What are infographics?
Infographics are a visual representation of complex data and information. Think of it as pie chart on steroids.
What’s so great about infographics?
Infographics are very engaging and help deliver comprehensible messages. Additionally, they are a great tool for visual learners.
How can infographics be used in world language classes?
They can be used as text, as reading comprehension practice, as a Common Core strategy, as a hook to initiate discussion, to summarize a novel or describe a character in the novel and to talk about culture. Additionally, students can create their own infographics to break down information from multiple sources.
How do I use it in my own classroom?
I have used infographics mainly to introduce a topic and to talk about culture.An infographic provides the visuals and the vocabulary to start a meaningful conversation. For instance, in chapter two of Problemas en Paraiso by Carol Gaab, the main two characters are preparing to go on a trip to Ixtapa, Mexico. So I used an infographic I found online to initiate a discussion about vacations and family trips.
- Have the students read the infographic silently.
- Each student will write a question about the information on the infographic.
- Have students share their questions with a partner.
- Teacher will ask comprehension questions in the target language.
- Personalize by asking students in the target language: Where does your family go on vacation? How often do you go on family trips? Do you like to go to the mountains or the city? What do you like about family vacations? etc.
- Optional: Have students create their own infographic about family vacations or comparing vacations in the USA with other countries (in this case, it was USA vs. Spain) Here is my infographic
I don’t tell stories in my class but rather, I story ASK.That means that I co-create engaging and fun stories with input from my students by asking a series of patterned questions. Story-asking is a powerful tool that elicits second language acquisition. Even the business sector has recolonized the power of storytelling as a mean to transmit content that is engaging. Writer Rodger Dean Duncan of Forbes magazine wrote an article about the power of storytelling in the business sector. In his article Mr. Duncan states that:
“No doubt about it, the best speakers are good storytellers. The best writers are good storytellers. The best leaders are good storytellers. The best teachers and trainers and coaches are good storytellers. It might even be argued that the best parents are good storytellers.”
Since you probably don’t have time to read the whole article because you have to grade papers, or answer parents’ email or finish your lessons for tomorrow, here’s a cool info-graphic that sums it all up for you!
I confess, I dropped the ball with enforcing my number 1 rule:
In Spanish class we only speak Spanish
In French class we only speak French
I am good at staying in the target language myself. I was so good at enforcing this sacred rule with my students, but lately I haven’t been enforcing it. My favorite TCI trainer Jason Fritze, told me that this is the most important rule and under no circumstances his students are allowed to speak English without raising their hands and asking for permission. He gave me some very good ideas to stay in the target language 90% of the time. First, I need to explain to my students why this rule is so important. Then, I need to teach them a gesture for when they need to speak English. They will only use this gesture in an emergency situation. I will follow my own rule and ask the class “May I speak English?” Lately I’ve been teaching my Spanish level 2 students synonyms, so now every time they ask me what does a word mean I say this word is a synonym of this. Example:
¿Qué quiere decir alumno?
Alumno es un sinónimo de estudiante.
This strategy has been very useful and it allows me to avoid using English. Another strategy I learned from Jason Fritze is not to let the class turn into the dreaded ¿Cómo se dice..? or insufferable Comment dit-on? game. In other words, students will communicate by using the words that they have acquired at the moment. Lastly, keep your class fun and positive by praising and rewarding those who follow the rules. This will encourage students’ participation and use of the target language.
If you’re a teacher teaching 5 periods a day, you probably don’t have that much time to read. So here it goes:
#1 Funny commercials in the Target Language
#2 Picture Chat
#3 Music videos
#4 Students pictures from school events
#5 Animated Google Doodles
premier jour de printemps
This is Sra. Castro also known as Mme. Castro and during the summer I simply go by Dahiana. I teach French and Spanish in sunny Southern California. Ever since I discovered TCI four years ago, I’ve completely changed the way I teach. I am committed to help other World Language teachers switch from traditional methods to TCI. I love teaching and learning, reading, traveling, cooking and Latin dances.
So I finally joined the 21st Century of Language Teacher and created a teacher page . I also recently joined Twitter.