We all know that speaking is an important facet of learning a foreign language, well there really isn't much to a language without communication. So I thought for my first post I'd share some ideas/tips that I use in my classroom.
- I have recently been lucky enough to have my district purchase a subscription to www.lingtlanguage.com, and it has really been useful. I like to do this before we take a speaking exam. It is amazing how well the students do when they do not feel the pressure of speaking to me face to face.
- This may seem odd to others, but I show a movie during the time I'm giving my students their "orales". I just showed my Intro. to Spanish class Selena as we're coming to the end of our Ch. 3 unit [Exprésate 1] I have the students come up, and they have a minute to prepare, then I have 2 desks set up facing each other for us to speak. As the students are having their speaking exam, the others are working on questions and learning about culture. Keeps the class less chaotic.
- Spanish only classes are my favorite. I like to practice (since I'm only doing Spanish 1) my Spanish as well. I have a "time out" if we slip and use English. They are required to spend 5 seconds in the corner [facing outward, they're not in kindergarten after all lol]. I myself go in there if I accidentally use English. I do this with my 8th graders, and it's always so refreshing to see how well they use their Spanish when they have no other choice.
- Signs are what I used to show if we're using Spanish or English. I have one with an American flag, and one with a Spanish/Mexican flag. Of course, I also have it written in my classroom rules are to "use Spanish whenever possible", so that the students who are going to try to find loop holes, don't have any.
- Listening Logs are a great way to have students listen, speak, and write. I'll have them do a "show and tell" for our clothing unit where they talk about their clothing they're wearing. The class writes down their clothing, the colors, cost, etc. as they speak. I can then quiz the rest of the class based off of what their classmates said. It's a great activity, and it forces them to listen and pay attention.
- Getting my junior high students to participate is a challenge. Especially since our district doesn't allow us to grade participation. So I keep a participation chart on the board. I keep a tally of when they participate in class, and then they have the chance to earn passes (such as locker, turn in hw late without losing points, odds/evens on homework, etc.). This really gets them to participate and I very rarely have students who don't talk, which helps the class go smoothly.
Well I'm sure I have many more ideas, but that's all I can come up with right now. I will add more later!