Archive for the 'Foreign' Category

Analyzing a Modern Language Textbook for Authentic Communication

Recently I analyzed a textbook for its communication value. Of the 25 activities in one chapter, there were 17 textbook only activities.  A textbook activity deals what is in the textbook such as questions about a picture.   For example, the book showed a tv schedule and asked students about the schedule.  There were  8 activities that encouraged students to talk about their lives .  Each of the 8 activities followed a strict formula in which students substituted in their answer for the given one.   What did your father eat yesterday? He  ate …….  What did  your mother eat?…  Only one activity was longer than 5 lines. The students do answer  questions but they do not react. None of the activities lead to a  free flowing conversation  in which students honestly reacted to each other. None of the personal activities lead to  a  full conversation.

Some questions to ask about your textbook:

1 How many of the exercises are personal ones in which students tell about their lives?

2 Can students tell many things about themselves or does this exercise really focus on practicing a  specific grammar /vocabulary point?  For example, I get up at six. I eat at 7, I lunch at 12.  People really  do not talk that way unless they are recounting their day and then they would add in more details.

3 How long of a conversation does the book encourage?  Do the students say a 8+ line conversation?

4 What part of the conversation is spontaneous and free flowing as opposed to strictly following the formula/questions?

5 Do the students’ statements and questions follow the logical fashion they would in a real conversation ? Or does it twist, in an unnatural way, to present a grammar point/ vocabulary term?

6  Would a target language speaker actually say this conversation?

Let’s help students to communicate not “grammarate”.

I have developed many  Spanish activities that allow students to begin to express themselves and to begin to move toward spontaneous speaking as in a natural conversation.

My Spanish spontaneous speaking activities (20+) includes Modified Speed Dating (Students ask  a question from a card-whole class), Structured Speaking (Students substitute in or select words to communicate in pairs),  Role Playing (Students talk as people in pictures or drawing from 2-4 people) and Speaking Mats (Can talk using a wide variety of nouns, verbs and adjectives to express their ideas- pairs or small group),  Spontaneous Speaking (based on visuals or topics in pairs),  and Grammar speaking games (pairs or small group). Available for a nominal fee at Teacherspayteachers:  http://bit.ly/tpthtuttle

My three formative assessment books:   http://is.gd/tbook

Creating Formative Feedback “I can” sheets

One way to help students and to help ourselves is to create “I Can” sheets which also list the formative feedback strategies so that we do not have to list them each time. We can use a student’s “I can” sheet and circle which formative feedback we feel will be most appropriate or have the student select. We have to verify that each activity will lead to improved learning.

For example, this partial “I can” list can be expanded to include formative feedback

___I can identify items in a topic/situation.

–I can make statements about a topic/situation.

___I can ask questions about a topic/situation

For a Spanish student who has trouble with talking and particularly talking about a topic with a visual, the “I can” statement can be expanded:

–I can make statements about a topic/situation from a visual
by describing
each person by clothing (shirt, shoes) and/or by personal description (tall, thin…),
each object by its description (color- red, shape-round) and what it is used for (There is water in the glass).
what actions are in the picture (shop, buy, sell, walk)
the nature (tree, bird) and the weather (sunny)
by saying as much as I can about any object or person before I go to the next person or object.
by listening to other students as they describe a visual and them imitating them or listening to sample speaking podcast.
by watching the “Spanish speaking” YouTube video where the instructor shows how to speak about a visual as you “read” it

By creating formative assessment “I can” sheets, we already have numerous possible formative feedback from which to select.

Do you do “I can” sheets with formative assessments so your students “Can”?

Spanish-Language Restaurant Menus For Culture and Conversation

menu

The following is a list of Collective Commons (free to use in the classroom) pictures from Flickr that show various menus from Hispanic countries or locations that have Hispanic food. Students studying Spanish can come to understand the many different types of foods as well as the varieties within each type such as tacos. They can practice their ordering skills with real food and figure out their bill with real prices! Each web address is followed by a brief description.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/robennals/499187153/
Menu with Spanish and poor English translation +++

 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/shyamh/148106511/
Menu Mexican divided by entrada, sopa, ensalada +++

 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/flooznyc/430646028/
Mexican Food Deli Menu

http://www.flickr.com/photos/melaniewong/1155561698/
Yucatan Menu

http://www.flickr.com/photos/esotheos/208495024/
Taco restaurant menu

http://www.flickr.com/photos/rgabriel/514239426/
Menu with ceviche

http://www.flickr.com/photos/seyd/10746077/
Menu from Caribbean

http://www.flickr.com/photos/anjum/368254807/
Puerto Rican Menu (general info)

How do you help students to learn about the variety of Hispanic foods through menus? How do you bring the Hispanic world into your classroom through technology?

Other Spanish (Hispanic images) for conversations or writing

Spanish streets – Calle
https://eduwithtechn.wordpress.com/2007/10/30/spanish-street-callescenes-photos-from-flickr/

Spanish sports –Deporte
https://eduwithtechn.wordpress.com/2007/10/19/spanish-sport-deporte-pictures-from-flickr-for-student-conversations/

Spanish transportation Transportes
https://eduwithtechn.wordpress.com/2007/09/26/spanish-language-transportes-transportations-from-various-hispanic-countries/

 

Spanish Language Menu
https://eduwithtechn.wordpress.com/2007/08/30/learning-hispanic-culture-through-spanish-language-menus/

 

 

Nov. 2009 – If you are interested in trying out in your classroom some mini-speaking assessments (2-5) minutes that correspond to various parts of the ACTFL guidelines, please email me (harry.g.tuttle  at gmail) These short assessments  give you instant data/facts on your students’  present progress in speaking and you can re-administer these assessments  to see progress.  I have various assessments from vocabulary, asking and answering questions, asking critical questions about a topic, etc.  Let me know your level such as (Spanish 1- first year of Spanish).    Harry

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007

 

—-

 

 


RSS Education with Technology

  • Tech Integration Teacher, What time is it? August 23, 2016
    When someone asks what time it is, that person wants to know the time, not the history of the clock, not how a clock works, and not what other types of clocks there are. Classroom teachers want to help their students improve their academic learning through technology. Sometimes they need help with technology so they go […]
    hgtuttle
  • Curriculum Focus, Not Technology Focus July 28, 2016
    In my public school career I have been a classroom teacher, a technology integration specialist and a technology administrator. In my technology role, I served under the Assistant Superintendent for Instruction. She had a simple mission: Improve students’ academic learning. My mission was equally simple: Improve students’ academic learning through technology […]
    hgtuttle
  • Students React to Digital Badges: Pros, Cons and Interesting June 22, 2016
      ISTE 2016 By Harry Grover Tuttle, Ed. D. College World Language Students’ Preferences Digital Badges – 52%        Paper Certificates – 48% World Language: Can-Do Digital Badges Digital Badges Pro- – Breaks down proficiency more – Shows all badges at once – Is more attractive – Is more appropriate since we use […]
    hgtuttle
  • Digital Badges: Naming the Badge October 29, 2015
    Once teachers have selected what learning and what digital badges (individual or category badges; see previous blog), the teachers encounter another decision. What will they name each badge? Will they use the full name of the Common Core Standard or the national proficiency? For English, under “Speaking and Listening,”will they write out SL.2 “Integrate and […]
    hgtuttle
  • Digital Badges: Better Than Grades? October 19, 2015
    Teachers understand that the grade in a course consists of many different factors such as homework, participation , projects, tests, etc. Blodget observes that sometimes grades reflect attitude, effort, ability and behavior (http://www.academia.edu/9074119/Grading_and_Whether_or_not_Grades_Accurately_Reflect_Student_Achievement). Equally important, a letter […]
    hgtuttle
  • World Language Students Use of Mobile Devices in the Classroom October 5, 2015
    Do world language students use technology n the classroom? Do their  teachers go beyond having their students use technology simply for the drill and practice in vocabulary and grammar? Students can use laptops and mobile devices to hear authentic language, read authentic texts, read tweets about famous performers, see up-to-the-moment culture,  watch video […]
    hgtuttle
  • Digital Badges: Individual or Categorized Learning Badges? September 12, 2015
    The idea of digital badges sounds appealing for the digital children in classes. As teachers start thinking about digital badges, they have to figure out what badges will be awarded. The teachers can award social or academic badges. If teachers decide to use academic badges, then the teachers may base their badges on the Common […]
    hgtuttle
  • English +Common Core +Mobile = Success (ISTE2014 Poster -details) June 30, 2014
    Here are the ten examples I showed at my English + Common Core  + Mobile ISTE 2014 Poster Session: Based on CCSS Anchor Statements: L.2 Take a Conventions Mobile Online Quiz  to pick the  incorrect sentence from four choices (capitalization) SL.2  Evaluate audio recording of a  book chapter on mobile and predict for next chapter. […]
    hgtuttle
  • Global Cultural Learning Using Mobile Devices (ISTE Mobile MegaShare Presentation) June 28, 2014
    Based on my presentation at ISTE 2014 Mobile Megashare Why teach about other countries? Location: Large view to small on maps. Culture or culture. Find six similarities in a  mobile picture from another culture (“Wars are caused by differences, not similarities.”-Tuttle.) Tell one piece of information from each different Internet visual from a place in that […]
    hgtuttle
  • English + Common Core + Mobile = Success in Learning Poster Session at ISTE 2014 June 25, 2014
    In my ISTE Sunday 8-10 am poster session, I demonstrate many diverse mobile activities to help students achieve the English Language Arts Common Core Anchor Statements through mobile devices. The mobile activities focus on free common tool apps that are available on both the Android and the iPad. The students use the apps as a seamless […]
    hgtuttle

Blog Stats

  • 794,677 hits