Category Archives: Online Activities

Moving Student Foreign Language Writing from Novice to Intermediate

At the novice writing levels, students write with single words and lists initially, then move on to chunked phrases.

Novice Low/Mid:

  • green
  • apple, banana, orange
  • Josué
  • soccer, football
  • movies, restaurant

Novice High:

  • My favorite color is green
  • I like apples, bananas and oranges
  • My name is Josué
  • I play soccer and football
  • On the weekend I like to go to the movies and to a restaurant

As students move up to the intermediate proficiency level they begin to create discrete sentences on their own that move beyond chunked phrases.  This can be challenging for students because they are no longer relying on memorized phrases to chunk together.  We can help scaffold this process for students by supporting them in creating sentences.  Students often don’t knowhow to add details to a sentence to make it their own, particularly when writing.

Moving Student Foreign Language Writing from Novice to Intermediate (French, Spanish)

I have found that using question words with students is a simple and effective way to have students add details to their sentences that move from memorized, chunked phrases to discrete sentences that are created by the student.  The more they do this the more they will grow in confidence and begin to do it on their own when writing.

Here is an example of an activity that has been effective in showing students that they can in fact move up the proficiency ladder by creating their own sentences.  I call it “Staring with a Verb” (A Partir d’un Verbe, A Partir de un Verbo).

Moving Student Foreign Language Writing from Novice to IntermediateMoving Student Foreign Language Writing from Novice to Intermediate

I created these activities in Google Slides so that students and type their sentences directly in the slide and then submit the document when finished.  This is particularly useful when using Google Classroom and ideal during distance learning.

Moving Student Foreign Language Writing from Novice to IntermediateMoving Student Foreign Language Writing from Novice to Intermediate

Take a look at some possibilities:

 

 

Suggestions for Foreign Language Choice Board Options

I recently wrote a post about using choice boards in the foreign language class. I included 2 ways to use Google Slides and Forms to show 9 options that include the three communication modes and choices around learning style.  You can read that post here and copy the template to your Google Drive.

Suggestions for Foreign Language Choice Board Options (French, Spanish)

The organizational part is step one, then we need to figure out what the actual choices are.  I compiled suggestions for each option below.  Since the choice board template is designed to be used for any language, theme or proficiency level I am keeping the suggestions and resources general so that you can easily adapt them to the content that you are focusing on in your classes.  Hopefully this list will spark some ideas and make the process of creating choice boards more manageable.

Nuts and Bolts:

1-Way Speaking:

  • Flip Grid
  • Vacaroo
  • Ad for Podcast
  • Ad for YouTube Channel
  • Voicemail
  • Movie Talk-watch a video clip with no sound and tell what happens
  • Describe picture or story or storyboard

Writing:

  • Create an Ad
  • Make an Infographic
  • Write a quiz
  • Make a Storyboard and write what happens
  • Comic strip
  • Write an Email
  • Write a text
  • Social media post
  • Movie Write -watch a clip with no sound and write what happens

2-Way Speaking:

  • Sign up for in-person or Zoom, one-on-one or small group
  • Role play
  • Themes in advance
  • Record (audio or video)

Listening:

Reading:

  • Websites
  • Book
  • Articles
  • Infographics
  • Lingro
  • Classmates’ writing

Art, Music, etc.:

  • Paint and describe (write or speak)
  • Draw and describe (write or speak)
  • Sculpt and describe (write or speak)
  • Write song lyrics

Web Activities:

 

Picture1

Culture:

Choice Boards by Communication Mode in the Foreign Language Class

There is increasing research that shows that learner independence builds confidence and increases academic performance and language proficiency. I have seen an increase in choice boards among language teachers on social media.  These boards provide students with options of how to learn and practice content or a skill.  They also encourage students to be more responsible, accountable and independent as they work at their own pace. In a time of remote/distance/hybrid learning these choice boards are a great way to keep students engaged in or out of the school building.

Choice Boards by Communication Mode in the Foreign Language Class

As I took on this challenge of implementing choice boards I soon realized that the challenge comes in the organization and keeping track of assignments. When students are completing different assignments at various times how do I manage it all?  So, I took to Twitter to ask teachers how they do this in their classrooms.  There were great suggestions from generous teachers all over the country.  I compiled responses and got to work creating two versions of choice boards.  One uses Google Slides and the other uses Google Slides and Forms.  There are apps, Websites and platforms out there that do this sort of thing for a fee, but I wanted to find a way that uses Google (Classroom) that does not require yet another username and password… and does not have an annual cost associated with it.

Be sure to look at this post if you would like to see ideas for each of the options.

The choice board is the same for both versions.  It is the way students submit work that differs.  Copy of the Choice Board Template to your Google Drive.

Choice Boards by Communication Mode in the Foreign Language Class

There are 9 options on the choice board, which include the communication modes as well as culture, Web activities and art, music, etc.  There is also a “nuts and bolts” option which all students begin with.  This is for initial presentation of content through comprehensible input.  This is all done in a Google Slide presentation that is shared with students so that they each have their own copy.  In this first version all work is put on the corresponding slides either as an image or a link to a Google doc.

Choice Boards by Communication Mode in the Foreign Language Class

 

Choice Boards by Communication Mode in the Foreign Language Class

This second version begins with the same choice board in Google Slide format, but there are links to Google Forms to submit work. Copy of the Choice Board Template to your Google Drive.

Choice Boards by Communication Mode in the Foreign Language Class

Choice Boards by Communication Mode in the Foreign Language Class

Choice Boards by Communication Mode in the Foreign Language Class

Be sure to take a look at this follow-up post that has ideas and suggestions for the choice board options. I hope you have success with choice boards and that these templates help to make it a little more manageable for you.

Copy of the Choice Board Template to your Google Drive

Engaging Foreign Language Use with Padlet

Padlet in Foreign (World) Language Class(French, Spanish) www.wlteacher.wordpress.com Padlet is an online, electronic “wall” where students can post comments or answer questions for the entire class to see and respond to.  The possibilities are endless since the link can be shared with students who can easily access the wall electronically.

Engaging Foreign (World) Language Use with Padlet (French, Spanish) wlteacher.wprdpress.comThe teacher can upload videos, photos or documents.  It can easily be used for a virtual exchange as well with another school.  All students involved can comment on the same photo or video and everyone can see the different responses.  Padlet can also be used in real time in class with all students entering comments on the board at the same time.  Each comment begins with the student’s name so that everyone looking at the board knows who wrote the comment.

Create Online Comic Strips in Foreign Languages with Pixton

Create Online Comic Strips in Foreign (World) Languages with Pixton (French, Spanish) wlteacher.wordpress.comPixton is a website where students can create their own comic strips by developing characters and dialog.  There are various templates and tools to make characters.

(French, Spanish) wlteacher.wordpress.comThere is a section of the website specifically for schools and students projects. You will also find some interesting reasons how Pixton is useful to language students in the ares of motivation, creativity and culture.

Go! Animate-Great tool for the foreign language classroom

GoAnimate is a free site that allows you to create cartoon animations and either record voice or type text that the program reads for you.  It also has authentic foreign language accents and voices.

Go! Animate-Great tool for the Foreign (World) Language Classroom(French, Spanish) wlteacher.wordpress.com

Storybird: Site for Students to Create Books in a Foreign Language

Storybird is a free site that lets you choose artwork to create a story. You choose your art, then type in your story. The final product reads like a book and can be embedded easily on class sites or blogs.

Storybird-Great tool for the Foreign (World) Language Classroom(French, Spanish) wlteacher.wordpress.com

Storybird-Great tool for the Foreign (World) Language Classroom(French, Spanish) wlteacher.wordpress.com

Online Message Board for Students to Communicate in Target Language

LinoIt is a free message board. You create a board where students can post “sticky notes,” including video clips.

Online Messageboard-Great tool for the Foreign (World) Language Classroom(French, Spanish) wlteacher.wordpress.com

Very Effective Online Vocabulary Activities for Foreign Language Class

The activities on the links below are great for students to individually practice many vocabulary topics in a very interactive way.  Some of the activities include sound and students can practice their listening comprehension as well as their ability to recognize words when they see them in print.  These are also effective for the smartboard as well. The activities work just as well on an individual computer screen.

Digital Dialects-Great tool for the Foreign (World) Language Classroom(French, Spanish) wlteacher.wordpress.com

Interactive Music and Lyric Activities for Foreign Language Practice

Interactive Music Video Website for Foreign (World) Language (French, Spanish) wlteacher.wordpress.comThese are very interactive music activities that I came across on Lyricsgap.com.  The songs are on video (linked to youtube) and for each song there are 2 types of activities to practice the lyrics: Fill in the missing word or phrase (three levels) and karaoke.

There are lots of song in different languages and you can even add to the activities or upload your own song to the site.  The song and activities are assessed and approved before they are placed on the site.  These are fun activities for students to do individually or in pairs: