Archive for the 'World Language' Category

Students React to Digital Badges: Pros, Cons and Interesting

 

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 Schoology
– Avoids misplacing paper certificates

Con – Prefer Paper Certificates
– Looks more official / credibile
– Has a physical touch
– Is easier for me, limited tech at home
– Is easier to read the proficiency name
– Can have it when the course / Schoology ends
– Can see a pile of my certificates
– Can easily show it to others
– Can post it on frig / decorate my folder with it

Advantage of Both:
– Tells me my actual speaking skill, not my grade with homework,etc.
– Shows my  progress in speaking (still have lots to do)

Interesting (Some issues) : Teacher
– Uses badge to cover each individual proficiency or to cover categories of proficiencies. (i.e. 100 proficiencies or 12 categories)
– Makes badge names short but meaningful (not I.A.2)
– Determines level of proficiency for badge (80%, 90%, 100%)
– Needs student proficiency demonstraton time
– Needs time to award badge

Giving Students a Voice in App Selection

Traditionally, teachers research apps for their class. They assign apps to students.  The teachers assign a specific app or give students a choice of several pre-selected apps.  As a Modern Language teacher, I suggested apps to my students in the early part of the year.

However, in January, I let my students select which apps they wanted to use based on their own app searching and a minimal checklist.  I just gave them a topic to search as “food”. I asked them to look at  two or more apps that had the same topic.  My minimal checklist includes: has a comprehensive list  of words, phrases, or sentences for the topic;  gives the written Spanish word and its definition (or included a picture); pronounces the word; is  free; and is available on both Android and Ipad. The app gets extra points if it uses the words or phrases in sentences or questions.  The app also receives extra points if  the app provides practice on the words.

I found that when I let my students select which apps they wanted to use based on their own app searching and a minimal checklist, they actually used the app. In fact, they often commented to other students about their great app for the topic. They willingly showed me the app. They shared stories about where they were when they were using the app (supposedly helping Mom in the grocery store!).

More importantly, they learned the critical vocabulary for the topic from the app so they were ready to use the vocabulary in their communicating about the topic.

Who selects apps for your students?

My ebook, 90 Mobile Learning Modern Language Activities, is available at http://bit.ly/90mlact.

My three formative assessment books, Improving Foreign Language Speaking Through Formative Assessment, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students and Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, are available at   http://is.gd/tbook

My modern language blogs are  now at  http://bit.ly/imprml.  I have developed 27  Spanish activities and 5 Modern Language Visual activities in which students  express themselves in the modern language and move toward spontaneous speaking Teacherspayteachers:  http://bit.ly/tpthtuttle

90 Mobile Learning Modern Language Activities ebook

90MobileLearning.SHaving been both a  technology integration teacher and a district technology administrator, I realize that teachers accept and implement a technology when they feel that the technology will help their students to learn and it is easy to implement. Often times, teachers have no idea of how to to use the technology in their classrooms.  Frequently, professional development gives general examples such as those from the technology company but it does not provide examples specific to a subject area. As I thought of how to help more teachers integrate mobile learning into their classes and, particularly, their modern language classroom, I decided to create a book which shows a wide variety of mobile learning activities.

I focused on a book  to improve  to students’ modern language communication and culture awareness through mobile learning tools and apps. I developed  in-class and out-of-class learning in fourteen different categories of mobile learning (mobile pictures, internet search, internet image search, timer, poll and survey, QR code, voice and video recording, phone, video chat, media, apps, texting, twitter, Facebook, Wikis and Websites).

Over 70% of these interactive mobile activities help develop students’ speaking skill; other language activities include listening, reading, writing and assessment.  The students participate in authentic culture through these mobile activities.

I developed mobile activities  that are easy to integrate.

Please share this ebook link (http://bit.ly/90mlact) with your modern language teachers, modern language chair,  professional development person, and technology integration person to help them see the many ways to use mobile learning in modern languages.

My three formative assessment books, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students,  Improving Foreign Language Speaking Through Formative Assessment, and Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, are available at   http://is.gd/tbook

My modern language blogs are  now at  http://bit.ly/imprml

I have developed 25  Spanish activities  and 4 Modern Language Visual activities that allow students to begin to express themselves in the modern language and to begin to move toward spontaneous speaking Teacherspayteachers:  http://bit.ly/tpthtuttle

Modern Language Mobile Learning Apps or Tools

Although modern language teachers may be using mobile learning, they may not be aware of  the various categories of mobile learning apps or of tools.  The following list gives teachers new resources to use in their classroom.  Teachers can use some mobile apps to help flip the language classroom since students can pre-study the vocabulary  or pre-study  a verb video.  Likewise, the foreign language teacher can have students use specific  apps if they display a learning gap on a formative assessment.  Even more important, the teacher can have the students listen to native speakers, read target language newspapers, and see up-to-the-minute culture in the country.  To find a particular app, the teacher searches  with terms such as “Spanish radio app ipad” or “French  verb forms android app”.  Many apps and tools are free or have introductory lessons.

Words and Meaning:  Dictionary/ Thesaurus
Translation  including Google voice
Verb Forms
Vocabulary / Phrases / Traveling
Learn the Language  (language study course)
Flashcards
Culture- General  such as a  city tour and specific  such as French recipes
Radio and TV stations
Newspapers and magazines
Voice and Video recording
Camera pictures
Media production such as  written text on a picture, talking objects,  digital stories
Whiteboard Sharing
Communication (texting…)
Brainstorm / Graphic organizers
Search the  web / search for  images
Internet movies/ YouTube
Website Connectors
Collaboration – group writing/ project creation
E-readers
Calculators / Spreadsheets
Mobile videoconferencing (Skype)
Organizers / Schedulers
E Portfolios such as a student’s own wiki
Clock / Stopwatch /  Timer
Learning Management Service Connectors
Phone

So what apps do you use?

My three formative assessment books, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students,  Improving Foreign Language Speaking Through Formative Assessment, and Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, are available at   http://is.gd/tbook

My modern language blogs are  now at  http://bit.ly/imprml

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 at Teacherspayteachers:  http://bit.ly/tpthtuttle

Modifying ACTFL’s 90% Guideline

ACTFL therefore recommends that language educators and their students use the target language as exclusively as possible (90% plus) at all levels of instruction during instructional time. “ http://www.actfl.org/news/position-statements/use-the-target-language-the-classroom-0

ACTFL has a 90% guideline to indicate how much teachers should speak in the modern language in the classroom. However, I think that ACTFL should concentrate less on the teachers and more on the students. Basically, the question for a language classroom is “Who needs more language practice the teacher or the students?” if the students need more practice, then they should be the ones talking the most in the class, not the teacher.


I think that ACTFL should implement these student guidelines:


– Students’ modern language talking should be 70% of the total talk in each class.

– During each class students should talk at least once with at least five consecutive sentences.

– In each class, students should have at least one interactive  spontaneous speaking conversation with another student of three minutes.

– Each student should say at least 30 sentences in the modern language each class.

I do not believe that students simply saying grammar drills or doing vocabulary drills, no matter how fancy these drills are, constitutes real language use. I would not count those sentences as speaking the language. I would like students to move from practicing the language to using the language even at the beginning levels. I would them to communicate.

From now on, I will only post my modern language/ foreign language/ world language posts to my Improving Modern Language Learning  at modernlanguagest.wordpress.com   Within the next few weeks, I will move all old languages posts to there.

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 (21+) 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

Common Core and Modern Languages- Do not panic

No, there are no common core standards for Modern Languages.    Yes, Modern Language teachers are looking at  the English Language Arts Common Core.      No, those teachers should not panic.

I  have been in education for over 40 years.  I have seen many many movements and new  approaches.  I have been in education long enough to see the same movement resurface with a new name.  With each new building principal came a new way of doing things, with each new superintendent came the newest approach, and with each new leader of  state education or professional organization came a new vision.  Usually the new approach, especially the common core in Modern Language,  does not require multiple days of professional development even a half day; most times modern language teachers can make the change within about an hour.

I have used a simple technique to change to any new  approach.    I analyze the new approach thoroughly and then determine
1. What am I presently doing that directly fits in that approach?
2. What am I doing that I can modify slightly to fit the approach?  Sometimes it is as simple as a name change or where something goes in a lesson. For example, what  is the new name for an anticipatory set?  I believe that Common Core English just uses different labels than we do in Modern Languages when we use the labels from ACTFL or state guidelines.
3. What do I have to change completely or add to what I already do?

I am waiting for someone to develop the magic cheat sheet that converts  the English Language Arts Common Core to Modern Language learning.  We already do  them, we just have to give our activities a new name or number.

I have attended two workshops on Common Core and Modern Languages  and neither kept it simple. In fact, I walked out more confused than when I went in.  A Modern Language department could do a  CC to ML conversion chart  in about a fifty minute meeting.

If you know of anyone who has developed the magic conversion chart, please let me know so I can share it with other Modern Language teachers.

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

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


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