Back in October, I presented at CT COLT on the topic of vocabulary development. My session was voted best of Connecticut and so I get to represent CT at NECTFL in New York next month. I am very honored that my session was chosen as best of state and thought I would put online the resources explored for others to view and share.
My favorite tech tool right now is Sway! It is an amazing free and easy tool that helps promote discussion and allows individuals to develop products. Below is how I used it for professional learning. Click on the cards and it will switch to a new question! I could certainly have added videos and audio,but for my first one I played it safe and simple. Here are some ways to use with students! I made all my images using the tool Canva. Check out the video tutorial from Sway to see an example of creating a newsletter. There is even a feature to leave feedback on products. Imagine the possibilities for students to communicate and connect!
1. Table talk with questions!
2. Flipped Learning with videos and slides.
3. Create a presentation or newsletter!
4. Stay in contact with parents!
5. Develop a portfolio!
6. Gallery walk and leave feedback!
Do you love it? Let us know what you think!
What do you think of when you hear IPA's? I had the pleasure of writing a session for the Maryland College and Career Readiness Academy. World Languages was able to be included and the session I designed was around Integrated Performance Assessments! The presentation is below and I have added the examples of activities in which participants engaged.
Step 1: Always do welcomes, introductions, and celebrations! Love this to build community and relationships!
Step 2: Activating prior knowledge of IPA's through a Padlet room!
Step 3: Why IPA's and a definition via CARLA
Step 4: Connections that are made to World Readiness Standards, Can Do's, Common Core and Instructional Shifts through articles via ACTFL Language Educator. There were two examples based on readiness level.
Step 5: Look at the cyclical approach to IPA's as stated by Paul Sandrock and ACTFL.
Step 6: Review modes of communication and sort activities_ by the different modes.
Step 7: Watch a short video clip of assessment in action with a processing guide.
Step 8: Look at examples of different IPA's
Step 9: Explore resources to develop IPA's like authentic text, ACTFL rubrics, ACTFL planning templates, etc.
Step 10: Time to create, develop, and reflect!
Want to design your own IPA?
A lot of planning does need to go into the development of IPA's! Think about the following:
1. What is your targeted proficiency?
2. What will students do with the language within each mode of communication?
3. How will you provide feedback to students before they move onto the next task?
4. What tools will you use to assess learning and meaning?
5. Which AP Global theme can be aligned to topic?
6. What Can Do indicators will students be able to reach?
7. Which authentic materials will be used?
8. How will students decode text and comprehend?
Examples and More!
Purchase your own copy of the book Integrating Performance Assessments via ACTFL! It is a great read and has wonderful resources!
Looking for resources that will engage all students but especially your heritage Spanish speakers? This year I led teachers on an in depth professional learning experience around engaging heritage Spanish speakers. The goals we set were looking at raising awareness of heritage Spanish speaker populations within our schools, reflecting on our own beliefs about teaching heritage Spanish speakers, exploring effective instructional strategies that would engage all, and discussing ways parents could serve as partners in their child's education.
Check out the resources below for more information on how you can engage all in learning!
Vocabulary Template: Strategy number 1 is around Engaging students in vocabulary and allowing them to contribute!. In this strategy, students are first asked to identify words they may or may not know by placing an x in the first two categories or actually writing the definition in column three. Then, they are given a chance to share with a partner what they know by comparing answers. This strategy is great for heritage learners because they are also given the opportunity to list other words that they may use for the same word and at the end, the teacher would give the standard definition that will be used in class but at the same time valuing other definitions at the same time.
Word Generation: Another way to engage students through vocabulary is through Cognate Awareness. A project that was conducted through the Center for Applied Linguistics, entitled, VIAS which stands for Vocabulary Instruction and Assessment for Spanish Speakers did several studies around engaging heritage Spanish speakers and vocabulary acquisition. One of their sub projects was called EVOCA which stands for Enhancing Vocabulary through Cognate Awareness.
In this strategy, students do what is called a Word Generation. Before teachers begin a vocabulary lesson, students are asked to generate as many words as possible in the Target Language that they know around this topic. This could be on sticky notes or on their own paper. Students come up to chart papers posted on the board or around the room and they post their notes. Students then do a gallery walk around the room looking at words, making connections with the words they wrote and writing down any words that appear to be cognates. After students are able to generate their own lists, students get to decide on the top 10 words that are most critical connected to theme. Students keep both their personal list as well as top 10. If teacher feels there are other words that students will need, he/she will provide a list. Keep in mind that many of the learners will still need a definition but this will still engage Heritage learners as feeling empowered and engaged in their contributions.
Other variations of this strategy are called List-Group-Label. This is where students first generate a list of the all the words they know around the topic, then group words together and then label the groups they created.
P.I.D.: It stands for Palabra, Información, Dibujo. (Word, Information, Drawing) This is a similar concept to the vocabulary frame flashcards but what I really like is that it keeps students in the target language.
Concept attainment: You have probably seen strategy used in a variety of ways. In this strategy, students are shown all of the words from the vocabulary list but they are asked to create a title for the category. With this strategy, the teacher should put an image next to the vocabulary word. On the right side of the list, students are able to put their ideas. After sharing with other classmates and as a class, teacher reveals the title. Teacher may even be flexible and allow for a class generated title that all students agree on.
Frayer Model: In this strategy called the Frayer Model, there is a graphic organizer that helps students to learn new vocabulary by not only defining the term in their own words, but contextualizing it through authentic examples and visual representations. Here are the steps: Identify and list the essential vocabulary for the unit. Working in groups of 3-4, assign each team or each student one-two terms. Model the strategy to students with one of the words from the list and then allow students to develop their own examples. So, let’s take a look at what students need to do. If done individually, allow students to share with their team members. If done as a group, students can do a gallery walk, or assign roles to a presenter for a presentational task.
Turn your students into good readers! There is a critical need to build literacy and proficiency in Spanish. Research tells us that by studying Spanish and engaging in reading strategies will not only strengthen the language of study but also home languages. Check out the strategies below:
Wreck the Text: Highlighting the choices the author makes in the text. How could you rewrite this sentence? How does your word choice change the meaning? Why do you think the author made the word choices he did?
P.O.P Reading: (Predicción! Observación! Pregunta!): This is where students get a text and before reading they must write a prediction. Once they have read, they write an observation and then a question.
Research has consistently endorsed the use of structured cooperative learning as a major strategy for teaching in diverse learning environments. Cooperative learning provide learners with essential opportunities to use language in meaningful, purposeful, and interesting ways, build self-esteem and self-confidence, and develop academic, communication, and social skills. Take a look at some of our favorite strategies below for cooperative learning.
culturally relevant instruction
One of the biggest ways to motivate, encourage, and engage Heritage speakers is by including culturally relevant instruction. The definition by Teaching Tolerance is as follows: Culturally responsive teaching recognizes the importance of including students’ cultural references in all aspects of learning, enriching classroom experiences and keeping students engaged as well as helping students find and value their own voices, histories, and cultures.
Take a look at the resources below:
Line ups: Line ups get students up and out of their seats and allows for interpersonal communication I had the teachers line up by their favorite Spanish speaking destination either country or city. This can be somewhere they have traveled, are from, have family, have always wanted to go, etc. Then I had teachers talk with the person to the right of them and share your name and school and 1 interesting fact/travel area from the city you choose.
13 word posters: I used picture cards with teachers for them to brainstorm what it made them think of then how it connected to heritage Spanish speaking students and learning. Participants loved these cards because it allows for heritage Spanish speakers to feel valued for their contributions and the many ways to express items. This really opened their minds to allowing for more than one option or correct use of language.
share your ideas and thoughts with us!
According to the National Summer Learning Association, all children experience learning loss when they do not engage in educational activities over the summer and on average, students lose about two months of grade level equivalency over the summer months. We know that in World Languages, we tend to see dips in skills when students return to us at the start of the following school year.
Allow your students the opportunity to improve or enhance their proficiency. Below are a few ways to keep students engaged in World Languages this summer along with templates and links! Hope you enjoy!
1. Read books in the Target Language. Visit the World Language selection of your local library and give the links to students.
2. Use your online textbook tools to review material from the year. Most texts have sites that do not require a login for practice.
3. Read or Listen to a series of current events in the Target Language. Record any notes or summaries on template. Use online sites and templates listed below.
4. Attend a Language Cafe session or peer conversation drop in class. Check your local area for details and provide to students.
5. Comment on class discussion outlets like GAFE or Edmodo folders that contains readings, prompts, etc. If you have a learning management system like Blackboard or Canvas, you can create class discussion threads and allow students to post and comment too!
6. Watch your favorite movies set to the Target Language or listen to songs! Click here for music databases.
7. Create a GOOGLE VOICE and have students leave recordings on a variety of given prompts or assignments.
8. Look up local events in your area that feature targeted culture or language. Give students the dates and have them write a reflection of their day. Every city is going to have a lot of tourism events at local restaurants or museums during peak months. After students have attended, they could turn reflections into you via email.
9. Practice Target Language through online sites. A few are listed below. Others are listed on our website: http://www.connectwithlanguages.com/teaching-world-languages-through-technology.html
want to download the document above? see template below!
respond below with your thoughts!
Looking for ways you can give an interpersonal or presentational communication task without pulling each individual student one by one? It can be a hard decision trying to pick the right tech tool that will give you flexibility and allow you to provide feedback to students. I am sharing a presentation that I did for some of our teachers around capturing sound in the classroom.
I always loved giving students the time to talk spontaneously. As I walked around and listened, I often took notes and an overall completion grade. While all students were engaged in conversation, I was looking for something more concrete and wanted the opportunity to really give students meaning feedback without pulling each student individually and using up three to four days of instruction while the rest of the class completed an alternative assignment.
The winning ticket was getting the time reserved in the computer lab. I would book the lab once a month at the beginning of the school year for all of my classes. Once there, we would work on a variety of materials including time to record themselves speaking. I have tried a variety of sound applications and have put together the ones that to me, were the simplest and quickest. Hope you enjoy!
Tools and more
We have more ideas listed on our technology page under audio and listening. If you are interested at looking at other ways to capture sound with students, click here.
Students are not going to gain proficiency without feedback that is clear and direct. Take into account the following ideas as a way to reach your learners:
Share with us what tools you like to use!
Looking for a variety of ideas to keep students engaged in instruction the days preceding spring break? Try the 20 day instructional challenge! The days before break tend to test our patience and that of students. Keep your expectations high but remember that you can still have fun. Let us know how many of the ideas you try as well as others you use! Enjoy and have a wonderful break! Please note that some of the activities mentioned are adapted from Kagan Structures strategies.
It seems as though you can find mustaches everywhere these days! I jumped on the craze and used them in a professional development activity I created for some middle school teachers. I thought this activity could also be used with students for either interpersonal or interpretive tasks in the classroom. The way I used them was for interpreting reading. Teachers each had a reading selection. Then they used the must-ache you a question samples to speak with others around the room. This got everyone out of their seats and talking about the text.
Want the template?
Feel free to download templates in English and Spanish below. Enjoy!
It's almost time to celebrate National Foreign Language Week (NFLW! Typically, held in the first full week in Mach, NFLW, aims at making the United States aware of the need for and importance of foreign language study through celebration of languages.
Although Alpha Mu Gamma from LA City College is the official sponsor of National Foreign Language Week, helping with the success of NFLW was Pulitzer Prize winner, Bruce Russell. Through his efforts toward greater world understanding and his timely cartoons, posters have been designed each year for the support of NFLW! Below are some of the comics from Bruce Russell as well as the posters over the past several years that have been designed for National Foreign Language Week.
Alpha Mu Gama Sponsor
Ideas for the classroom
Looking for ideas of how you can celebrate and honor National Foreign Language Week? This is a great week to advertise and advocate for your language. Create a week of events or just one. Hopefully, the ideas below will spark some interest amongst your classes and for your school teams. Don't just limit your self to your school. While language clubs and teachers are a great resource, remember to invite community members and school district figures to be part of your celebrations.
1. Design hallway and classroom doors with flags from around the world.
2. Decorate your school lobby or entrance.
3. Hold an international themed breakfast for staff members.
4. Invite guests from the community to teach a cultural aspect like calligraphy or food dish.
5. Make class t-shirts in the target language.
6. Hang up theme year posters around school and send in school newsletters.
7. Hire an international dance group or get teachers and students from school to teach others.
8. Hold a film festival after school.
9. Go on a field trip.
10. Hold a bake sale of international treats.
11. Dress up in folkloric traditional dress and hold a fashion show.
12. Hold a tongue twister or poetry competition in the target language and invite judges.
13. Share an interesting fact about different languages on the morning or afternoon announcements.
14. Hold an afternoon of crafts from around the world.
15. Create a scavenger hunt around the school. Give students passports and at each station, they get a
16. Discuss career opportunities for languages.
17. Collaborate with other language teachers and hold a "language swap" for the day where students from
other language classes teacher students in a different language of study.
18. Ask the cafeteria staff if they could hold an international themed lunch.
19. Do a service or global project like Pulsera Project or Unicef in a Box.
20. Get creative when thinking of collaboration. Don't forget to ask other teachers in your building like
ESOL, Art, History, English, Science and Math to do lessons that involve cultural games, lessons or
art from around the world.
What does this make you think of?
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2. Have students write a note for what they are thankful for in the target language. Use template below!
4. Cook a Thanksgiving meal with your students!
5. Create an ABC book about the History of Thanksgiving in the target language.
6. Make connections to Art! Check out how famous artists would decorate their Thanksgiving plates.
The important thing to remember is what will students still be able to do with the language.
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Share with us what you do!
First, what are the goals of AP:
1. Develop proficiency in the Advanced Low-Mid range in each of the three modes of communication. By this we mean students are expected to:
- Engage in spoken interpersonal communication
- Engage in written interpersonal communication
- Synthesize information from a variety of authentic audio, visual, and audiovisual resources
- Synthesize information from a variety of authentic written and print resources
- Plan, produce, and present spoken presentational communications and
- Plan and produce written presentational communications.
2. The other goal of AP is to develop Global Competence! What does this mean to you? For me, it is about authentic texts as well as immersing our learners in new perspectives and the products and practices of other cultures. Take a look at ACTFLs newest position statement around Global Competence!
How do we achieve this? start with vertical articulation!
Resources: Special Interest Groups
Try the strategy small talk to help students improve on simulated conversations. Vocabulary development is critical in assisting in spontaneous communication.
Give students effective feedback! For personalized feedback, record your notes using audacity or other voice recorder to listening prompts submitted by your students.
Want students to keep a listening portfolio where they can track their progress? Have them use Audio Boom!
For student reflection feedback, use the error corrections handout to help students self reflect when engaging in presentational writing.
Here are a few resources around building skills within the interpretive mode. Engage students in active reading by completing the Draw, Speak, Summarize handout. While reading, have students engage in active reading using decoding symbols!
Allow students time to self assess and compare themselves to other AP students. Rubric Calibration amongst students and teachers really goes a long way.
AP Conferences and Workshops
Resources for Less Commonly Taught Languages
what else do you do? we would love to hear from you!
13. Explore Michoacán for authentic resources. Students could prepare travel itineraries or send a post card. They even have a Facebook page where students could leave a comment for global connections. (Depending on school, may need permission)
11. Video clips and tutorials from National Geographic.
10. Webquest from Smithsonian Latino Center! Check out the teacher resource guides.
9. Create a craft like papel picado or do face painting designs. Partner with the art teacher for collaboration.
8. Complete a scavenger hunt.
7. Do a read aloud or a book talk.
6. Complete a trivia quiz.
5. Show animated video clip featured below. Allow students to write captions or retell the story!
4. Check out a lesson for study or authentic sites.
3. Allow students to make comparisons with this info-graphic. What about debates?
Remember the info graphic displayed to the left? How can we enhance the skill set of our learners in order to move through proficiency levels? Let's start talking about transforming the classroom one level at a time!
First, let's reflect on a series of questions. What does it take to guide learners to the next level of proficiency? How do the three modes of communication interact? What does both learner and the teacher need to demonstrate performance?
Does this sound familiar? By the end of a level one-language class, most students have learned how to conjugate verbs in the present tense. By the end of level two, most likely the story is in the past tense. Amongst department members teams share with each other the chapter they are on and where they will leave off in June. Why is that we are having conversations on how much students have mastered by the chapters and themes that are covered?
Now, what if this conversation went a bit differently? What if teachers were having conversations about what students can do with the language within the different modes of communication? What if teachers were actually using proficiency levels by which to hold these conversations? How can we shape this path for both teachers and learners?
I believe that there are two paths, the Teacher Path and the Learner Path. In the teacher path we create:
Ask yourself the where do you fall on this continuum? What can you do to move students across this path to develop a higher proficiency.
teacher tool box: Strategy cards
- Use these strategy cards to help students develop skills that will help improve their proficiency!
Share your thoughts with us! We would love to hear from you!
1. Do a jigsaw using Smithsonian Education where each student gets a different cultural reading. Form new groups and students share what they learned.
2. Make a cultural craft from Spanish speaking areas around the world. Some ideas include papel picado, Albrijes, Ojos de Dios, Muñeca quitapena, an instrument,etc.
3. Put on a breakfast for your staff! Have parents and students cook a dish from a Spanish speaking country. Ask students to write up short descriptions of the dishes and get students to serve to the teachers!
4. Read an interesting fact each day over the school announcements.
5. Create a school scavenger hunt. Decorate a bulletin board with QR codes and questions for students to fill out. This could be a school wide project. Use any of the links provided on this page to get some ideas.
6. Read books highlighting different children's books and authors. Here's a list to start!
Latino Films Free Stream
National Hispanic Heritage
Share with us your ideas too!
1. Once we had gone over essential questions of the unit and objectives, I would incorporate needed vocabulary. I would pass out an example like the one below.
2. First, students would work independently. I would ask them to take about five minutes and read the words to themselves and place an X where they thought they fell within the first three categories.
3. Then, came the collaboration. After five minutes, I would have students work within their teams to collaborate. The groups would take turns reading the definition out loud and compare what they knew. Students were now learning from each other. This made students feel empowered that they already knew something in Spanish class before the teacher taught them.
4. The last part of this process was whole group. After students had the time to work independently, and then collaborate in groups, we went over as a class. We would repeat the definition together but then I would allow for student participation to share their answers. With this process I had more students engaged and willing to share their answers. By this time, students already had most of their Vocabulary list filled in and all they needed from me was to fill in the gaps!
MS Audio Notes
more links to vocabulary!
Do's and Don'ts for teaching Vocabulary
11 Tips for teaching Vocabulary
Vocabulary and Proficiency
Always looking for more ideas, please share with us yours!
Here are some ideas of what to do with this article!
1. Allow students to guess what they think would be the top 50 cities to see in the world. Give them a world map such as the one attached from Maps International. Allow them to mark up the areas of the world in which they believe to at the top of the list. Students may work in groups or individually!
2. Either handout the article on the Top 50 Places to Visit, or put images and captions onto a PPT. Go through the list and have students compare how many they have correct. Ask groups or students how many they got correct off of their list compared to the article!
3. Create your own top travel list/travel book as a class using places your students have visited. To do this, poll students by having them enter their top 5 travel destinations onto a wordle! As you repeat destinations, that word will become the largest and give you an indicator of what are the top travel destinations of your class. See example below!
4. Great activity to get to know your students either the first few weeks back or within a travel unit!
Use the TL to meet these connections!
1. I can identify destinations and major attractions on a
travel brochure (NOVICE-HIGH)
2. I can understand basic information on travel brochures (INTERMEDIATE-MID)
3. I can exchange general information about leisure and
travel, such as the world’s most visited sites or most
beautiful places to visit. (ADVANCED-MID)
What ideas would you add to this? reply and let us know!
My name is Jennifer Cornell. I currently work for a school system in Maryland as an Instructional Facilitator for The Office of World Languages. I have experience teaching all levels of Spanish from I-VAP. I have served as a Master Teacher for Maryland, a teacher trainer for Startalk and am a co author for the Entre Culturas Spanish III series by Wayside Publishing.
Back To School
Chinese New Year
Depth Of Knowledge
Dia De Los Muertos
Heritage Spanish Speakers
Hispanic Heritage Month
Integrated Performance Assessments
National Foreign Language Week
Parents As Partners
Read Across America Day
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.