Tip # 2 for keeping your class funtioning in the target language | Best PowerPoints for Spanish | Angie Torre

Tip # 2 for keeping your class funtioning in the target language

When presenting workshops for teachers, I am especially careful when giving instructions. I make sure they are written in large print on the screen and that I model what I expect them to do.  For example, if I want them to work with a partner and ask each other questions, writing down each others’ answers, I will grab a volunteer, ask questions, and write his/her answers and so forth.

Experience has shown me that if I give my instructions verbally to my audience, 80% of whom are visual learners, they will look at each other in bewilderment wondering what to do and will, then, do nothing.  In the classroom, that translates into lost instructional time.

It doesn’t matter what language I am speaking; it is the rare listener who will hear, remember, and comply.  The same is true of our students.

How to Keep Your Class Functioning in the Target Language
Don't Tell Me Show Me Concept

If 80% of them are visual learners and will not be able to follow instructions heard only verbally, why not give the instructions in the target language while providing comprehensible input as we model what we are saying?  Students will not only be better able to follow the instructions given, they will have been exposed to more understandable language in context.  

There are many who say, “Students will not understand what I am saying unless I say it in English.”  My response is, “Students will not understand what you are SAYING no matter what language you are speaking so you might as well use the target language.  Don’t tell them.  Show them.

Also, it is a mistake to give students a task and expect them to complete it in the target language without equipping them with the necessary vocabulary to do so.   When pairing or grouping students for a particular task, make sure to pre-teach the expressions they will need in order to function in that group.  For example, “¿Qué piensas tú?”; “Yo creo que debemos escribir /poner…”; “Escribamos…”; “Estoy de acuerdo.”  

I write these on the board and have students repeat them.  Then, I MODEL how to do the activity AND how to use the expressions with a volunteer student.

For Tip # 1, click here: http://www.bestpowerpointsforspanishclass.com/blog/back-to-school-survival-tip.html