All about ME!

Let’s be honest.  When learning a new language, it is way more fun to talk about ourselves than the what we are suppose to talk about.  Students LOVE any and every opportunity to run the show and talk about whatever they want.  With that in mind, at the end of each week, we end class [say, the last 5 minutes] by sharing our weekend plans.  I take volunteers or victims if no one volunteers and give participation points for sharing their weekend plans in the target language.  Little do the students know, they are practicing a structure they learned in level 1, but often mess up when they haven’t used it in awhile [ir + a + the infinitive].  Guess what else… They learn so much self-selective vocabulary related to their lives that they are able to use in other contexts–like essay and speaking tests.  AND, incidentally. they pick up words from each other instead of from me, the guide on the side [stole that one from Patrick Briggs].  Oh and they are not allowed to repeat, meaning they must give details and elaboration to demonstrate how their brief story is unique.

Fast forward to Monday [or Tuesday or whenever the school week begins] and we talk about what we did over the weekend.  We take about 5 minutes [occasionally longer if I notice in first period that my activities aren’t going to take as long as I anticipated] and the same rules apply.  Students practice preterit and imperfect every single week while having an opportunity to do what they want [talk about themselves].  This activity, entitled “Qué hiciste?” was adapted from what the former Srta. Wall across the hall did each Monday in her Spanish 2/2H classes.

I sometimes mix both activities up by having them share with a partner and then take volunteers to share what they heard their partner say.  While a bit tougher, it’s good for them to have to think about what the person said [in first person] and make it make sense for retelling [in 3rd person] in the target language.

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