Effective Routines for Upper Elementary L2 Learners

Routines are…

  • …a good way to help L2 students feel more comfortable in a TL immersion setting.
  • …a great way to repeat target phrases enough times to enable acquisition.
  • …a teacher’s best friend.  It keeps kids on task and cuts down on the amount of original material teachers have to come up with.

Here are some examples of effective routines for upper elementary L2 learners.

1- Students find their seat by matching numbers.  Each desk should have a different number written out in the target language.  Each student receives a number when they walk into the classroom.  Students match the number to it’s written form to find out where they sit for the day.  Make the task more challenging by replacing low numbers for higher ones as the year goes on.  This routine allows…

  • …students to walk around the classroom.  (rather than having to sit in their seat for the whole class)
  • …students to practice L2 numbers. (helpful Spanish numbers review videos)
  • …students to practice reading in the TL.

2- Attendance and greeting routine.  Take attendance at the beginning of every class.  Ask students to respond to the sound of their name with appropriate phrases in the TL.  As the year progresses, introduce more advanced ways of responding.  (i.e. start with ‘Present’ or ‘Here’ and move onto ‘Here I am.’ ‘I’m here.’ ‘I arrived.’ ‘I made it on time.’ etc.)  Teach students to say, “He’s not here,” when an absent student’s name is read.  Once students are comfortable with the routine, a teacher can take extra time to ask students target questions that have been previously introduced. (i.e. “How are you, today?”  “How are you feeling?”  “How is your brother?” “I like your shirt.” etc.)  The possibilities are endless.

3- Write the heading on top of paper work.  Whenever my students receive a new paper they copy down a heading.  I use the TL to instruct volunteers to pass out the papers.  I have the class write the following in the TL:

My name is ________.  My classroom teacher’s name is _________.

Today is ______ (day of week) the ____ (#) of _________(month) of the year 2014.

Once students have copied the heading you can:

  • ask students to come to the board to fill in the blanks.
  • ask students to read the heading out loud.
  • read the heading out loud as a class.
  • ask students to make any corrections to mistakes on the board.

4- Calendar/Weather routine.  Click here to see how I do my calendar/weather/greetings routine at the beginning of class.

There are many other routines that can be helpful for teaching L2 to students by only speaking in the TL.  What are some that you find useful in your classroom?  Feel free to share in the comments section below.

Señor Howard – www.SenorHoward.com – @HolaSrHoward

2 thoughts on “Effective Routines for Upper Elementary L2 Learners

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