Everyday language in every class

Photo by Thought Catalog 

Greetings to all. Before we begin, I want to thank each of you for taking a few minutes of your valuable time to read my experiences and ideas related to teaching foreign languages.

Today I wanted to share with you a class writing activity that is working very well for my students this new school year. Before doing so I would like to explain where the idea came from. 

We all know that when we follow a specific textbook or curriculum (which may be the same in the long run), we must focus on a specific topic for two to three weeks. It is believed that by doing this students will have the opportunity to practice a specific vocabulary more and thus learn it more efficiently. The truth is that although the intention is good, this does not happen. On the contrary, gifted students memorize vocabulary in a couple of days and get bored for the next two weeks, while others feel that they will never be able to remember the 40 new words proposed in the unit .

The problem is that by being focused on the “new vocabulary” we leave aside everyday language or even vocabulary from previous units. A classroom environment is then created in which students always feel that they are behind.

It is because of the above that it occurred to me to start each class with an unexpected question, that is, it is not necessarily connected with the topic of the unit that is being studied. The idea is to look for questions that will pick students´interest, questions that they really want to answer in order to share their personal points of view. 

This activity has been very successful and that is why I wanted to share it with you. here.

This is the way I work the questions every day:

1- I start the class with a quick relaxation exercise.

2. Project or write the question.

3- I read the question and make sure everyone understands it.

4- I ask them to answer it in writing.

5- I explain that the answers must have at least 3 complete sentences, explaining the reason for your answer. Each sentence must have a minimum of 8 words.

6- I give them 5 minutes and then I ask for volunteers who want to read their answers.

7- After listening to 5 responses, I share my own position on the question.

8- I collect the answers to read them later and give them feedback.

9- This activity is equivalent to 3 points of class work each time we do it.

I hope this activity helps and motivates your students. As always, I am attentive to your questions at diego@srojeda.com

Please give me credit for using this or any of my ideas in professional presentations or articles.


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