A little taste of #FLANC15

Our state foreign language conference, FLANC, was this weekend and there was a lot of good information and learning going on.  #langchat members were in full force, both attending and presenting.  As much as I enjoy the conference, connecting with friends and colleagues is one of my favorite parts of the experience.

Here are some ideas that I picked up that will be making classroom appearances soon:

  • When using authentic film, introduce the theme song or a key song from the film first.  Look at vocabulary and see what students can predict about the film they are about to see.  I’m planning to show Book of Life later this week in class, and this idea from the conference gave me another idea for the film.  You see, one of the students in our youth ministry at church back in the day wrote a song that appears in the film!  Here’s the video for the English version:

and a Spanish version (though much shorter)

  • In novice classes, if you are using an English language video guide like the one here, choose a number of questions and let students pick that number to answer in the TL.  This promotes a little bit more TL use and gives students some choice.
  • @SraSpanglish gave me the idea of using Nearpod for some mid-stream questioning during reading sessions.  She has LOTS of good ideas–check out her presentation here.
  • An idea for helping students to add details and complexity to their sentences:  Ask an open-ended question, and have students fold a sheet of paper into four columns.  They answer in the first column, then brainstorm details in the other columns.  Choose what fits with current context, like “with whom”, “how often”, “where”, “when”; also counterpoints like “but I’d rather…”, “but together my friends and I…”, etc.
  • And in case you missed it, the link to the tech session that Annie & I did is here.

There are many more things bouncing around in my head, but I hope that you got a taste of the good things going on in NC this weekend!

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Time to put on our big boy pants!

Here’s a resource that I use to help novice students create with Spanish once we have worked our way through the first few weeks of class: the Big Boy sheet.

Students are NEVER tested on the sheet itself, rather, it serves as a curated vocab reference list and confidence builder that helps them say what they want to say (avoiding the translator), and encourages them to assemble more complex sentences. We use it all year, and it’s one of the things that my former students ask for most from college. Enjoy!