25 February 2011

Two new options for out-of-class fluency

In the past week I added two new options to my AP class's out-of-class fluency homework options. One is from personal experience and the other came as a result of tech recommendations from @usamimi74 on Twitter.

photo by Israel Avila

The first is to post-it 10 items in your house that you don't know the word for and leave it there for a week, then report to me from memory what all the items were.
I have been speaking and learning Spanish for twenty years. But over the last two years I have been on a different journey--raising a bilingual child by speaking only Spanish to her. It's struck me how many words I don't know because I never needed them before. Burp. Stroller. Hiccups. And words even around the house as I talk to her about things. Zipper. Knob. Eggplant. Believe me, I've learned a lot. So if I don't know what so many things around my house are called, I can be sure my students don't either. So I think this option is a good one. I'm hoping it will inspire them to keep learning in the future, because that has been so valuable to me.

The second option is to complete a song on lyricstraining.com. If they know the song, they have to do intermediate. If they don't know the song, they can do easy. I set it that way even at their advanced level because the activity seemed difficult to me. But the first day I showed it to them in class, at least one student went and did it right away-- two songs. One of my least motivated students lately, even. Thanks @usamimi74. :)


Spanglish Queen said...

Oh cool. I'd never heard of that lyrics training site. I just tried it out with a Spanish song I already knew. Very interesting...I might play some more.

Genevieve said...

I love your blog! It is so exciting to see that you call yourself a linguist. I am a future Spanish teacher in grad school right now, and it is great to have some inspiration. Keep up the good work!


Anonymous said...

Love the ideas of having students do this for homework. How do you verify that they completed it?

I have said...

I'm also (trying to) raise a bilingual child. It's a challenge but I feel it'll be more than worth it. I agree that speaking spanish to a child regularly is one of the best ways to learn the language. Reading Spanish books, listening to spanish music and watching spanish videos is also super helpful.

For those who are looking for good Spanish resources, a good blog to check out is www.freekidstories.com. It's got good stuff for helping a child learn Spanish at home or in a classroom setting.

Sra Cottrell said...

@Sherry - for the answer to that, look at the comments on this post
@I have - thanks for that link! Keep talking! :)