Small solutions for the World Language classroom # 1

June is fast approaching and with it comes the end of the school year. The 21-22 school year has not been an easy year for teachers and students. COVID-19 has left consequences that have affected the normal rhythm of schools. The economic crisis and the disproportionate prices of food and gasoline exert a silent and constant pressure that is reflected in the classroom and outside it. Despite all this, teachers continue to think about the best ways to do our job. Many of us use the last few days of the school year to reflect on our instruction with the hope of doing even better next year.

Although specialized books and professional development opportunities are immensely important and helpful in our daily work, it is often those small solutions that occur to us while we reflect that have the greatest impact on our instruction. This is because these solutions are born from our direct experience with a specific group, from a family context and with which we also have affective ties. Human beings are more likely to generate solutions when affection is involved, love turns us into creative beings.

Starting today and for a couple of weeks I will be sharing a series of small but very effective solutions that can make our next school year more efficient and motivating.

Easy Solution #1

Talk to them in the L2!

It is incredible to believe, but even though we know about the importance of keeping the class in the L2, we forget to use it once the class is over. For years I have observed teachers and it strikes me how the vast majority maintain their interactions with their students outside of class in the L1. It might be thought that exclusively using the L2 with our students inside and outside the classroom and in written communications is something that is reserved for advanced classes, but the truth is that this is not the case. We can make each communicative interaction, an understandable interaction and although it is difficult for our students, with time and the habit of constantly listening to us communicating in the L2, they will grow in their level of proficiency.

When we consistely interact in the L2 with our students, we help them to improve their listening, to give importance and attention to what we say in the L2, to overcome the shyness that some feel when trying to speak in the L2 during class, and above all we will be motivating them to respond in a real and authentic context.

I invite you to try to keep in the L2 all the communicative exchanges that we have with your students. I assure you that this will not only help them to be filled with confidence to take risks, but you will also see that little by little a beautiful culture is generated around whatever world language you teach.

If you have easy solutions you want to share, please send them to me at diego@srojeda.com and I’ll share them here giving you credit of course. Happy end of the school year 21-22!


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