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Spontaneous Communication in the LOTE classroom: activities that lower affective filter and spark authentic communication


Spontaneous Communication in the LOTE classroom: activities that lower affective filter and spark authentic communication Darcy Johnson, M.Ed., Curriculum ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Spontaneous Communication in the LOTE classroom: activities that lower affective filter and spark authentic communication

Spontaneous Communication in the LOTE classroom
activities that lower affective filter and spark
authentic communication
  • Darcy Johnson, M.Ed., Curriculum Instruction
    and Spanish
  • Brian McDonough, M.A., Ibero-Romance Philology
    and Linguistics (Area of concentration Second
    Language Acquisition)

Special thanks to the following for
supporting our trip to D.C.
  • Rebecca Donald, Principal, Westwood High School,
    Round Rock ISD, Austin, TX
  • Westwood High School PTSA
  • Our spouses! ?

  • How
  • can
  • anxiety
  • provoke
  • linguistic
  • error?

(No Transcript)
LOTE Objectives (http//k-12.pisd.edu/currinst/lo
  • Languages are acquired, not taught
  • Language acquisition takes place through a
    process linking language to meaning
  • In order for languages to be acquired, students
    must be exposed to comprehensible input
  • A child who functions in one language is already
    a candidate to function in others
  • A child will not exceed in his second language,
    the ability he or she has in his first language
  • Linguistic accuracy is a destination, not a point
    of departure
  • Proficiency in a language is attainable mastery
    of a language is not Authentic assessment
    involves a cadre of performance standards and
    requires the child to use language purposefully
    to meet a need or solve a problem.

Circumlocomotion (a.k.a.-Pass the card)
  • Objective Students will spontaneously
  • communicate in pairs based
  • on specific cues.
  • Materials needed 15 note cards with questions,
    word prompts, or visual
  • Procedure Students begin in pairs at their
    seats. A rotation system is explained to them,
    and they will be asked to pass the card to the
    next pair each time the instructor calls
    rotate!. Each card will provide a different
    cue based on a particular grammatical/
    thematic/ communicative topic. Partners take
    turns asking/ answering, according to prompt.

  • Topic Past tense
  • Questions are written by teacher OR students
  • Lets try it!

Use authentic materials!
  • A variation of this activity is to find 10-15
    products from Latin America/ Spain and describe
    them to the partner (i.e. replace the cue cards
    with authentic products and pass them in a
    particular rotation)
  • What kinds of products can you use? Wrappers,
    candy, newspapers, magazines, photos, bottles,
    tickets, brochures, etc. (ACTFL standard 2.2)

Factors we can influence
  • Student anxiety
  • Student self-doubt
  • Student boredom

But what can I do???
Our thoughts on boredom
  • We should NOT assume that we are the most
    interesting people our students have ever met
  • Let the authentic resources (appropriate for
    student level) do the talking
  • Make activities that are engaging
  • Reinforce primary goal for students throughout
    the course of the year communication! (not

Our thoughts on self-doubt/anxiety
  • Think CAREFULLY before correcting errors
  • Things to consider before correcting an error
  • Will this correction help or hurt their
  • perception of their own language ability?
  • self-confidence?
  • Frequency of correction nobody likes to be
    corrected all the time gives us a negative image
    of teacher and/or self and/or language

Our thoughts on self-doubt/anxiety
  • Let them experience success!
  • encourage AUTHENTIC use of language where
    students can believe themselves to be successful
  • low anxiety communicative situations
    (un-monitored conversations, etc.)

Authentic language acquisition
  • Spoken or written language data that has been
  • produced in the course of genuine communication,
    and not specifically written for purposes of
    language teaching.
  • Nunan (1999)

ACTFL Standards
Standard 1.1 Students engage in conversations,
provide and obtain information, express feelings
and emotions, and exchange opinions. Standard
1.2 Students understand and interpret written
and spoken language on a variety of topics.
See-Tell-Draw (shared by Carolyn Wietzel,
Leander HS)
  • Objective Students will study, memorize,
    explain, listen, retell, and interpret visual/
    audio cues in order to reproduce a visual that is
    in the hall.
  • Materials A picture prompt (to be hung in the
    hall) a line on the floor (can be made with
    tape) butcher paper and markers

  • See, tell , draw!
  • Form groups of 5.
  • Person (A) goes outside to study a picture,
    painting, or drawing for x minutes
  • Person (B) stands at a line by the door and
    listens to person (A) when they return to the
  • Afterwards person (B) goes back to the rest of
    the group and describes the picture, painting, or
    drawing that person (A) described
  • The group draws the image that person (B)
  • Person (A) goes back outside to study it again
    and will come back in to describe it to a third
    person (C) again with more details. Person (C)
    describes the image to the rest of the group, and
    group members take turns meeting person (A) at
    the line.

Which dead person am I?
  • Students form groups of 5-7. Each group works in
    a place of inspiration (away from other
    groups)and smiles in Spanish (or Arabic) at
    fellow group members.
  • Envelopes are given to students that contain
    cards. Cards have names of famous dead people on
  • Students keep envelopes face down except to show
    group members-objective is to guess which name is
    on the card through information that peers supply
    in the target language.
  • Each person will take his/ her turn asking QUs

Which dead person am I?
  • This activity can vary depending upon level/
    grammatical topic
  • I chose to use dead people because it easily lent
    itself to the preterite tense, which we were
    using at the time in class (we spent the whole
    day on dead people, i.e. writing an
    auto-obituary, etc.), but one could easily use a
    famous person who is currently alive or base the
    people on the topic.

Here are some suggestions as to what students can
  • Dónde trabajé durante mi vida? (Where did I work
    during my life)
  • Con quién me casé? (Who did I marry?)
  • Qué logré? (What did I achieve?)
  • Cuándo viví/ Cuándo me morí? (When did I live
    and die?)

Making the dead more versatile?
  • Which object am I? (could be from the vocab
    youre studying)
  • Which Spanish-speaking country am I?
  • Which famous Hispanic am I?

Scriptless Scruples (cuz life just aint
  • Objective When was the last time you memorized
    the conversation that you were about to have with
    your brother before you called him? Hmmmm?
    ? ?
  • Materials Vary per presentation, but typically
    consist of visual cues.
  • Procedure Re-work former project presentations
    or speaking dialogues to ensure that students are
    not memorizing what they are going to say! One
    suggestion is to give students presentation
    guidelines, and then ask them to draw out their
    ideas, NOT script them. Have them practice based
    on interpreting their own visual cues, each time
    saying the presentation differently.

  • When conversing in the big, bad world (AKA
    BBW) you wont always have visuals cues, so
    training your students to speak without them is
    another option which provides opportunities for
    circumlocution (description of a word or concept
    when you cant think of the word)
  • ? Look, no script! ?

Consejos para Guerreros
  • Formen grupos de 3
  • Hagan un plan de consejos para sobrevivir en WWHS
    (estudiar, hacer ejercicio, desayunaretc..)
  • Cada persona debe hablar de 3 consejos, usando
    (Ud.)Debe.., (Ud. )Puede, y (Ud.)Tiene que.
  • Dibujen una imagen para representar cada idea
  • Prepárense para compartir las ideas con la clase
    (hablando), sin leer!

See Frida (on Word file)
Fluency and Pronunciation Grammar and Vocabulary Content and Elaboration
Práctica 1
Práctica 2
Práctica 3
Práctica 4
Práctica 5
Práctica 6
How can we change this project by removing the
  • Restaurant Scene
  • In groups of three you are going to prepare a
    conversation to present to the class. One student
    will play the role of the waiter and the other
    three are going to be clients in the restaurant.
  • Requirements
  • 5 words in the category talking about how food
  • 15 words in the food category
  • 4 sentences in the category talking about
    unintentional events
  • 4 words with ísimo
  • For crédito extra (1-10 points) you can wear
    costumes and use props during your presentation.
  • You need to turn in the script and rubric before
    you present. 
  • Please mark the required vocab/ grammar on the
    script with different colors and make a key
    indicating what your colors represent!

What can we do to help the kiddos NOT write a
  • Keep requirements relatively simpleinstead of
    asking them to apply 15 vocabulary words, limit
    the number of required vocabulary! OR.do NOT
    require vocabulary from the list, rather design
    the topic so that it solicits use of certain
    vocabulary authentically
  • Train them from the beginning!
  • Explain why they should NOT use a script

Other ideas
  • Give quick orals as part of an exam, i.e.
    randomly move about the room asking students
    questions based on the topic while they are
    taking the test.
  • Oral quizzes on appropriate topics. Evidence
    suggests that students understand the topic
    better when they do it that way
  • If technology permits, use the language lab. We
    dont have one so we use hand-held recorders.
    Saves class time if they record all at once.

Keep the affective filter in mind!
  • You dont have to grade everything that the
    students present or write. Allowing them to
    present or speak without grading them can remove
    some of the anxiety associated with speaking!

Keep em on their toes!
  • If answering book/ homework questions when
    reviewing answers, ask them Why? to justify
    their response when theyre not expecting it.
    Theyll be caught off guard, but will try to
  • Randomly ask a student a question during class in
    the target language.

  • At any or all level of instruction.
  • Lets them be creative.
  • Putting too many limits may raise affective
    filter (stress!)
  • Walk around as they write and give suggestions.
  • Grade for completion.
  • No pressure authentic use of language.

Journal topics
  • Write about your vacation. Use preterite and
  • What are you going to do this weekend. Use ir
    a infinitivo.
  • Your best friend is having problems with their
    boyfriend or girlfriend. Write a short letter
    giving him/her advice. Use the subjunctive.
  • Write a disgusting recipe. Use formal commands.
  • Describe what you and your family are doing right
    now. Use the present progressive. .
  • You just bought a present for your friend. Make
    them guess what it is by giving a detailed
    description without mentioning what it is.
  • Describe a time when you use Spanish outside of
    class. Where? When? With whom? Why? How did
    you feel afterwards?
  • Describe your daily routine. Include some
    reflexive verbs.
  • Whats your favorite band? Why? How do you feel
    after listening to their music.
  • Which university would you like to attend? Why?
  • The movie I am Legend just became your reality.
    You are the only one left in the world. Use the
    subjunctive with impersonal expressions to make
    the situation a bit more rational. (Es
    importante que, es bueno, es triste que, es
    probable, es posible que, etc.)
  • Describe some good and bad relationships. Use
    reciprocal reflexives where possible.
  • What is a good friend?
  • What is a good teacher?
  • You just won a million dollars. Make a list of
    gifts that you are going to buy for your family
    and friends. Use the word para to indicate the
    destination of the gift.
  • Make a list of various things that you did last
    week and for how much time you did them. Use the
    word por to indicate the period of time you did

More journal ideas
The economy went bad. Now people have to
exchange things instead of use money. Make a
list of groceries you need and how you are going
to pay for them.   You have various things you
need to do next month. Make a list indicating
the due date for each using para.    Homework
Watch a telenovela in Spanish. Journal Write a
summary of what you saw.   Draw a typical family
situation and describe it. (Carmen Lomas
Garza)   Describe a particular work of a
particular artista.   Dialog Pass a journal
back and forth. Let them talk without their
voices.   Write a song using nosotros
commands.   Compare your dream car to that of a
friend. Use possessive pronouns.   Read a poem
and comment on it.   Describe what you have done
to help the environment in your community. Use
the present progressive in your response.   What
will you have accomplished by the end of the
school year? Use the future perfect in your
response.   Tell a story about something that
happened when you were a kid. Use preterite and
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