By Guest Blogger, Wyatt Crane
Takeaways from ACTFL!! Here are my big ones:
1. Some great quotes:
- “Perfect accuracy exists in two places – Superior and Novice”
- “Let’s be honest, we are all weirdos. We’re the only one’s who actually enjoy grammar.”
- “Language should be at the center of a school’s curriculum because we teach everything!”
- “Putting ‘I can’ in front of a learning target does not make it student friendly language.”
2. Build in more space for cultural comparisons. Any simple topic that comes up – school, clothing, transportation, sports is TOO EASY to not find some easy pictures, video, infographics to highlight cultural differences/similarities
3. Speaking of which, more authentic resources! Can be helpful esp. at Intermediate level for illustrating grammar in context.
4. Switch out one “portfolio video” for an “interpersonal video” in which students need to navigate an extended conversation together. Maybe as mid-year assessment?
5. According to one presenter, the “High” sublevel means that you’re functioning at 50%+ accuracy for the next target level. I have one class with the same 5 people willing to share out loud.
1. Snowball questions: Write a bunch of questions on individual pieces of paper and number them (ex: 1-15). Crumple papers into “snowballs” in the middle of floor. S’s open their notebooks around perimeter of class and set up numbers on open page (1-15). On Ts signal, students rush to open snowball for question, return to their notebook to write down answer at correct number, and rinse and repeat until gone through all numbers.
2. Trivia card exchange. # of cards = # of students. Each card has question and answer. Students pair up to ask and answer questions. Encourage celebration if correct and teach “Oh, I forgot!” if incorrect. Good for teaching countries/capitals?
3. “Home Shopping network” improv activity
4. “Round Robin” – every student has a blank piece of paper, writes a sentence at the top of the page. On T’s cue, everyone passes paper to left and next person adds to first sentence. Rinse and repeat until papers return to original authors.