Top 10 Lists…

To commemorate 100 posts published on Tuesday’s Tips For Staying In The Target Language, here are some Top 10 (and 15) Lists. In other news, I’ll be taking some time off from publishing these posts every Tuesday. Click here if you care to contribute opinions, comments and feedback regarding the future of this blog on a survey.

Top 10 Most Shared Posts:

  1. How To Avoid “Freaking Out” Novice L2 Learners When Staying In The Target Language
  2. How Not (I Repeat: NOT) To Assess The Progress Of L2 Students In A 90+% Target Language Classroom
  3. Debunking 5 “Teaching In The Target Language Myths”
  4. Debunking 5 MORE “Teaching In The Target Language Myths”
  5. A Common Teaching In The Target Language Mistake
  6. No Duct-Taping L2 Fruit On The Foreign Language Proficiency Tree
  7. Management Strategies For The 90+% Target Language Classroom: Increase Student Motivation
  8. My Favorite Activity For Interpersonal Mode (With Links To Handouts)
  9. “They Look At Me Weird” – Dealing With The Awkwardness Of Using L2
  10. 37 Links To Online Resources For “Teaching In The Target Language”

Top 15 Most Helpful Posts For Teachers Who Want To Start Teaching In The Target Language

  1. The First Week Of Staying In The Target Language With Your Students
  2. Q/A: What To Do On The First Week Of Class & When To Use L1
  3. What To Say In The Target Language On The First Day Of Class – Novice L2 Learners
  4. How To Manage Student Behavior & Stay In The Target Language: Increase Motivation
  5. Introduce New Vocabulary AND Stay In The Target Language (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3)
  6. Step By Step Guide For Teaching Grammar In The Target Language (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8)
  7. Assessing A Student’s Progress In A “90+% Target Language Use” Classroom
  8. Turning Tedious Tasks Into Teaching In The Target Language Triumphs
  9. When District Expectations Make It Hard To Teach In The Target Language
  10. 90+% Target Language Use: How To Respond To Administrative Pushback
  11. Dos and Don’ts For Handouts In The 90+% Target Language Classroom
  12. Effective Routines For Upper Elementary L2 Learners
  13. Effective Routines For Lower Elementary L2 Learners
  14. Overcoming The Obstacles To Making Input Comprehensible
  15. How My Walls Help Me Stay In The Target Language

Top 10 Posts To Read If Your Students Resist Instruction In The Target Language:

  1. How To Avoid “Freaking Out” Novice L2 Learners When Staying In The Target Language
  2. “My Students Don’t Feel Comfortable When I Spend Long Amounts Of Time Teaching In The Target Language.”
  3. “Ahhh! How Am I Supposed To Give Activity Directions In The Target Language”
  4. My First Successful “Staying In The TL” Lesson
  5. Interpretive Mode – Build A Reluctant Student’s Confidence
  6. Making The Interpersonal Mode As Easy As Possible For Novice Learners (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4)
  7. ClassDojo.com & Teaching In The Target Language
  8. “They Look At Me Weird” – Dealing With The Awkwardness Of Using L2
  9. My “Staying In The Target Language” Story/Journey (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4)
  10. Helping Students NOT Feel Dumb/Stupid/Embarrassed

Top 15 Most Practical Posts:

  1. Step By Step Guide For Teaching Grammar In The Target Language: “To Have” & “To Want” Verbs
  2. Step By Step Guide For Teaching Grammar In The Target Language: Introducing “To NOT Want”
  3. Step By Step Guide For Teaching Grammar In The Target Language: Teaching How Change In Quantity Affects The L2 Sentence
  4. Step By Step Guide For Teaching Grammar In The Target Language: “To Eat” Future Tense
  5. Step By Step Guide For Teaching Grammar In The Target Language: “To Eat” Past Tense
  6. Step By Step Guide For Teaching Grammar In The Target Language: “To Listen” & “To Like” Verbs
  7. Step By Step Guide For Teaching Grammar In The Target Language: “To Go” Future, Past & Present Tense
  8. Using Your Hands During Interpersonal Mode Instruction
  9. My Favorite Activity For Interpersonal Mode (With Links To Handouts)
  10. Blindfolded – 5 Tips For Using A Blindfold In Your Foreign Language Classroom
  11. Lionel Messi & A Quick Tip For Staying In The Target Language
  12. Quick Tips: 4 Ideas For Getting Your Students To Use The Target Language
  13. Quick Pics Tip: How To Mention “Happy New Year” With Novice L2 Learners
  14. Technology To Help You Teach In the Target Language: EDpuzzle
  15. You Gotta See This Resource From Post-Primary Languages Initiative

Top 8 Most Reflective/Thoughtful Posts:

  1. How Not (I Repeat: NOT) To Assess The Progress  Of L2 Students In A 90+% Target Language Classroom
  2. Bad Oatmeal & A Simple, Sort Explanation Of How To Stay In The Target Language With Novice Students
  3. What I Learned About Comprehensible Input From My Crawling Infants
  4. The Vocab List Analogy
  5. No Duct-Taping L2 Fruit On The Foreign Language Proficiency Tree
  6. Language To Language OR Language To Living
  7. Being In Diapers And Staying In The Target Language
  8. “They Look At Me Weird” – Dealing With The Awkwardness Of Using L2

Top 10 Nerdiest Posts

  1. Why Do I “Use Fewer Words?” …Input Has Quantitative Qualities
  2. “Why Aren’t They Getting This?” – Input: Multiple Forms & ICI
  3. Forms Of Input – Linguistic & Extralinguistic
  4. Forms Of Input – Representational Input
  5. Forms Of Input – Gesticulated Input
  6. Forms Of Input – Constructed Situational Input
  7. Forms Of Input – Incidental Situational Input
  8. Forms Of Input – Inflectional Input
  9. The Key: “Pairing”
  10. Overcoming The Obstacles To Making Input Comprehensible

Top 10 Posts With Video Demonstrations:

  1. What To Say In The Target Language On The First Day Of Class – Novice L2 Learners
  2. Video Recording: 1st Graders Learning Days Of The Week & Colors In The Target Language
  3. Video Recording: 5th Graders Learning “To Be” Verb Conjugations In The Target Language
  4. Video Recording – Comprehensible L2 Immersion Environment
  5. Senor Howard’s Video & Why He Does What He Does (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3)
  6. Introduce New Vocabulary AND Stay In The Target Language (“i+1)
  7. Making The Interpersonal Mode As Easy As Possible For Novice Learners
  8. Demo Lesson On Video: Cinco De Mayo
  9. Demo Lesson On Video: 2014 World Cup
  10. You Gotta See This Resource From Post-Primary Languages Initiative

Thanks for reading!

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!

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).

Blindfolded – 5 Tips For Using A Blindfold In Your Foreign Language Classroom

Use a blindfold.

It makes activities a bit more fun!

learning activities with blindfolds

Try these ideas:

1- Describe the “mystery classmate.” While students are able to see, have them look carefully at what each classmate is wearing. To help students recall previously acquired L2 vocabulary, Teacher can choose to walk around the classroom using L2 phrases and sentences like these: “Boys and girls, notice that Jack is wearing a purple shirt and that his shoes are brown. And remember Jack’s hair color. His hair is brown but Josiah’s hair is black.” Etc.

Pick 3 volunteers. Student #1 will be blindfolded. Student #2 will be the “mystery classmate.” Student #3 will need to use L2 phrases/sentences to describe the mystery classmate to Student #1. Student #1 (the blindfolded volunteer) must guess who the “mystery classmate” is based on the description.

2- Build a puzzle. Put a blindfold on yourself and pretend like you’re having a difficult time getting the pieces in the right spot. With older students, use a document camera so they can see from their seats. With younger students, have them sit in a circle so they can watch what you’re doing.

animals puzzle

numbers puzzle

As you struggle with the zoo animals puzzle, say L2 words/phrases like, “Okay…ummm…zebra? No, not a zebra. Elephant? An elephant? No. Not an elephant.” (Touch the long neck on the giraffe piece.) “Hmmm. Long neck. Oh…oh! Giraffe…a giraffe! Yes. Okay.” (Start feeling the empty spaces to figure out where the giraffe piece goes.) “Here. Yes, here. The giraffe goes here.” In order to get students talking, ask L2 questions like, “does the giraffe go here or does the giraffe go here?” or “Hmm. Where does the giraffe go? Here? No? Here? No? WHERE!? Where does it go!?”

3- Organize items. With your eyes uncovered, show students a set of items (i.e. a set of classroom objects, a set of food items, clothing, toiletries…etc). Show pictures of the same items. Put the set of items in a box and cover your eyes with the blindfold. Lay out the pictures of the corresponding items while saying things like, “Okay…this picture…hmmm…what’s in this picture? Is this a picture of a carrot or is this a picture of a banana?” (Students answer.) “Okay, thanks. The picture of the carrot goes here. And what’s in this picture?” (Students answer.) “Okay the picture of the banana goes here.” Finish laying out the pictures and say, “Okay…the picture of the carrot is here and the picture of the banana is here and the picture of the orange is here and the picture of the tomato is here. Great.” Now reach for the box of the corresponding items while still blindfolded. Take out an item and say L2 sentences like, “Okay…umm…this is NOT a banana, this is NOT a tomato…this is DEFINITELY an orange.” Place the orange on top of the picture of the orange. Have fun making intentional mistakes. Put the orange in the wrong place. Students will want to correct you using the L2 sentences you’ve just finished modeling. For students that need extra help, have the target sentences posted nearby for reference.

4- Order sequence words. (i.e. months of the year, days of the week, L2 numbers by 10s to 100 or by 100s to 1,000.) Blindfold yourself, mix up the target vocabulary flashcards, and post them in random order on the board. Use L2 sentences to ask the students what’s written on each flashcard. Elicit their verbal instructions to help you successfully sequence the target vocabulary.

5- What changed? (Hint: This won’t work so well with novice students.) Pick Student #1 to stand in front of the class. Pick Student #2 to be blindfolded. While Student #2 CAN’T see, Student #1 will have to change ONE THING. (i.e. put his wrist watch on the other hand, button the top button of his shirt, untie one of her shoes, take one earring out…etc) Once STUDENT #1 has changed one thing, Student #2 must take off the blindfold and use L2 phrases and sentences to guess what changed.


 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).

My First Successful “Staying In The TL” Lesson

“Woohoo! I did it!”

“Finally an idea worked. Finally, a lesson that helped me successfully stay in the target language for a long amount of time!”

It’s a simple lesson that I came up with before I started staying in the target language. It can be modified to help learners of all ages and proficiency levels.

All you need is crayons (for each student) and a worksheet that looks like this:

rainbow spanish class


 

For Novice Low or Novice Mid

Walk around the classroom. As you give one worksheet to each student, say sentences like these, “Here’s a paper for you. A paper for you. A paper for you. And one for you. Here’s a paper for you. For you, and you and you.”

Then, pass out crayons in the same way: “Crayons for you. For you. Here are some crayons for you…etc.”

Once the materials are passed out, display a sample worksheet at the front of the classroom. Hold a box of crayons in your own hands. Take out a red crayon and hold it up in the air. Motion for the students to do the same. As students are taking out their red crayons, say things like, “Good! Good Aiden! Good! Yes, red. Red. Red. The red crayon! Good Jessica…etc.”

Once all students are holding up the red crayon, have them repeat the word, “red,” after you. Then, turn your back to the class and start coloring in space #1 on the rainbow with the red crayon. When you finish coloring that section, start walking around the room saying, “Good Aiden! Good. Yes. Red. Good.” Hold up a few papers of students who are coloring in space #1 correctly.

When most students are done, hold up your red crayon and say, “Goodbye red!” and put the crayon back in the box. Keep saying, “Goodbye red,” until all students have put away their red crayon.

Go back to the displayed sample worksheet and say, “Okay. Number 1…red,” or, “Okay. Number 1 was red.” Point to space #2 and say, “Number TWO. TWO. Number TWO is orange. Take out orange.” (Hold up the orange crayon.)

Make a coloring motion with the orange crayon and say, “Class. Color #2 orange.” (You may want to say the sentence a few times.) Turn around and start coloring space #2 with the orange crayon.

Repeat this pattern until the rainbow activity is finished. If you want (and if your students would like it) make up a little tune that you can sing while the students are coloring using ONLY the L2 color and number words. (i.e. “Number 1…red. Number 1…red. Number 2…orange. Number 2…orange…etc.”)


 

For Novice High or Intermediate Low

Follow the same pattern (as with Novice Low or Novice Mid) except substitute the simple L2 words for L2 phrases and/or questions.

After the materials are passed out, hold up a crayon and say things like, “Aiden. What color is this? Is this color red or is this color orange? Aiden. Point to something else in this class that is the color red.” (Aiden points to something red.) Teacher says, “Good Aiden. Yes. That flag is red.” Teacher turns to address the whole class and says, “Class. Take out the color red.” As students are taking out the red crayon say things like, “Not the blue crayon. NOT the green crayon. Don’t take out the purple crayon. The RED crayon. The RED crayon. Take out the RED crayon. Good! Yes! Yes! Like Jessica. Good Jessica! Yes class. Take out the RED crayon.”

Ideas For Interpersonal Mode

After you’ve done the rainbow lesson as a whole class, pass out blank worksheets and give instructions for students to work in pairs. Tell the class that they will color the rainbows with mix-matched colors. “Space #1 WON’T be RED. It will be a different color. It will be the color that your partner tells you.” Pass out a small piece of paper to all the Partner #1s in the class and tell them to keep it hidden. The paper will tell them what mix-matched colors to use for all the rainbow spaces.

#1 – Green

#2 – Red

#3 – Purple

Etc.

Walk around the room and make sure each pair of students is speaking only in L2 and coloring according to Partner #1’s instructions.


Intermediate Mid – Advanced Mid

Pass out the worksheet and the crayons. Instruct students to color space #1 RED, space #2 ORANGE and space #3 YELLOW. Tell them not to color spaces 4-6. Write your instructions on the board and have them start coloring.

While they are coloring, SECRETLY change your written instructions by erasing the word, “yellow” and replacing it with the L2 word for “purple.” On your page, color space #1 RED, space #2 ORANGE and space #3 PURPLE.

When all the students are done, start walking around the room with a confused look on your face. Take one of the students’ rainbows (choose a student who is confident and NOT easily embarrassed) and say things like, “Tyler. You colored #1 RED, #2 ORANGE and #3 YELLOW! Yellow!? Why did you color it YELLOW!?” (Let Tyler answer.) Then say, “No, Tyler. I did NOT say to color it YELLOW. I asked you to color it PURPLE! See! Look at the instructions I wrote on the board!”

Let the students start venting their frustration at you in the target language. Encourage them to say things like, “No, Miss. You did NOT say to color it PURPLE. You must have changed your instructions!” Argue back and say, “Why?! Why would I change something like that!? And we all know that the third color of the rainbow is NOT yellow. It’s obviously PURPLE. All of you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Continue the argument for as long as you’d like. Repeat the incident with instructions for coloring spaces 4-6.

Ideas For Presentational Mode

Ask the students to write a story about a mom/dad doing this rainbow activity with her/his child. Tell the students that their L2 narrative must include dialogue. Have them model their story after the frustrating experience they just had with following your rainbow-coloring instructions. Give them some sample sentences like, “Son…you shouldn’t have colored #2 YELLOW. I told you a thousand times that it was supposed to be ORANGE. I told you that #1 was supposed to be RED and #2 was supposed to be ORANGE. It would be better if you listen more carefully in the future.”


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!

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

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

It’s not that hard to teach grammar while staying in the target language.  Additionally, learning grammar doesn’t have to be a headache for your students.

In PART 1, of this “Teaching Grammar In The Target Language” series, we discussed how to teach “To Have” and “To Want” verbs.  In this post you’ll read the transcript for a step-by-step guide to introducing “To Not Want” and teaching the words for “or” & “and.”  (Note:  The transcript is written in English, although you should imagine the teacher saying all of her statements in the language that you teach.  i.e. French, Russian, Arabic, etc.)

See how easy it can be to help your students learn grammar while staying in the target language!

See how easy it can be to help your students learn grammar while staying in the target language!

Teacher pulls out an individual box of Cheerios.  Teacher says, “I have Cheerios.  (pause)  I have Cheerios.  (pause)  I have Cheerios but YOU… (teacher points to a student) …YOU don’t have Cheerios.  And you… (teacher points to another student) …you don’t have Cheerios.  I… (teacher points to herself) have Cheerios but you (teacher points to a student) …don’t.  And you…(teacher points to another student) …don’t.  And you don’t.  And you don’t have.  And you don’t have.  And you don’t have Cheerios.  ALL OF YOU, all of you, all of you (teacher is pointing to the whole class)  All of you don’t have Cheerios.  But I do.  I have Cheerios.”

“Delicious.”

“Delicious.”

“I like Cheerios.”

(Teacher opens Cheerios and starts eating them.)  “Delicious.  Delicious.  I like Cheerios.  I have Cheerios and you don’t.  You don’t have Cheerios but I do have Cheerios.”  (Teacher might choose to sing the following phrases to rub it in: “I have Cheerios.  Delicious Cheerios.  You don’t have Cheerios.  I have Cheerios.)

Teacher pauses.  Teacher goes to the board and writes, “Who wants Cheerios?” and “I want Cheerios,” in the target language.  Teacher pulls more boxes of Cheerios out of the bag.  Teacher raises her hand and asks, “Who wants Cheerios?”  Teacher identifies 4 students with their hands raised and helps them answer the target question by pointing to the written answer on the board or by using the two-hand method.

After the four students have said, “I want Cheerios,” Teacher goes to the board and writes (in the TL), “Who has Cheerios?  _____ has Cheerios,” and “Who doesn’t have Cheerios?  _____ doesn’t have Cheerios.”  (At this point the teacher may choose to sit down and use the discussion, that follows, as a formative assessment.  Teacher will ask students either of the questions that are written on the board and assess student responses based on their correctness/completeness.)

When the discussion/assessment is finished, teacher pulls out an individual box of Lucky Charms, Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Cheerios.  Teacher says, “I have Cheerios.  I have Lucky Charms.  I have Cinnamon Toast Crunch.”  Teacher goes to a student who has Cheerios and says, “I have Cheerios.  I have Cinnamon Toast Crunch and I have Lucky Charms. (pauses)  You have Cheerios.  But you don’t have Lucky Charms.  And you don’t have Cinnamon Toast Crunch.”  (Teacher may choose to repeat this step several times with other students who have Cheerios but not the sweet cereals.)

Teacher goes to several students, who have no cereal, and asks, “Do you want Cheerios or do you want Cinnamon Toast Crunch?”  (Teacher helps the student say, “I want ____.”)  To a student who says, “I want Cinnamon Toast Crunch,” the teacher responds, “You don’t want Cheerios? (waits for student to shake his head ‘no’)  You DON’T want Cheerios?”  (Teacher helps the student respond by saying, “I don’t want Cheerios.  I want Cinnamon Toast Crunch.”

After the student says the phrase successfully, teacher writes on the board, “Do you want Cheerios?” and, “I don’t want Cheerios.  I want _____.”  Teacher spends time asking students, “Do you want Cheerios?” and helping them answer with the sentences that are written on the board.  (Teacher may choose to reward student use of the target language by giving students several pieces of their preffered cereal to eat.)

 REFLECT: What did the students experience during this activity?

  • The teacher stayed in the target language.
  • The teacher administered a formative assessment.
  • The students experience a formative assessment in a very low-anxiety, natural way.
  • The students realized that they could easily survive in an L2-immersion environment.
  • The students naturally learned some subject pronouns.
  • The students learned some first person, second person and third person verb conjugations.
  • The students naturally learned how to make something negative.
  • The students saw L2 in written form.
  • The students practiced responding to L2 questions with complete L2 answers.
  • The students got repeated chances to acquire the words “and” & “or” in the target language.

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 (forstaying 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”

 

My Favorite Activity For Interpersonal Mode (With Links To Handouts)

Over the last several weeks we’ve discussed How To Make The Interpersonal Mode As Easy As Possible For Novice Learners (Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Two Hands Technique For CI)

I’m excited, now, to share my favorite interpresonal mode activity with links to handouts that you can reproduce (or modify and reproduce if you teach a language other than Spanish).  I call it the:

Info Search Activity

Benefits of the Info Search Activity:

  • Use this activity for all levels of L2 proficiency. (Even novice learners!)
  • The activity can be adapted to help students practice conversing about a wide variety of topics.  (Consider using it at least once during every unit!)
  • All students are engaged.  (Students must talk, listen, read and write in the target language.)
  • All students get to walk around the room.  (No more bored students at their desks!)
  • There’s no excuse to use L1.
  • After the directions are given, there is little need for teacher involvement or supervision.  Teacher can use the time to circulate throughout the room participating or assessing student performance with a rubric.
Get your foreign language students talking with this great interpersonal mode activity!

Get your foreign language students talking with this great interpersonal mode activity!

How does the Info Search Activity work?

Click here for an video/visual explanation of how the activity works.

How to fascilitate the Info Search Activity:

1-  Pass out the directions worksheet (click here to view the Spanish version.  Feel free to translate this into other languages and reproduce for your students.)

2-  On the directions worksheet, students fill out their fake name and any other information you want them to exchange with other students. (i.e. how they feel, their birth date, their favorite food…etc.)

3-  Pass out the data collection sheet (or have it printed on the back side of the directions sheet).  (click here for Spanish version.)

4-  Students walk around the room with their data collection sheet asking each other target language questions in order to complete it..

Helpful tips for giving instructions (in the target language) for this activity:

1-  Fill out the directions worksheet together.  It’s helpful to project a copy of the worksheet on a SMART board to help students know what to fill out.

2-  Model and explain each step.  Circulate throughout the room, after every step of the instructions, to ensure that every student has filled out the directions form correctly.

3-  Write the target conversation on the board and have it printed on their data collection sheet.  This helps students know exactly what they are supposed to say in order to obtain data from their peers.

4-  With all students watching you, model how to collect data.  Pick a confident student.  Ask the student the target questions and record the data onto the SMARTboard copy of the data collection sheet.

5-  After students have watched you use the target language and record the data, pick a confident student to model the steps for recording data.  (Repeat this step with different students until you’re sure that each student knows what to do.)

6-  Practice the target conversation chorally as a class using the Two Hand Method.

7-  Instruct students to stand up and start using the target language to collect data and record it on their sheet.

8-  Circulate throughout the room to help confused students and/or to assess student performance on a rubric.

Remember, you can use this interpersonal mode activity for every unit!  Just change the content of the directions sheet so students can have a fun, engaging way to practice having L2 conversations.

For tips on managing student behavior during this activity click here.

What are other ways you get your students talking in the target language.  Feel free to post your comments below.

 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).

Making The Interpersonal Mode As Easy As Possible For Novice Learners (Part 4)

Sometimes I don’t know how to help novice learners (with almost NO L2 vocabulary foundation) practice language in the interpersonal mode.  I learned a great strategy at a RLRA presentation at ACTFL 2012.  Read below to see how well this activity can work for teaching basic vocabulary (like classroom object nouns).  Keep in mind that you can use the same activity for many different vocabulary units.

Use this activity to help students practice a conversation without having strong vocabulary foundation.

Use this activity to help students practice an L2 conversation without having a strong vocabulary foundation.

1-  Get the materials ready.  On index-sized cards, make a classroom set of pictures and their matching words.  (i.e. a picture of a pencil will be on one flash card and the L2 word for pencil will be on another flashcard.)  Make enough so that each student can have either a picture or one of the matching words.

How to practice the interpersonal mode when students don't even know basic nouns: Try using this conversation 'matching' activity:

Not sure how to practice the interpersonal mode when students don’t even know basic nouns in the TL? Try using this conversation ‘matching’ activity:

2- Here’s how the ‘Find Your Match’ activity goes.

  • Students are randomly giving 1 picture or 1 matching word.
  • All students hold their picture (or word) against their body so no one else can see.
  • Each student must use the target language to find ‘their match.’  Students find their match when they find the person that is holding the flashcard that matches or corresponds to theirs.  (i.e. The student with the L2 word for ‘pencil’ must find the student with the picture of the pencil.  The student with the L2 word for ‘scissors’ must find the student with the picture of the scissors.)
  • Students walk around the classroom asking their classmates the following question in the target language, “Do you have _____?”  (i.e. Do you have a pencil?  or Do you have scissors?)
  • When Student A asks Student B, “Do you have ____?” student B responds with, “Yes,” or, “No” in the target language.
  • If the answer is, “no,” then student A continues his/her search for the match by asking other students, “Do you have ____?”
  • If the answer is, “yes,” then the two students have found their match.  They must sit down quietly together until the rest of the class has found their match.

3- How to give students meaningful directions while staying in the target language.

  1. Make sure the students can pronounce all of the L2 words before you attempt this interpersonal mode activity.  If students don’t know how to say the word for the flashcard that’s in their hand, the activity will breakdown.
  2. Model the ‘Find Your Match’ activity with the help of 4 students.  Ask 4 students to come to the front of the class.  Give them 4 large, sample pictures (the same pictures that will be used in the ‘Find Your Match’ activity).  Have students hold the pictures in front of them so the whole class can see which picture they have.  Show the class that you have a written L2 word that matches one of the 4 pictures.  While the whole class is watching you, put a confused look on your face as you examine your word and the four pictures.  Go up to the first student (who is holding the first of 4 pictures).  Say in the target language, “Do you have ____?” (and say the word that your holding in your hand).  If the student stares at you, repeat the question and tell them to answer with “Yes” or “No” in the target language.  The answer should be “No.”  Go down the line and repeat this until you get the fourth picture which will be the matching picture.  After the 4th student says, “YES,” show excitement because you’ve found your match.  Then grab your “match’s” hand and sit down together to show that all students should sit down quietly until all other students have found their match.
  3. Ask a confident student to model the ‘Find Your Match’ activity with your guidance.  The confident student will repeat all the steps under #2 above.
  4. If the class still looks confused, ask another confident student to model the ‘Find Your Match’ activity.
  5. When it looks like most of the students get the gist of what’s happening, hand out the matching flash cards.  Each student should have one.
  6. Using the two hand method, signal the start of the “Find Your Match” activity.  Repeat, “Do you have ____?  Yes/No.” in the target language over and over so that the students realize that you are doing what they have to do with each other.
  7. Circulate through the room.  Remind students to sit down quietly when they have found their match.  Help the students who are not sure what to do.
  8. When everyone has found their match, consider mixing up the flash cards and starting again.

Thanks to RLRA for this idea.

Señor Howard – www.SenorHoward.com – @HolaSrHoward

Part 1 – Making The Interpersonal Mode As Easy As Possible For Novice Learners

Part 2 – Making The Interpersonal Mode As Easy As Possible For Novice Learners

Part 3 – Making The Interpersonal Mode As Easy As Possible For Novice Learners

Part 4 – Making The Interpersonal Mode As Easy As Possible For Novice Learners

 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).

Using Your Hands During Interpersonal Mode Instruction

It’s hard for novice learners to understand what’s happening when the instructor is staying in the target language.  All of the L2 words and phrases can sound like a jumble of unfamiliar syllables.  One of the most important jobs of a foreign language teacher is to pair those unfamiliar sounds with meaningful extralinguistic input through PAIRING.  Although there are a million things a teacher can do to PAIR, the more limited focus of this post is to share strategies for using your hands to make your instructions for interpersonal mode tasks more meaningful.

One of the biggest tricks that a foreign language teacher can have up her sleeve is: USE FEWER WORDS.  The more words you use the more you risk confusing your novice L2 learners.  So when you’re trying to communicate that…

  • …each student will have a partner and that
  • they will have to practice an L2 conversation that has the 4 following components…

…don’t throw in extra words!  It will be too difficult for novice learners to track with you if you say something like this in the target language: “With a partner, do the following:  Partner 1 says, “Hello.”  Partner 2 says, “Hello.”  Partner 1 says, “What is your name?” Partner 2 says, “My name is _____.”  Partner 1 says, “How are you feeling today?”  Partner 2 says, “I’m feeling _____.”  Both partners say, “Goodbye.”

During that string of instructions, many novice learners will not have the L2 skills to even understand that you are talking about 2 people saying things back and forth to each other. (Remember, it’s easy for novice learners to hear the target language as a jumble of foreign syllables.)  So break it down as easy as you can.  Try doing something like this:

1- Write the target conversation on the board like this:

  • 1- Hello.
  • 2- Hello.
  • 1- What is your name?
  • 2- My name is _____.
  • 1- How are you feeling today.
  • 2- I’m feeling _____.
  • 1- Goodbye.
  • 2- Goodbye.

2- Put your two hands up in the air pretending that each hand is a person.  Hand 1 is Partner 1 and Hand 2 is Partner 2.  Make your hands face each other.

foreign language teaching strategies

how to teach a foreign language by staying in the target language.

3-  Help students know that Hand 1 represents Partner 1 and Hand 2 represents Partner 2.  Do this by making Hand 1 and 2 talk to each other.  Say the word, “One,” in the target language while making Hand 1 talk.  Then say the word, “Two,” while making Hand 2 talk.  Repeat this three or four times.  Students will start making a connection between Hands 1 & 2 and the numbers 1 & 2 on the board written next to some L2 words.

4-  Continue helping students know that Hand 1 represents Partner 1 and Hand 2 represents Partner 2 by having your two hands act out the interpersonal conversation you have written on the board.

5-  Help students practice the conversation by having them raise their two hands like yours.  Repeat steps 3 and 4.  This time, however, have students repeat every word/phrase you say while making their hands 1 & 2 act out the conversation that’s written on the board.

If you follow steps 1 through 5 you will have effectively helped students know that what they are practicing is a conversation between two people.  They know which words Partner 1 should say and which words Parter 2 should say.  You’ve given them a model that allows your instruction to be comprehensible.  Your use of the two hand method has helped you reduce the amount of L2 words you’re saying; increasing the chance that they will understand your instructions.

Now students will be ready to successfully practice the conversation with a partner in class.

This two hand method is also helpful for teaching novice learners what the word, “repeat,” is in the target language.  Sometimes a very young learner will not know what to do if you say (in the TL), “Repeat after me: Red.”  If this is the case, use the two hand method to show that you want them to say the word that you are saying.

  • Stand close to the student.  (Maybe 3 feet apart)
  • Put Hand 1 in front of your mouth and pointing in the direction of the student.  (As if Hand 1 were talking to the student)
  • Say, “Repeat: Red.”
  • Then put Hand 2 closer to the student and point Hand 2 towards yourself.  (As if Hand 2 were talking back to the teacher)

This may help the student understand that you are expecting him to say the word that you are saying.  If the student still does not say the word “red” after you:

  • Keep your 2 hands in the same positions.
  • Put hand 1 in front of your mouth and say, “Red,” and make Hand 2 say, “red” from the direction of the student.
  • Repeat this fairly quickly 3 or 4 times.
  • On the last time, make Hand 1 say, “red,” but make Hand 2 be silent and look at the student as if your saying, “please say what Hand 2 was supposed to say.”
  • After these steps the students should be able to successfully learn that you want him to repeat what you are saying.

Remember, the point of the 2 hand method is to reduce the amount of words you say in the target language; increasing the chance that students will find meaning in your L2 immersion environment.

 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).

Making The Interpersonal Mode As Easy As Possible For Novice Learners (Part 3)

As a review, if you want novice learners to succeed during your interpersonal mode performance tasks…:

  • …keep the conversations teacher-led and teacher-initiated, at first.
  • …keep the L2 conversations super-simple.
  • …before you ask a student to respond to your L2 target question(s), make sure you’ve modeled the conversation plenty of times.
  • …show engaging, targeted and simple L2 conversations modeled on video. (like these and this)

When you’ve modeled and repeated the target conversation (until the students are almost sick of it), THEN it’s advisable to move past teacher-student conversations and onto student-student conversations.

1-  Start by letting CONFIDENT STUDENTS model the student-to-student target conversation in front of the class.

Don’t start by picking random students to model target conversations.  It’s intimidating and awkward for novice learners to practice a foreign language in front of their peers.  To them, the sounds of the L2 words are funny and strange.  Even if they know how to say the word, there’s a chance that they will feel awkward pronouncing the words in front of friends (since it’s not ‘normal’ or ‘familiar’ to them).  It’s even harder for ‘shy’ students to use the target language in front of their peers.  Always make sure you’re asking novice learners to do things that you are positive they can do well.  It’s important to not embarrass language learners.  Encourage future willingness to participate by doing things that increase student confidence.

By starting with confident students, less confident learners can watch to see what will happen if they stir up the courage to participate.  Reluctant students will watch to see…

  • …how the audience reacts to the student L2 speaker. (are they regarded as cool? dumb? stupid? a teacher’s pet? smart?)
  • …how the audience reacts to any mistakes the L2 speaker makes. (will they get laughed at?  encouraged?)
  • …how the teacher responds if the L2 speaker struggles. (does the teacher yell? smile? encourage? take points off?)
  • …what happens if the L2 speaker does well.
  • …what happens if the L2 speaker does poorly.
  • …etc.

If you want shy students to participate, make sure all students are warmly and genuinely praised for trying, regardless of if they’re successful or not.

2-  Have the target conversation written on the board.

This allows both the model students and the rest of the class to see what they need to say and to know what will be expected of them when it’s their turn.  It also gives the teacher a non-threatening way to prompt the student if he/she get’s stuck (just point to the script).

3-  Give lots of praise and meaningfully reward all students who participate.

Convince every observer that participating in L2 class will be positive, safe, non-threatening and rewarding.  Convince everybody that failure will not be followed with reprimand or any other negative consequence.  If a student is genuinely trying, they should always be encouraged and praised, even if they make mistakes.

4-  Be strict with students who make their peers feel embarrassed for trying.

5-  Eventually have all students, regardless of confidence level, attempt modeling the conversation.

6-  Repeat the target conversation chorally.

Let the students get lots of pronunciation practice.  Remember, their mouths aren’t used to moving in the new ways L2 requires.  Use your two hands as two puppets.  Make hand 1 say what person 1 is supposed to say.  Hand 2 models what person 2 should say.  It helps novice learners know that what’s happening is a L2 conversation.

7-  When students are very comfortable and familiar with the target conversation, allow them to practice without the direct supervision of the instructor.

There are many ways to do this.

  • You can make two lines of students and have them practice the conversation and then slide down the line and practice again with a new partner.
  • Depending on the target vocabulary, you can have students walk around the room writing down information that they discover after they speak in the target language with their peers.  (When is your birthday?  What is your favorite color?  What is your favorite food? How do you feel today?  What is your (fake) name? etc.)
  • You can arrange the desks/tables to put them in groups and practice the conversation with the peers they’ve been assigned to?
  • etc.

How about you?  What are ways that you help students have meaningful practice in the interpersonal mode in the foreign language classroom?  Leave comments below.

Part 1 – Making The Interpersonal Mode As Easy As Possible For Novice Learners

Part 2 – Making The Interpersonal Mode As Easy As Possible For Novice Learners

Part 3 – Making The Interpersonal Mode As Easy As Possible For Novice Learners

Part 4 – Making The Interpersonal Mode As Easy As Possible For Novice Learners

 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).

Making The Interpersonal Mode As Easy As Possible For Novice Learners (part 2)

This post contains video clips of Señor Howard teaching in the target language.

If you want to help novice learners succeed during your interpersonal mode performance tasks, you’ll have to take it easy (at first) and keep things very simple.  Start by having lots of interpersonal conversations between person 1 (you: the teacher) and person 2 (the entire class together).

Here are 2 types of conversations that novice learners (even those who don’t have any L2 vocabulary foundation) can have with you:

1- Choice between two items.

Step 1 – Make sure students know what the L2 word is for 2 items.  The way I would do this is by taking two items out of a surprise bag or box.  (A pencil and a piece of paper, for instance)  Take item one (pencil) out of the bag.  Repeat the L2 word for pencil several times.  Consider passing the pencil around the room and having L2 learners repeat the L2 word for pencil.  Repeat the procedure for item 2 (a piece of paper).

Step 2 – Ask the entire class which item is which.  Ensuring that all attention is on you, hold up the pencil and ask the following phrase in the target language, “Is this the pencil or is this the paper?”  Students will most likely answer with the L2 word for pencil.  Affirm their correct answer by saying the following complete phrase in the target language, “Yes.  This is the pencil.”  Repeat the procedure with item 2 (paper).  “Is this the pencil or is this the paper?”  “Yes.  This is the paper.”

Step 3 – Ask an individual student which item is which.  Repeat the line of questioning with individual students as opposed to the entire class.

Step 4 – Add adjectives.  Pull out additional ‘surprise’ items.  (i.e. A big blue pencil and a small red pencil.)  Now (after establishing the L2 meaning for the adjectives) you can ask questions like, “Is this the big pencil or the small pencil?”  “Is this the red pencil or the blue pencil?”  “Is this pencil red and big or red and small?”  Etc.

You can repeat this type of interpersonal mode questioning with a wide variety of L2 vocabulary.  (i.e. “Is this the color green or is this the color blue?”  “Is this the number 7 or the number 17?”  “Is the mother’s name Elsa or is the mother’s name Anna?”)

2- Conversations about eating food.  (Video Example of Sr. Howard doing this in the target language)

It’s fun to talk about eating food in class.  Check to see if you have students with food allergies.  If no, proceed.

  • Take out a bag of Cheerios.  Pour some onto a plate.
  • Say things in the target language like, “Delicious,” “Yummy,” and “Good.”
  • Write the following TL phrase on the board, “I want ____.”
  • Say, “I want 5 Cheerios.”  Then count out 5 Cheerios and put them in your mouth.
  • Repeat the phrases “Delicious,” “Yummy,” and “Good” in the target language.
  • Say, “I want 7 Cheerios.”  Then count out 7 Cheerios and put them in your mouth.
  • Repeat the phrases “Delicious,” “Yummy,” and “Good” in the target language.
  • Ask the following in the target language, “Who wants Cheerios?” or “Do you want Cheerios?”
  • If someone raises their hand, point to the target phrase on the board and ask them to repeat, “I want Cheerios.”
  • Ask them if they want 5 Cheerios or 7 Cheerios.  If they say, “7,” ask them to repeat the complete phrase after you, “I want 7 Cheerios.”
  • Repeat this type of questioning as long as students are interested.

How about you?  What are ways you help your novice learners succeed in the interpersonal mode?  Leave comments below.

Part 1 – Making The Interpersonal Mode As Easy As Possible For Novice Learners

Part 2 – Making The Interpersonal Mode As Easy As Possible For Novice Learners

Part 3 – Making The Interpersonal Mode As Easy As Possible For Novice Learners

Part 4 – Making The Interpersonal Mode As Easy As Possible For Novice Learners

 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

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