Resources for the presentation:
Feeling Like a Citizen: Engaging Students and Building Community in the Classroom (Using the Special Person Activity All Year Long)
Read these before, during and after the presentation to get it to stick:
- PowerPoint Presentation: Feeling Like a Citizen
- Chart of the Process for Special Person Interviews
- Here are the results of Personal Interviews after 2 months in Spanish 1: STUDENTS INTERVIEW THE STUDENT TEACHER
Real Students + Real Language + Real Interest = Real Acquisition
“Special Person” student interviews are the very definition of student-centered learning. In this ongoing classroom interview activity we focus on the students and ask them questions about their lives, their interests and their goals. A common definition of student-centered learning is that it “… puts students’ interests first. It acknowledges student voice as central to the learning experience and allows students to choose what they will learn, how they will learn, and how they will assess their own learning.”
This is precisely what we do with personal interviews: We interview each student in the target language and the interviews grow in depth and complexity as the students grow in language ability. Students choose what they will share and the direction of the interview by their responses. Every so often we quiz the students on what they know about their classmates.
“Special Person” student interview questions and answers are available in several languages below. These questions can help provide a format to help you to begin this fantastically engaging activity with your students.
Personal interview questions are available in these languages:
** NEW! ** Ho-Chunk:
Thanks to Shena Munden, from the Ho-Chunk nation in Wisconsin for the translation.
LA PERSONA ESPECIAL CLASSROOM POSTER
There are also scores of sample questions in English to adapt for upper levels at the end of this document.
Student interview posters with graphics in Spanish for ELEMENTARY STUDENTS by Amy Roe
LA PERSONNE PRECIEUSE CLASSROOM POSTER IN FRENCH
Thanks to Carrie Ely from Lee, Massachusetts and Anna Gilcher in Cameroon for these.
SPECIAL PERSON QUESTIONS IN JAPANESE
Thanks to Betsy Paskvan from Anchorage, Alaska for these!
“OUR STAR” PERSONAL INTERVIEW IN RUSSIAN
Thanks to Michele Whaley for the language, and Don Read for the formatting on this labor-intensive PowerPoint for the Russian classroom. Follow Michele’s outstanding Comprehensible Input blog here.
Superstar – Eine spezielle Person German PowerPoint
Superstar Interviewfragen-1 German
Thanks to Ulrike “Ulla” Seckler for creating and sharing these German Special Person Interview materials.
שאלות לראיון תלמידים Special Person in Hebrew
Thanks to Howard Handler for putting in the work and time to create this poster of the Special Person Questions in Hebrew.
Thanks to Kristin Plante for translating and sharing these posters in Dutch.
Focusing on a student and asking the right kind of questions to bring out her personality and make her shine like never before is a skill that can be developed. This article I explain how to put the focus on the students and make them a star as you do personal interviews in your classroom: Make Any Student The Most Interesting Person in The Room
Here is a format for a Special Person Quiz. They can write as many sentences as they like, but the grade is cut off at 25 sentences. No one can get more than 100% now. Too many students were getting 200%. Special Person Quiz Form
Engaging Students With LA PERSONA ESPECIAL This is a popular and successful activity in my classes that starts on day 1 and continues for the rest of the year, where we get to know one anther in the TL. It’s using real language and real interest in real people and the result is real acquisition.
Here are some examples of using Special Person interviews with the present perfect verb form–sometimes thought of as grammar for a higher level class. If it is comprehensible and interesting it can work: Special Person with Traditional Upper Levels
Some Pig! This is a summary of a Person Especial interview that generated enormous engagement with students.