Technology To Help You Teach In The Target Language: EDpuzzle

If you don’t use it yet, YOU SHOULD! It’s that good and it can help you stay in the target language with your students.

EDpuzzle: “The easiest way to engage your students with videos.”

edpuzzle

Here’s how you can use it in your language classroom.

  • Find a video using EDpuzzle’s search engine that gives you access to videos from many different video streaming services. Pick something fun, relevant and that’s at an appropriate linguistic level.
  • A powerful and easy-to-use tool allows you to trim it down so students are only watching the section/portion you want them to see.
  • Make it interactive by adding your own questions/annotations for your students to answer. You can even add your own voice to the video.
  • Automatically collect assessment data based on student responses to true/false, multiple choice and/or open-ended questions.

Learn how easy and helpful it is by clicking here.


 

See what others are saying about Tuesday’s Tips For Staying In The Target Language.

Señor Howard

Señor Howard – www.SenorHoward.com/blog – @HolaSrHoward

Caleb Howard – www.SoMuchHope.com – @calhwrd

Share your target language teaching experiences!

Leave comments below or add to the conversation on twitter by using #TL90plus (for staying in the target language” comments) and/or #langchat (for general language teaching comments).

 

Assessing A Student’s Progress In A “90+% Target Language Use” Classroom

Great question from a teacher in the United Kingdom who teaches Welsh (follow him on twitter):

“I’ve been using your strategies and aiming for 90% TL.  My administrators want me to put some sort of survey together to test how much the kids understand etc.  I don’t want to include “what does this L2 word mean in English?” because, as you say, that’s not the aim.  Wondering if you’d have any tips/questions you’d use.”

Although I don’t feel like I can give him an expert’s answer, I pointed him in the direction of the NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements: Progress Indicators For Language Learners.

actfl can do statements progress indicators for language learners

A lot of people use this.  If you haven’t seen it, you’re going to love it!

Starting on page 6 of the document there’s a super-helpful (and comprehensive) checklist of Can-Do statements organized by proficiency level and mode of communication!

Here’s a great summary of the document’s purpose, which can be found in the preface:

“Ultimately, the goal for all language learners is to develop a functional use of another language for one’s personal contexts and purposes. The Can-Do Statements serve two purposes to advance this goal: for programs, the statements provide learning targets for curriculum and unit design, serving as progress indicators; for language learners, the statements provide a way to chart their progress through incremental steps…”

Here are two examples (out of hundreds) of Can-Do Statements:

  • I can say my name and ask someone’s name.
  • I can say or write something about the members of my family and ask about someone’s family.

There are many educators who have found creative ways of presenting the list in ways that motivate students to use the statements to measure their L2 acqusition progress.

From Cynthia Hitz (palmyraspanish1.blogspot.com):

foreign language can do statements cynthia hitz

From Jen Ken (senoraspeedy.blogspot.com)

can do senora speedy

From Martha Hibbard (check out her post on Can Do Statements)

can do martha hibbard

 

Personally, the thing I like about the Can-Do Statements is that it allows you to NOT assess proficiency/progress by asking questions like, “What does this L2 word mean in L2?” Check out these two posts on the topic:

Another personal note: I have LOTS of room to grow in this area.  I would benefit from your input.  How would you answer the question at the top of this post?  What resources would you point to?  Please share with us!

Señor Howard

Señor Howard – www.SenorHoward.com/blog – @HolaSrHoward

Caleb Howard – www.SoMuchHope.com – @calhwrd

See what others are saying about Tuesday’s Tips For Staying In The Target Language.

Share your target language teaching experiences!

Have the contents of this blog ever impacted your teaching or philosophy of teaching?Leave comments below or add to the conversation on twitter by using #TL90plus (for staying in the target language” comments) and/or #langchat (for general language teaching comments).

When District Expectations Make It Hard To Teach In The Target Language

Alison Morrison (check out her blog here) sent some great questions about how to stay in the TL when the expectations from district administration make 90+% TL use more complicated.

Señor Howard,
I just discovered your blog last night and was so excited! I feel like I have gotten away from staying in the TL in favor of adding more complicated activities to my lessons. You have inspired me to strive for immersion by not only giving examples, but the tools in order to be able to do so. Thank you!

I have two questions for you (and I apologize if the answers are somewhere on your blog):
1). Do you use project-based learning in your lessons? My district is really pushing inquiry-based learning and I found it difficult to do without using L1.
2). Also, what do you do with students who enter your program in the upper grades with no language experience? I had a lot of new students this year in the upper grades and it was difficult at times motivating some of them who were not used to immersion and did not have the same foundation as my other students. Any thoughts?
I greatly value your opinions!
Thank you for this outstanding professional development!
Alison Morrison

Here’s how I replied.  I’d love to read your replies to Alison’s questions in the comments section below.


Hi Alison,

I think the most helpful thing I can do is point you to Laura Sexton (if you haven’t already heard of her).  Her website is http://www.PBLintheTL.com.  (Project-Based-Learning in the Target Language).  She’s incredible.

The other thing that might be helpful to hear from me is:

Don’t feel guilty if you feel like you aren’t using the TL as much as you think you should.

I don’t think using the TL is the right strategy to use in every foreign language education setting.

For example, staying in the TL might not be the best way to prepare students for a district-wide test that assesses students’ abilities to provide the English word for L2 vocabulary or that requires students to provide the correct form of a conjugated verb.  (See this post for more on this.)  If your district is pushing for inquiry-based learning, it may not be most beneficial to stay in the target language 100% of the time with your students.  Sara-E Cottrell (from http://www.musicuentos.com) will be the first to tell you that there are many methods for teaching a foreign language and any one method isn’t THE right way to teach a foreign language in ALL educational settings.  (Check out her amazing video on this topic here.)

I personally choose to use the target language because it helps me with the issues of retention and motivation.  I only see my students once every 6 school days.  Before I used the target language, they’d forget everything.  Now students are using Spanish words, phrases and some sentences to communicate with me out in the hallways and on the playground.  Sometimes my students use phrases that I’ve never even directly taught them.

Another positive is that we’re having a good time.  (the motivation issue)  The students are learning/acquiring and sometimes they don’t even realize that they’re learning or that I’m even administering an assessment.  We laugh together and class feels meaningful to them.

It should be noted that I don’t have a lot of administrative pressure to teach in a certain way.  I have the privilege of teaching in the way that I feel is best for my students. (Lucky me)

Regarding what I do with students who enter into the program without much language experience:

…nothing fancy.  I probably do what every teacher does: I do the best I can with a tough situation.  Maybe, instead of requiring them to answer an open-ended question, I might ask them the same question but give them two options. For example, let’s say the question is, “Describe the dog in the picture,” or, “What is the dog like?”  Whereas experienced students might have to start using some L2 adjectives and sentences structures to answer, I might help the new student by saying, “Is the dog big and white or is the dog small and brown?”  I’ll make the answer very obvious to the new student with my vocal inflections and facial expressions.  I’ll give them chances to succeed so their confidence level can increase.  I try to make it so that L2 class becomes a place where they want to be and want to succeed.

Feel free to ask more questions or follow up questions at any time!
Best wishes!

Señor Howard

Señor Howard – www.SenorHoward.com/blog – @HolaSrHoward

Caleb Howard – www.SoMuchHope.com@calhwrd

See what others are saying about Tuesday’s Tips For Staying In The Target Language.

Your voice is valuable! Share your target language teaching experiences!

Leave comments below or add to the conversation on twitter by using #TL90plus (for staying in the target language” comments) and/or #langchat (for general language teaching comments).

Teaching Grammar In The Target Language: Part 7 – “To Go” (Future, Present & Past Tenses)

In this PART 7 post you’ll find a list of ideas to help you develop lesson plans for teaching…:

  • …the verb “TO GO” (in the future, present & past tenses).
  • …the question word: “Where?”
  • …the days of the week.

Don’t feel limited to what is written below.  Let these simple ideas launch you into developing more creative, thoughtful, and effective ideas.

The only thing you really need to remember is:

“Our main approach/principle for teaching grammar while staying in the target language is…

…give students MEANINGFUL EXPERIENCES in which the target grammar structures are used often enough to be noticed and acquired.”

 


Instructional Activities/Strategies

1- Days Of The Week – Introduction or Review

First, show a calendar that has the days of the week written in the target language.  (If you have a way to project it, it’s fun to use Google Calendar and change the settings so that the days of the week show up in the language that you teach.)  Showing the days of the week on a calendar, and pointing to each one as you say them, is a very simple way of making them comprehensible.  (Side note: For the purposes of this lesson, students don’t need to have the days of the week memorized, nor do the students need to prove that they know the direct translations of the days of the week.  It’s enough that they know that you are talking about days.)

Show the students an oversized calendar and have them repeat the days of the week in the target language.

Show the students an oversized calendar and have them repeat the days of the week in the target language.

Next, write/post the days of the week (from left to right) on the board.  Write them as spread out as possible with enough space below to record some data.

2- “TO GO” – Future Tense

Pick a day of the week.  Under that particular day, write (and at the same time, say) a few sentences like the ones listed, in bold, below.  Each sentence should have the name of a student in it.  At first pick students who tend to be more confident than the others.  Each sentence should also have the name of a place that students would really like to go.  (i.e. McDonald’s, Starbucks, Six Flags…etc.  The purpose of picking locations like these is to peak the students’ interest.  It’s important to peak students’ interest because, depending on their proficiency level, they may have no clue what you are saying/writing.  Remember, when students have no clue what you’re saying, they will quickly lose interest.  Avoid losing the interest of your students by using names of their classmates and by saying the names of places that everyone recognizes and would like to go to.)

“On Thursday, Laura will go to Starbucks.”

“On Thursday, Emily will go to Starbucks.”

“On Thursday, Aidan will go to McDonalds.”

On Thursday, Trista will go to Six Flags.”

After all the sentences are written on the board, step back and say (in the target language), “Wow.  Okay.  Great.  Laura.  Okay.  Laura.  On Thursday, Laura will go to Starbucks.  And Emily.  Yes.  Emily.  Laura and Emily.  On Thursday, Laura and Emily will go to Starbucks.  And Aidan.  On Thursday Aidan will go to McDonalds.  And on Thurdsay, Trista will go to Six Flags.  Great.  Wow.  Great.  Okay.”

Finally, you may want to ask the class to read the sentences on the board out loud in unison.  (Side note: At this point the teacher does not expect the students to know what they are saying.  However the students are still willing to say it and stay engaged because everyone is thinking, “Okay, I’m not sure what’s going on…but it has something to do with my friends Laura, Emily, Aidan and Trista…and it has something to do with these fun places.  What’s gonna happen?  Let me see and find out.”  The names of students (and of exciting places) are keeping the students engaged, even though they aren’t sure what’s being said in the target language.  Meanwhile, something very exciting is happening.  While student interest is peaked, Teacher is introducing the target grammar structures.)

(Side note #2: The fun thing about moments like these is that Teacher gets to introduce and repeat the target grammar structure without the students really even noticing.  The students aren’t actively paying attention to the future tense form of the verb “TO GO”.  They aren’t actively noticing that you taught them a 3rd person plural conjugation for the future tense of “TO GO”.  They are waiting (some of them excitedly waiting) to find out what these classmates are going to do…and what in the world Starbucks, McDonalds and Six Flags have to do with anything).  While they are thinking about something exciting and curious, the teacher is intentionally teaching but the students are learning passively.  The students start learning without trying to learn.  It’s an amazing experience both for the instructor and learner.  Learning L2 by accident!  When my students have moments like these, sometimes I like telling them, “L2 class is like T.V…all you have to do is watch.”)

3- “TO GO” – Present Tense

Teacher pulls out teacher-made signs/printouts that have the words “Starbucks,” “McDonalds” and “Six Flags” in big attractive letters.  Teacher takes the Starbucks sign and hangs it up at one end of the room.  Teacher says, “Class: Starbucks.  This is Starbucks.  Right here is Starbucks. (Teacher motions/points to a defined imaginary place next to the Starbucks sign that is the part of the classroom called Starbucks.)

Teacher repeats sentences like these while she hangs up the other signs in different parts of the room.

Now every student knows where Starbucks, McDonalds and Six Flags are located in the classroom.

Teacher walks back to the middle of the room, shrugs her shoulders and asks the class, “Where is Starbucks?”  When students start pointing to the Starbucks sign, Teacher uses the Two-Hand Method to help them answer the question, “Where is Starbucks?” with the phrase, “There it is.”

Teacher continues asking about the location of the other signs, “Where is McDonalds/Six Flags?” and students answer appropriately by pointing to the sign and saying, “There it is.”

Teacher goes to the sentences on the board and reads all four while she looks at them.

Teacher looks away from the sentences and looks directly at Laura and says, “Laura, on Thursday, where do you go?  On Thursday do you go to Starbucks?  On Thursday do you go to McDonalds?  OR on Thurdsay do you go to Six Flags?”  When Laura answers with the word Starbucks (because it’s so obvious) Teacher writes the answer in complete sentence form and uses the Two-Hand Method to help Laura say, “On Thursday I go to Starbucks.”  Teacher praises Laura for her complete sentence answer saying, “Great.  Good Laura.  Good job Laura.”  Teacher motions for Laura to stand and says, “Laura, stand up.”  Teacher motions for Laura to walk to the spot on the classroom floor beneath the “Starbucks” sign and says, “Go to Starbucks.”  Teacher gives Laura a reward/incentive for answering/participating/going-first.  (Side note: At this point, Laura may feel very “put on the spot”.  She may have felt a bit embarrassed to be going first and to be instructed to stand up and walk in front of all her peers.  (Again, that’s why Teacher should pick confident students to go first for activities like these.)  Teacher should have a high-desire reward to give to Laura for going first.  An even better reward situation would be to pick two high-quality rewards and say, “Good Laura.  Good job.  Do you want ___(reward #1) or ____ (reward #2)?”  Have class give Laura a round of applause.  If any of Laura’s peers acts obnoxious or does something to make her feel awkward…there must be a significant consequence…or else no other student will want to participate because they will feel afraid of their peers making fun of them.)

Teacher continues by looking away from Laura and directly at Emily and repeats the line of questioning/script that she used with Laura (in the paragraph above).

Teacher continues this pattern with Aidan and then Trista.

Before moving on to step #4 Teacher may choose to do all of steps 2 (future tense) and 3 (present tense) over again with new student volunteers.  The purpose of the repetition is to make sure that the whole class has a good understanding of what’s happening before introducing the new target grammar structures from step 4 (below).

4- “TO GO” – Past Tense

Once steps 2 and 3 are done, Teacher should make sure all student volunteers are seated.  Teacher should write the following questions/answers on the board and have a discussion with students about what happened (past tense) in steps 2 and 3:

“On Thursday, who went to Starbucks?”

“On Thursday, _____ went to Starbucks.”

“On Thursday, who went to McDonalds?”

Etc.

Getting Everyone Involved

Once the students feel moderately familiar with steps 2, 3 and 4 it will be easier to get everyone involved.  Try some of the following ideas:

  • Add more “locations” around the room.  (i.e. “the park,” “the movie theater,” “the mall,” “Taco Bell,” “Local Ice Cream Store,” etc.)
  • Do a whole week in fast-motion.  Make a list of the days of the week on the board.  Write down a long list of sentences in the target language (future tense) delineating which students will go to which places on each of the particular days.  Teacher can point to any particular day of the week on the calendar and see if each of the students know where to go based on the sentences written on the board.  At any point Teacher can stop and ask questions in the future, present and past tenses.  When practicing the target grammar structures it would be good to have the questions and answers written/posted somewhere conspicuous.
  • Ask students to write down or say (in the TL) where their peers will go on different days of the week.  After a few of these directions have been written down or said, their classmates will have to walk around to the correct places in the room.
  • Recycle this activity throughout the year.  Call the activity something catchy in the target language (i.e. “Let’s Go!” or “Where Will We Go Today?”).  Give the students chances to review/practice these grammar structures at random times throughout the year.

Assessment Ideas

  • After students are familiar with steps 2-4, start recording whether they walk to the appropriate spot in the room when the cue/direction is given.  Use a rubric to assign a grade based on whether they walked to the correct spot needing help or not, or after walking to incorrect spot(s) or not, etc.
  • Write a “model email to a friend” on the board in front of all the students.  The email should contain information about where you go on certain days of the week.  Ask students to answer comprehension questions based on the information included in the “model email to a friend.”
  • Ask students to write text messages to each other or to you.  You can do this on real devices or, if that is not possible, make a “text-message-conversation-template” to print out and have students fill in the conversation bubbles in pairs.  Students should use the target grammar structures to ask and answer questions about their plans for the week and where they will go or where they would like to go.  Students can also ask their friends questions like, “Where did you go last Saturday?”

REFLECT: What did the students experience during this activity?

  • Students got to get up and walk around the room.
  • Students repeatedly heard, read and said different forms of the verb for “TO GO.”
  • Students passively learned the word, “Where?”
  • Students used the interpersonal mode to help Teacher compile relevant information.
  • Students wrote in the target language.
  • Unit assessments were meaningful and generally non-threatening to reluctant students.
  • Digital assessment option allows students to practice collaborating and to learn 21st century skills.
  • The teacher stayed in the target language.
  • The students realized that they could not only survive in an L2-immersion environment but that it can be fun.

Have you tried out any of these grammar teaching suggestions from Tuesday’s Tips for Staying in the Target Language?  How did it go?  Leave comments below or add to the conversation on twitter by using #langchat (for general language teaching comments) and/or #TL90plus (for staying in the target language” comments).

See what others are saying about Tuesday’s Tips For Staying In The Target Language.

learn Spanish with Señor Howard

 

Señor Howard – www.SenorHoward.com – @HolaSrHoward

Part 1 – Step-By-Step Guide for Teaching Grammar In The Target Language: “To Have” and “To Want” Verbs

 Part 2 – Step-By-Step Guide for Teaching Grammar In The Target Language: Introducing “To (NOT) Want”

Part 3 –  Step-By-Step Guide for Teaching Grammar In The Target Language: Teaching How Change in Quantity Affects The L2 Sentence

Part 4 –  Step-By-Step Guide for Teaching Grammar In The Target Language: Teaching Future Tense of “To Eat”

Part 5 –  Step-By-Step Guide for Teaching Grammar In The Target Language: Teaching Past Tense of “To Eat”

Part 6 – Teaching “To Listen” & “To Like/Not Like” – Various Tenses

Part 7 – Teaching “TO GO” – Various Tenses

How NOT (I Repeat: NOT) To Assess The Progress Of L2 Students In A 90+% Target Language Classroom

I need some help.

I need some feedback on a thought I’ve been developing regarding how to assess the progress of L2 students who have been learning L2 by being immersed in a comprehensible L2 environment.

Here’s the thought: Don’t expect students (from an L2 classroom where the teacher stays in the target language 90+% of the time) to be able to answer assessment questions like:

  • What is the word for “please” in L2?
  • Match the following L2 phrases with their correct English translation.
  • Fill in the sentence blank with the correct form of the L2 verb.
  • Also…(especially if the student is younger than a 4th grader) I don’t think parents should be shocked if it takes a lot of effort for their child to answer the question, “What did you learn in L2 class today?”

I’m starting to think that foreign language teachers shouldn’t expect students in their #TL90plus classroom to be able to think that way.

Here are two stories that explain why:

Story 1 – “Teach Me Your Language”

Every year I teach 600 elementary aged students.  Whenever I meet a student that speaks a heritage language, other than English, I tell them: “If I teach you Spanish…you should teach me your language.” (i.e. Russian, Ukrainian, Chinese, Turkish…etc)

Over the last 11 years I’ve tried learning basic phrases in the language that these students speak at home with their parents.  (It’s important to note that most of these children speak their heritage language fluently with their parents.  When they’re at home, they can navigate, the Russian language (for example), with ease and fluently talk about a wide variety of topics.
I’ve noticed, however, that when they are with me (a non-Russian speaker in a setting where they never use Russian words to communicate) they struggle to answer seemingly simple questions about their language.  For example, If I ask, “how do you say the word for ‘please’ in Russian?” they might…
  • look at me with a blank stare
  • they think for a while
  • and then they say, “I forgot.”

I’ve also noticed that this happens more consistently with students that are younger.  The older students (4th and 5th grade) tend to be able to give me the Russian word for the English word that I give them.  The younger students, however, almost exclusively, freeze up, seem shy, don’t respond, or say, “I forget.”

When I ask them to make a direct connection between their L1 and my L2…THEY CAN’T.

They CAN fully function in their family’s L1 environment (Russian).  They CAN fully function in the school’s L2 environment (English).  But they struggle when they are asked to make direct connections between the two languages.

Story 2 – “That’s Home!!!”
The other week I got so excited about an idea I had to make a special connection with one of my 1st grade students who speaks Russian at home and perfect English at school.  I recently downloaded a trial version of Rossetta Stone (in Russian) onto my iPad.  When I saw the pictures and heard the Russian audio, I knew right away that my student would love seeing/hearing it.  Remember: this 1st grade girl can speak English just like her 1st grade classmates.  …but at home the family only Speaks Russian.
I walked into her classroom (while she wasn’t too busy with other work) and I showed her the app.  I briefly showed her how to use the interactive features and she saw the pictures and heard the audio recordings of native Russian speakers.
As soon as she heard/saw it her eyes brightened up….and she said, “That’s home!”
Notice that she didn’t say, “That’s Russian,” or, “That’s the language that I speak!”  She said, “That’s home.”
Her statement made me realize that, in her mind she doesn’t think in terms of “languages” or “L1” or ” L2” or “translating.”  If she tries to say something in English to her friends, she probably doesn’t think of it first in Russian and then wonder, “what is the English equivalent of these Russian words that I would like to speak to my English-speaking classmates?”
If she has any thoughts about languages, I would guess that she would think more along the lines of:
“My parents speak to me differently than my school teachers speak to me.”
or
“The words I use at home (to communicate and get what I want) are different words than the words I use at school (to communicate and get what I want).”
Because of experiences like these, I have developed the phrase:
L2 teachers (who stay in the target language) should try to help students avoid thinking, “this L2 word means this L1 word.”  Instead, students should think, “In this L2 situation, this L2 phrase is used.”
Why is this discussion important?
Foreign language teachers need to assess the progress their students are making.  Foreign language teachers need to make sure that their instruction is effective (i.e. that the students can give an acceptable demonstration proving that they’ve mastered of each day’s performance objectives).
However, foreign language teachers need to make sure that they are using appropriate assessment measures.
It would be inappropriate for a #TL90plus foreign language teacher to teach in the target language and then ask their students to demonstrate language acquisition progress by providing direct translations.  Staying in the target language, as a foreign language instructional strategy, isn’t about helping students to make connections between L1 and L2.  It’s about giving them the tools they need to jump into a different world.  A world where people use different verbal sounds (and read and write different letter patterns/symbols) to interact, enjoy friendship, argue, express passions, create, debate, express their grief, work…etc.
What do you think?
I’m particularly curious about your experience with older individuals.  I only work with young students.
1- Is it ‘easy and natural’ or ‘difficult and strange’ for older students, particularly students immersed in a comprehensible L2 environment, to make direct connections between L1 and L2?
2- Do you think students should be expected to demonstrate language acquisition by making direct connections between two languages, or should teachers keep the following phrases in mind when they are preparing their assessments:
L2 teachers (who stay in the target language) should try to help students avoid thinking, “this L2 word means this L1 word.”  Instead, students should think, “In this L2 situation, this L2 phrase is used.”
Leave comments below or add to the conversation on twitter by using #langchat (for general language teaching comments) and/or #TL90plus (for staying in the target language” comments).

 See what others are saying about Tuesday’s Tips For Staying In The Target Language.

Señor Howard

Señor Howard – www.SenorHoward.com/blog – @HolaSrHoward

Caleb Howard – www.SoMuchHope.com – @calhwrd

Your voice is valuable! Share your target language teaching experiences!

Teaching Grammar In The Target Language: Part 6 – “To Listen” & “To Like”

In this PART 6 post you’ll find a list of ideas to help you develop lesson plans for teaching the verb “TO LISTEN” and some “Statements of Preference” (TO LIKE/LOVE/ENJOY).  For step-by-step examples of how to teach these types of lessons, please see the comprehensive lesson transcripts from parts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 of this series entitled, “Teaching Grammar In The Target Language.”

Remember, our main approach/principle for teaching grammar while staying in the target language is…

…give students MEANINGFUL EXPERIENCES in which the target grammar structures are used often enough to be noticed and acquired.

 


Instructional Activities/Strategies

Making learning the verbs "TO LISTEN" and "TO LIKE" meaningful and engaging by using and discussing music in the target language.

Making learning the verbs “TO LISTEN” and “TO LIKE” meaningful by listening to and discussing music in the target language.

1- “To Listen” – Future Tense

First, identify a variety of popular musical selections from the target culture.  Introduce the verb forms of “to listen” by saying (in the target language) things like, “Michael will listen to Song #1.  Rachael will listen to Song #2.  William and Thomas will listen to Song #3 and the rest of us will listen to song #4.”

Help students practice the introduced forms of the verb by continuing in the following fashion, “Class, who will listen to Song #2? (Students answer.)  And who will listen to Song #1?  (Students answer.) etc.”

Help students practice writing complete sentences that include these verb forms by doing the following: “Okay Class.  Let’s write it on the board.  Ummm.  Who will listen to Song #1? (Student answers.)  Great.  Let’s write that on the board so we can remember.”  Repeat until the written list is complete.

2- “To Listen” – Present Progressive Tense | “To Like or Not Like” Present Tense

Use iPads, CD players, computers, listening stations to allow the students to listen to the assigned songs.  The first time the songs are played students should only be asked to listen.

The second time the songs are played, circulate throughout the room and ask students, “Are you listening to Song #1 or are you listening to Song #2?”  Motion thumbs up or thumbs down and ask, “Do you like the song or do you not like the song?”

3- “To Listen” – Past Tense | “To Like or Not Like” Past Tense

Conduct a debriefing time and ask questions like, “Class, what song did Rachael listen to?”  (Class answers and Teacher continues.)  “Rachael, is it true?  Did you listen to Song #1?  …or did you listen to Song #2?”  AND, “Rachael did you like Song #1 or did you not like Song #1?”

Reinforcement / Student Practice ideas:

Repeat steps 1, 2 and 3 several times over the span of a week or 2 weeks.  Assign different songs to each student every time the activity is repeated.

Assessment Ideas:

Non-Digital Assessment Option:  Teacher writes a friendly letter (addressed to “Dear _____”) using content and grammar structures from this unit.  (i.e.  “Hi.  How are you?  I like music.  Do you like music?  I like the song called ______.  I listened to the song 4 times on Sunday.  Do you listen to the song called ______?  Do you like the song or do you not like the song?  What songs do you like?”

For the assessment students must write back.  Create a rubric to help students know how you will grade them.

Digital Assessment Option:  Distribute iPads, laptops or simply pen and paper.  Create a Google Doc and share the shareable link with each student.  Students open the Google Doc on their device and prepare to collaborate.  Teacher writes a series of questions for students to answer while also asking the questions outloud.  Students follow the progression of questions verbally and on their screen.  Students are only required to find the question(s) next to their name and answer.  Questions can include, “Rachael what songs did you listen to?”  “Rachael, which songs did you like?”  “Rachael, which songs did you not like?” Rachael is required to write her answer on the Google Doc.

Alternatively, Teacher can have the questions already written.

REFLECT: What did the students experience during this activity?

  • Students repeatedly heard, read and said different forms of the verb for “to listen and to like”.
  • Students used the interpersonal mode to help Teacher compile relevant information.
  • Students wrote in the target language.
  • Unit assessments were meaningful and generally non-threatening to reluctant students.
  • Digital assessment option allows students to practice collaborating and to learn 21st century skills.
  • The teacher stayed in the target language.
  • The students realized that they could not only survive in an L2-immersion environment but that it can be fun.

Have you tried out any of these grammar teaching suggestions from Tuesday’s Tips for Staying in the Target Language?  How did it go?  Leave comments below or add to the conversation on twitter by using #langchat (for general language teaching comments) and/or #TL90plus (for staying in the target language” comments).

Stay tuned to over the next weeks for more blog posts on teaching grammar while staying in the target language.

 See what others are saying about Tuesday’s Tips For Staying In The Target Language.

Señor Howard

Señor Howard – www.SenorHoward.com/blog – @HolaSrHoward

Caleb Howard – www.SoMuchHope.com – @calhwrd

Your voice is valuable! Share your target language teaching experiences!

Leave comments below or add to the conversation on twitter by using #TL90plus (for staying in the target language” comments) and/or #langchat (for general language teaching comments).

Part 1 – Step-By-Step Guide for Teaching Grammar In The Target Language: “To Have” and “To Want” Verbs

 Part 2 – Step-By-Step Guide for Teaching Grammar In The Target Language: Introducing “To (NOT) Want”

Part 3 –  Step-By-Step Guide for Teaching Grammar In The Target Language: Teaching How Change in Quantity Affects The L2 Sentence

Part 4 –  Step-By-Step Guide for Teaching Grammar In The Target Language: Teaching Future Tense of “To Eat”

Part 5 –  Step-By-Step Guide for Teaching Grammar In The Target Language: Teaching Past Tense of “To Eat”

Part 6 – Teaching “To Listen” & “To Like/Not Like” – Various Tenses