Questions

A BUNCH OF BOOKS OR A COUPLE OF CLASS SETS?

Brett, an experienced Spanish teacher in South Carolina, writes: Hi Bryce, I was just reading your article about 9 Steps to FVR. I'm trying to build up my reading materials. I basically have none at my new school. Would you recommend prioritizing based on getting a bunch of different books or buying class sets of a couple of select books? Good question. I would go with a bunch of different books. Here's why: Students acquire more language when they can choose their own reading materials. The free choice aspect gives them more buy-in and more engagement. When they can decide what [...]

SOCRATIC QUESTIONING & LANGUAGE TEACHING

The main thing that some students learn in a foreign language class is that learning another language is just way too hard for them. They mainly learn that they stink at it. They think that becoming fluent is beyond them and that they will never get it. But they are wrong. All students can learn another language. They can learn if their teachers will skillfully ask series of questions that lead them to fluency. We need to believe in this goal and believe that there are good reasons for it and that there is a process to achieve it. It [...]

THAT’S A GOOD QUESTION

This question comes from Adria, a Spanish I student of a teacher that uses my materials: Hello, my name is Adria ____. I go to _____ High School. My Spanish teacher has us read your stories and answer the questions but some of us had some questions about it. Like, why are the boys really creepy and the girls really crazy? Thanks for the good question, Adria. I write stories to keep students' attention. I want them to be compelling and motivating. Exaggerating tendencies that we all sense is one way of doing that. Most boys are mystified by girls' [...]

SOCRATIC QUESTIONING AND TPRS

The main thing that some students learn in a foreign language class is that learning another language is just way too hard for them.  They mainly learn that they stink at it.  They think that becoming fluent is beyond them and that they will never get it.  But they are wrong.  All students can learn another language.  They can learn if their teachers will skillfully ask series of questions that lead them to fluency. We need to believe in this goal and believe that there are good reasons for it and that there is a process to achieve it. It [...]

QUESTIONS ABOUT GOOGLE HANGOUT #1

There have been many responses and questions about the recent CCFLT Google Hangout. Here is one from Kristen: Thanks for your wonderful ideas during the Google Hangout! I was wondering, how do you teach grammar topics in the target language? Or do you teach them in English? Also, any ideas on ways to improve questioning techniques? Lastly, how do you start your Spanish I kids out with the "persona especial" strategy? How does this work at first when they have limited vocabulary? I would really love to implement this technique, but am feeling overwhelmed with the idea of starting it. Gracias! Hi Kristen, Thanks for your [...]

RULES FOR LIVING

These are some rules for living (in Spanish and then in English) that I plan on sharing with my Spanish II students next week. We will discuss them and I will encourage them to come up with their own. What would you add or take away? What does your list look like? MIS ONCE REGLAS Y OBSERVACIONES  ¿CUÁLES SON LAS TUYAS? Ser cortés y respetuoso. Leer cada día. No hacer decisiones importantes cuando estás triste, enojado o muy contento No apostar por dinero No tomar préstamos de dinero No confiar en los hombres que usan pantalones blancos Sieres la persona [...]