How do we get to 90%+ target language use in the foreign language classroom? We need to rethink how we have been teaching over the past few decades and be willing to leave some of it behind. Traditional teaching practices were not designed to promote a high percentage of target language use.
If you want to get to 90%+ target language use in the classroom reflect on your teaching through the lens of these four questions and recommendations. Take some time to contemplate how you can move your teaching in a direction that is more proficiency-based and promotes regular and confident use of the target language in your classroom.
- Q1: Are prompts and tasks at the appropriate proficiency level?
- R1: Assess the proficiency level of students to make sure that prompts are not above students’ proficiency level.
- Q2. Do students have the language tools they need to communicate?
- R2: Teach functional chunks, language ladders, and circumlocution so that students have the language they need and don’t resort to the native language.
- Q3. Are students held accountable for using the target language?
- R3: Include goal setting, consistency, commitment and proficiency in grade.
- Q4. Are all the students actively engaged and interested?
- R4: Provide choice and opportunity for personal interest, investment and active engagement.