A quick update on what I implemented from #cohort21 over the past year (I was a participant in 2015-2016). My action plan was based on getting students to communicate authentically. I implemented a 3-step structure for conversations, which became the routine start of almost every class:
- Students ask each other questions posted on a PowerPoint and note words they are lacking (but don’t look them up). We then review this as a class and use these words as the basis for the unit vocabulary. This is then pushed out to students.
- The following class, the same questions are posted with vocabulary words provided. Students practice asking and answering these questions. If there are any vocabulary words that are deemed important, but missed on the first round, then we add them at this point. I give feedback on their performance.
- Finally, the following class, the questions are posted, but only the key words so that the student asking the question has to think as well. No vocabulary words are provided at all in order to provide a feeling of authenticity. I assess the students on their interaction skills (listening and speaking).
The pairing for these conversations is based on several structures from: http:////www.kaganonline.com/catalog/look_whats_inside/BKS_inside.php
Some student comments:
I’ve noticed that sometimes when I’m talking, I just start talking and words come out of my mouth fluently as though I’m thinking in French and not thinking in English and translating to French as I speak. That moment was very encouraging for me, as it shows how far I’ve come in French this year and since when I started.
[I] learned more vocabulary to used in different daily conversations…
[I am most proud of] being able to comfortably have conversations in French thanks to conversational unit[.]
I’m looking forward to trying this again this year!