How to Use the Target Language 90-100% of the Time – PART ONE
Are you struggling to use the target language 90-100% in your world language classroom? Here are a few tips that have worked well for me.
Guarantee that students enter the classroom quietly and begin to work.
Enticing students with rewards is extremely effective in getting them to WANT to do what you want them to do. They will work for what they want.
My teacher’s assistant begins handing out raffle tickets the minute he/she enters the classroom. Only students who are quiet AND writing the answers to the bell work receive a ticket. They put their tickets into a jar before or after class, or on Friday right before the raffle.
On Fridays, I put my box of goodies on a desk at the front of the room. Then the four students whose names I pull out of the jar come and choose their prize. The first student always grabs the coveted homework coupon (only one per class).
What else do I put in the box? White board markers for which they normally must pay fifty cents and without which they cannot participate in the activities and competitions.
Next? Chocolate bars, goodies from Teacher’s Discovery: painted pens with sombreros, Mexican bracelets, taco erasers, ice cream gift cards. It works like a charm! If you were to walk into my classroom BEFORE the bell rang, you would see students writing away and ready to learn.
What about the fast finishers? I write a question on the board for “Minimaratón”. If they answer the question correctly they get a prize. Answering usually requires looking up words in the dictionary or wordreference.com. I also project the homework on the screen so they can begin working on it.
Never talk when students are talking. I know this is a fundamental, “No duh!” for veteran teachers but it must be said. I remember when I was a new teacher standing up in front of the room waiting for students to be quiet. It felt like an eternity. But it isn’t. Stand and wait. Talking over students or raising your voice reinforces that it is acceptable to talk when you are.
But this is just classroom management!
The best classroom management is a good lesson plan. Including tension in the lesson is vital to student accountability, progress, and, ultimately, to student proficiency.
In the next issue, (Part Two of the same theme) we will talk more about how crafting a good lesson plan enables the teacher to use the target language 90-100% of the time. We will also look at more examples of tension.
Since we are talking about lesson plans in this issue, the freebie for this month is a lesson plan on Ser vs. Estar to give you an idea how I plan my lessons.
Here is the link for the first lesson: Ser Estar Lesson Plan
Click here for the PowerPoint on Ser vs. Estar
This lesson is included in the Lesson Plans and Curriculum for Ser & Estar.
Mundo de Pepita shares how she was able to use 90% Spanish with her ELEMENTARY STUDENTS!!!
Super Senorita’s Spanish Stuff shares, Three Strategies to Increase Speaking in the Target Language
Mis clases locas shares some of her positive classroom routines. When we develop relationships with students, they are more open to learning and hearing the language.
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