FOREIGN LANGUAGES

Back to Table of Contents for the On Course I Workshop

1. Strategy: Toss a Test

Application: Learning vocabulary

Educator: No Name Given

Implementation: Provide a number of soft items that can be safely tossed. These could be small stuffed animals or Nerf balls. Have students stand in a circle. Give a word in English and then throw soft item to a student. The student must provide the equivalent word in the target language in order to keep the item. If s/he answers incorrectly then s/he must toss the item to another student to answer. When the word is correctly translated, pose another word in English and throw another item. Student with the most items at the end wins.

2. Fork in the Road & Choices of Successful Students

Application: Spanish (or any language)

Educator: Leach Caceres Lutzow, Instructor, Spanish and Department Chair, Fox Valley Technical College, WI

Implementation: Translate the Fork in the Road and 8 Choices of Successful Students into Spanish/target language. In target language, discuss the Fork in the Road and 8 Choices. Incorporate these concepts into the classroom culture and dialog. Introduce one of the 8 attributes in class and discuss (in target language) its relation to student success. Brainstorm other vocabulary words that are related to this attribute. Have students write about this success quality as part of a homework assignment. Adapt the writing/conversation level to the needs of the students. For example, have students write a sentence using the selected vocabulary word, instead of a paragraph.

3. Inner Qualities of Successful Students & Affirmation Whisper

Application: Spanish (or any language)

Educator: Holley Gilley, Instructor, Spanish, Eastern Florida State College, FL

Implementation: After teaching the verb “ser” (to be) and introducing adjectives, have students create a list of Spanish adjectives that express attributes required to become successfully bilingual. After eliciting and recording a long list of positive adjectives, have students choose three they would like to strengthen in themselves. Then they create their affirmation in Spanish as done in the workshop: Yo soy…. Later have students employ these adjective in a Spanish affirmation whisper: Tu’ eres… Afterwards, have students recall what adjectives they recall and what their experience was hearing those positive terms applied to them.

4. Eagles and Hawks

Application: Any Foreign Language or ESL

Educator: Pamela C. Jones, Faculty, ESL and College Success, Polk State College, FL

Implementation: The goal is to improve vocabulary for students of a foreign language, including ESL students. Rather than overwhelm a class of 25 students with 50 new vocabulary words, assign just two words per student. Each student becomes the expert on his/her two words. Ask students to come up with three learning strategies (visual, aural, kinesthetic) per word. After students work individually on their two words/six strategies for 30 minutes, initiate Eagles and Hawks. Students move around the classroom teaching each other the new words. Because it is necessary to repeat words on a regular basis (theories of second language acquisition), I recommend performing this same activity every 10 days in a 16 week semester. As a variation, after students teach each other two new words, they trade words so that in the next pairing they are teaching words they learned from their most recent partner.

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