QR Codes

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I recently discovered how to use QR Codes, and it turns out that they are very easy to create, and they have many different uses in the classrooms.  QR codes are a great tool to get students engaged and moving by placing them in separate areas of your classroom or school building. They are also an excellent resource to keep things new and exciting for your students. In my experience, most students were able to scan the QR code with their smartphones. The few students who didn’t have a phone available worked with other students. You can store several types of information on a QR code such as:

Free text

web address

Contact information

Text message

I have mainly used QR codes to give students access to information such a short text or quiz, to provide them with a link to a video or web address. But there are many different novel ways to use QR codes.  Click here to learn more about how to use  QR Codes in the classroom.

Here ar some of my students using QR codes to learn about poisson d’avril . You can access my poisson d’avril lesson here.

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INFOGRAPHICS

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.

Steps

  1. Have the students read the infographic silently.
  2. Each student will write a question about the information on the infographic.
  3. Have students share their questions with a partner.
  4. Teacher will ask comprehension questions in the target language.
  5. 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.
  6. 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 infographicinfografia-verano-445x1024

TV SERIES IN WORLD LANGUAGE CLASSROOMS

In my French 1 classes we have been watching Téléfrançais videos to hear others French speakers, to practice listening comprehension, to learn new vocabulary, and to practice speaking French . We watched episodes 1-15 and episode 2o (We skipped episode 16-19 because after Sophie left the show my students were devastated.)The show is very silly and yes it was created for younger children but still my students absolutely LOVE IT! Each episode last nine to ten minutes but teaching each episode can take up to 35 to 40 minutes of class.
Before we watch each episode students read a summary of the episode and or we review what happened in the previous episode. While watching the episode  and pretty much after each scene, I pause it and and we talk about it. Then I check for comprehension and asses vocabulary we’ve learned. In Each episode you can find a topic to generate meaningful discussion with your students. For instance, in episode 20 we talked about our dreams and our favorite video games.
Here is a sample lesson. Please let me know how to improve it. Ideas are always welcome!

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STAYING IN THE TARGET LANGUAGE

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.