavior. When I considered following ACTFL’s recommendation, to stay in the TL at least 90% of the time, my biggest question was: “How do I effectively manage the classroom and keep students engaged?”
- …how to avoid students saying: “Sr. Howard, I don’t understand a word you’re saying!”
- …how to avoid a disrespectful response after I reprimanded an off-task student in the target language. (i.e. ‘WHAT!? WHAT ARE YOU EVEN SAYING!?’)
- …how to motivate classes to stay engaged even though they didn’t understand every word I was saying.
- …how to encourage on-task behavior without making the learner feel intimidated (as a result of the compliment being in a language they didn’t understand.)
- …how to handle heritage speakers wanting to interupt instruction with direct translations of what I was saying.
Starting today, and over the next several weeks, I’ll share those practical ideas and strategies. Remember: for students to acquire L2, while listening to only L2, the input needs to be comprehensible. AND…For the input to be comprehensible the students need to be watching a contextualized source of instruction. So classroom management is a HUGE deal. Take it seriously. Feel free to use any of these ideas (or adapt them) for use in your classroom.
What questions do you have about how to manage student behavior while staying in the target language? Leave comments and questions below.
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