Category Archives: Speaking

Preparing for AP Success Beginning at the Novice Level

Do you have AP language classes in your program?  When do you begin focusing on the linguistic and cultural competence skills that students will need to succeed at this level? A Pre-AP focus can be quite beneficial in the language learning process, fostering critical skills and mindsets early on. Whether students pursue a language at the AP level or not, these skills not only enhance and support academic success, but  they also cultivate confidence and competence.

Preparing for AP Success Beginning at the Novice Level (French, Spanish)

Let’s look at the benefits of integrating Pre-AP strategies and curriculum into language program curriculum and objectives. These provide students with a strong foundation for their language learning pursuit.  They will be well-equipped to succeed in an AP class, or, if they don’t follow that route, they will still have the skills needed to communicate effectively and with confidence.

Building Strong Language Foundations

To pave the path for success, emphasizing core language skills—Interpersonal Speaking Interpretive Listening and Reading, Presentational Speaking and Writing—is pivotal in lower-level classes. These skills are the foundation of language proficiency and serve as the building blocks for advanced language studies. Incorporating authentic resources, such as news articles, videos, and podcasts, enriches language learning experiences. Students greatly benefit from exposure to real-world materials, providing a glimpse into how language operates in authentic contexts.

Cultivating Critical Thinking

Even at lower proficiency levels, cultivating critical thinking skills is attainable. In lower-level classes, introduce basic analysis and synthesis abilities. For instance, encourage students to analyze short texts or compare different viewpoints on straightforward topics. Questioning techniques play a pivotal role in promoting critical thinking. Pose thought-provoking questions that urge students to delve deeper into a text’s meaning, nurturing thoughtful discussions and enhancing overall comprehension.

Integrating AP Themes in Lower-Level Classes

Delaying the exploration of AP themes until AP classes is not necessary.

Beauty and Aesthetics

  • At lower proficiency levels, you can introduce discussions on topics like art, music, and cultural expressions. Challenge students to describe a famous painting using simple vocabulary and then compare their interpretations.

Science and Technology

  • Basic science and technology-related vocabulary can be introduced . Have students read simplified news articles about technological advancements and discuss their implications in the target language.

Personal and Public Identities

  • Exploring personal interests and identities is relevant at any proficiency level. In a straightforward “About Me” presentation activity, students can introduce themselves and share their hobbies.

Families and Communities

  • Family structures and communities are universal topics that can be discussed even with basic language skills. Encourage students to create posters representing a community event or a family gathering.

Global Challenges

  • Basic global challenges, like environmental issues, can be introduced in lower-level classes. For instance, students can engage in dialogues discussing simple ways to contribute to solving these challenges.

Contemporary Life

  • Everyday life topics are relatable for all learners. Consider a role-play activity where students simulate common situations like ordering food at a restaurant using basic conversational phrases.

Differentiation and Inclusion

Acknowledge the diverse learning needs in your classes. Implement strategies that cater to various learning styles and skill levels. Tiered assignments serve as an excellent approach to adapting tasks to different proficiency levels, challenging advanced learners while providing extra support for those who require it.

Your Turn…

The advantages of focusing on these “AP skills” extends beyond advanced content; it lays a solid foundation for language learners. By integrating these strategies and curriculum into lower-level classes, educators equip students with the tools and mindset required for success in advanced language courses. Try out these suggestions and tailor them to your unique classroom contexts as you empower students to grow in proficiency and reach higher levels of cultural competence.

Strategies for Effective Error Correction in the Language Classroom

In the communicative language classroom, nurturing effective communication and language proficiency takes precedence. While linguistic accuracy plays a role, the primary objective is conveying meaning and facilitating genuine interactions. Let’s look at some strategies for providing constructive error correction, focusing on meaningful communication. We’ll address different proficiency levels, from novice to intermediate, and provide examples.

Selective Correction

Prioritize corrections that hinder comprehension or effective communication.

Novice Level (French):

  • Student: “Je aller à l’école hier.”
  • Feedback: “C’est bien que tu parles du passé, mais il faut dire ‘Je suis allé(e) à l’école hier.’ Bon travail!”

Intermediate Level (Spanish):

  • Student: “Yo vio una película anoche.”
  • Feedback: “Es genial que estés usando el pasado, pero recuerda decir ‘Yo vi una película anoche.’ Sigue así.”


Rephrase errors without explicitly pointing them out, allowing students to self-correct.

Novice Level (French):

  • Student: “Je mangé pizza hier.”
  • Recasting (French): “Ah, tu as mangé de la pizza hier?”
  • Student’s Self-correction: “Oui, j’ai mangé de la pizza hier.”

Intermediate Level (Spanish):

  • Student: “Nosotros ir a la playa el fin de semana pasado.”
  • Recasting (Spanish): “¿Ustedes fueron a la playa el fin de semana pasado?”
  • Student’s Self-correction: “Sí, nosotros fuimos a la playa el fin de semana pasado.”

Error Logs

Encourage students to maintain error logs, promoting self-awareness and self-correction.

Novice Level (French):

  • Student: Repeatedly forgets to use articles (e.g., “J’aime manger pizza.”)
  • Error Log Entry: “Oublié les articles. Je dois dire ‘J’aime manger de la pizza.'”

Intermediate Level (Spanish):

  • Student: Confuses verb tenses (e.g., “Hoy yo comió pescado.”)
  • Error Log Entry: “Confundí los tiempos verbales. Debo decir ‘Hoy yo comí pescado.'”

Delayed Correction

Provide feedback after speaking activities, allowing students to focus on communication during the task.

Novice Level (French):

  • Activity: Role-play at a restaurant where students take on the roles of server and customer.
  • Feedback (after activity): “Bravo! Vous avez bien communiqué vos commandes. Maintenant, faisons une petite correction. ‘Je voudrais une salade’ est la phrase correcte.”

Intermediate Level (Spanish):

  • Activity: Group discussion about vacation plans.
  • Feedback (after activity): “Excelente discusión. Han utilizado bien el pretérito perfecto compuesto. Ahora, algunas correcciones: ‘Voy a visitar a mi familia’ es la frase correcta.”

Effective error correction in the communicative language classroom revolves around balancing meaningful communication and linguistic accuracy. By applying these strategies tailored to students’ proficiency levels, teachers can empower their students to communicate confidently while continually improving their language skills.


Strategies for Building Speaking Confidence

Building speaking confidence in language learners is a gradual journey, and it starts with tailoring activities to their specific proficiency levels. Let’s look at some activities and procedures that progressively build speaking confidence across various ACTFL proficiency levels.

I’m including examples to illustrate language output at different proficiency levels, from simple sentences for novice learners to more complex language for intermediate levels. As students progress, they can confidently communicate their thoughts and ideas in the target language.

Novice Low to Novice Mid

At these levels, learners may feel hesitant about speaking. Activities like picture description provide a comfortable starting point. By focusing on simple vocabulary and asking them to describe familiar visuals, students build foundational speaking confidence. Frequent practice in a supportive environment helps them develop essential speaking skills and overcome initial apprehension.

  • “I see a red apple.”
  • “Je vois une pomme rouge.”
  • “Veo una manzana roja.”

Novice High to Intermediate Low

As students progress, role-playing offers them opportunities to take on different personas, effectively bridging the gap between novice and intermediate levels. By engaging in real-life scenarios, they begin to express themselves more naturally, helping boost their speaking confidence.

  • “I’d like a coffee, please.”
  • “Je voudrais un café, s’il vous plaît.”
  • “Me gustaría un café, por favor.”

Intermediate Mid to Intermediate High

Debates and discussions are ideal for students aiming to reach intermediate-high proficiency. These activities require more nuanced language use and promote critical thinking. By encouraging structured debates, students not only express their opinions confidently but also engage in active listening and respond effectively—a crucial aspect of speaking fluency.

  • “In my opinion, environmental conservation is a global responsibility.”
  • “À mon avis, la conservation de l’environnement est une responsabilité mondiale.”
  • “En mi opinión, la conservación del medio ambiente es una responsabilidad global.”

Building Confidence Through Progression

Regardless of proficiency levels, here are some overarching strategies that progressively enhance speaking confidence:

  1. Positive Reinforcement: Recognize and celebrate small victories. Acknowledge their improvements, no matter how incremental, to boost confidence.
  2. Vocabulary Enrichment: Introduce relevant vocabulary for each activity. As students acquire new words, they gain confidence in expressing themselves accurately.
  3. Scaffolded Support: Provide sentence starters or question prompts, especially for novice and intermediate learners, to help them articulate their thoughts.
  4. Recording Practice: Allow students to record their speaking. Over time, they’ll notice their progress and feel more confident in their abilities.
  5. Consistency is Key: Consistent practice is essential. Frequent speaking activities gradually normalize speaking in the target language, reducing anxiety and bolstering confidence.

By implementing these activities and strategies, language teachers can guide their students on a journey toward increased speaking confidence. Whether they’re just starting or aiming for advanced proficiency, gradual progression through tailored activities and continuous practice ensures that students develop the skills and self-assuredness they need to become confident speakers in the target language.

Quiz, Quiz Trade in the Language Classroom

Quiz, Quiz, Trade is one of those go-to activities that gets students speaking and moving around.  Once they know how it works you can pull it out anytime for speaking practice, idea generation, an opening activity or review of a topic.  The possibilities are endless.

Quiz, Quiz Trade in the Language Classroom, French and Spanish

This highly effective strategy has proven to be a valuable asset for learners of all proficiency levels, from novices to those at the intermediate high level. Let’s look at how to set it up, manage it effectively, and consider follow-up activities that can enhance language proficiency.

Setting up Quiz, Quiz, Trade

Prepare Question Cards: Create question cards with prompts related to your chosen topic. You can tailor these prompts to different proficiency levels. For example:

  • Novice Low: Basic vocabulary with words or pictures
  • Novice Mid: yes/no, either/or questions.
  • Novice Mid: Simple questions about daily routines or preferences.
  • Intermediate Low: Questions about hobbies or school with more detail using questions words to bring out more information.
  • Intermediate Mid: Question in different time frames and questions based on a class reading or video.
  • Intermediate High: Open-ended questions on global issues or cultural comparisons.

Distribute Cards: Hand out one question card to each student.

Managing the Activity

Pairing Up: Have students pair up and stand facing each other, holding their cards.

Questioning: Instruct students to take turns asking and answering the questions on their cards in the target language. Encourage question askers to:

  • Listen actively to their partner’s responses, noting any interesting details.
  • Ask follow-up questions to further the conversation. For example, if the question is about hobbies, they can ask, “Why do you enjoy that hobby?” or “How often do you do it?”

Trading Cards: After both students have asked and answered, they trade cards. This ensures that they interact with different prompts and partners.  Students then seek out a new partner.  You can have “available” students raise their hand so that they can locate each other.  I usually say that you can’t go back to the same person after already speaking so that friends extend their circle.  Students may get the same question back several times as cards rotate.  No problem. More practice with that question.

I also put myself in the mix so that I have some one-on-one time with students and can keep track of any areas that may need additional attention, such inaccurate vern forms or inconsistent use of singular and plural.  Formative information for me.

Repeat: Continue the process for a set amount of time.  I also introduce new cards throughout, usually replacing the cards that I get with a new prompt as I integrate into the activity.  This keeps the prompts fresh so that students don’t get repeat prompts.

Follow-Up Activities

Discussion: Have students share interesting answers they received during Quiz, Quiz ,Trade and facilitate a class discussion on the topic.

Writing Assignment: Assign a writing task based on the same topic. Students can expand on the ideas discussed during Quiz, Quiz ,Trade.

Debate: For intermediate mid/high students, turn the questions into debate topics, encouraging them to argue their viewpoints in the target language.

The key to success with Quiz, Quiz, Trade is providing clear instructions and monitoring the activity (be a part of it) to ensure students stay on track. It’s a versatile tool that can be adapted to suit your specific language teaching goals and proficiency levels.

By incorporating Quiz, Quiz, Trade into your language classroom, you’ll not only see improved language proficiency but also foster a fun and interactive learning environment.

Pecha Kucha in the Language Classroom, At All Levels

Are you familiar with Pecha Kucha?  It’s a Powerpoint or Google Slides presentation style that originated in Japan and it is known for its concise, visually engaging format. It’s an excellent tool for building presentational speaking skills and boosting confidence.

Pecha Kucha in the Language Classroom, At All Levels.  French, Spanish.  Presentational Speaking.

How does Pecha Kucha work?

Pecha Kucha, which means “chit-chat” in Japanese, involves creating a presentation with precisely 20 slides, each lasting 20 seconds. This unique format challenges students to be concise, organized, and creative in their delivery. The ultimate goal is to present a dynamic presentation lasting six minutes and 20 seconds.  Typically the presenter sets a Powerpoint or Google Slide to advance every 20 seconds to keep the timing consistent. There are only images on the slides and no words.  Students should have ample time to practice on their own with a partner before sharing with a larger group.  You can have students do their Pecha Kucha for a small group of 4-5 or the entire class.

Benefits of Pecha Kucha

  • Speaking Confidence: Pecha Kucha challenges students to speak clearly and confidently within time constraints, boosting their self-assurance.
  • Vocabulary Expansion: It encourages the use of diverse vocabulary related to the chosen topic, expanding their language proficiency.
  • Improved Organization: Students learn to structure their thoughts logically, enhancing their communication skills.
  • Visual Engagement: Incorporating images not only reinforces language concepts but also adds a dynamic element to the presentation.

Adapting Pecha Kucha to Proficiency Levels

For novice and intermediate proficiency levels, you might want to begin with fewer slides and shorter durations. Let’s Look at Pecha Kucha for different proficiency levels.

Novice Mid to High: At this stage, students are building their foundational language skills. Pecha Kucha can start with as few as five slides, with each slide lasting 10-15 seconds. Here are some topic ideas and examples:

  • My Family: Include pictures of family members and use basic vocabulary to introduce them. For instance, “This is my sister, Marisol. She is 20 years old.”

Pecha Kucha in the Language Classroom, At All Levels.  French, Spanish.  Presentational Speaking.

  • My Hobbies: Show images related to interests, such as sports, music, or art. Encourage students to use phrases like “I like” or “I enjoy” to express their preferences.

Pecha Kucha in the Language Classroom, At All Levels.  French, Spanish.  Presentational Speaking.

Intermediate Low to Mid: At this stage, students have a firmer grasp of the language, allowing for more complexity. You can increase the number of slides to 10-15, with each slide lasting 15-20 seconds. Here are examples:

  • Travel Destinations: Share pictures of famous places and discuss why they want to visit them. Encourage the use of descriptive language and future tense, e.g., “I will visit Paris because it’s beautiful.”

Pecha Kucha in the Language Classroom, At All Levels.  French, Spanish.  Presentational Speaking.

  • A Day in My Life: Describe their typical day, incorporating past, present, and future tenses. Include images of various activities, such as waking up, going to school, and spending time with friends.

Pecha Kucha in the Language Classroom, At All Levels.  French, Spanish.  Presentational Speaking.

Language Use in Pecha Kucha

Emphasize the use of relevant vocabulary, verb tenses, and connectors while presenting. Encourage students to incorporate phrases like “First, then, next, finally” to structure their presentations. Provide feedback on pronunciation, fluency, and correct word usage to help them improve.

What do the listeners do?

  • Provide listening students with a template or worksheet where they can jot down key points, interesting phrases, or questions during the presentations. This will help them stay focused and retain information.
  • If listening students have questions about what they heard during the presentations, provide an opportunity for them to seek clarifications from the presenters. This promotes interactive learning and communication within the classroom.
  • After each presentation, ask listening students to share their understanding of what their classmate discussed. This can be done individually or in small groups.
  • Listening students can compare their notes with their peers to see if they captured the same key points. This can lead to interesting conversations and collaborative learning.
  • Initiate a class discussion where listening students can share their thoughts on the presentations they observed. Encourage them to express what they found interesting, challenging, or informative.

Final Thoughts on Pecha Kucha

Incorporating Pecha Kucha into your world language classroom offers an exciting way to foster presentational speaking proficiency, creativity, and confidence. Whether students are just starting out or have been studying for a few years, this method can be tailored to their level, ensuring continuous growth and engagement in their language learning journey!

Compelling Input and Output in the Language Classroom

It is essential that language be comprehensible so that that students can make form-meaning connections, however it also has to be of interest and compelling to learners. This is what motivates them to engage and make meaning. But, what about how students use the language they are acquiring?  That also needs to be compelling to students.  Let’s look at how to make input compelling along with output activities that are of particular interest to learners as well.

Compelling Input and Compelling Output, Comprehensible Inout, CI, French and Spanish.

Comprehensible Input Hypothesis:

  • Language acquisition occurs when learners are exposed to messages that are slightly beyond their current level of language competence
  • Learners acquire language subconsciously, through their own natural processing abilities, rather than through direct instruction or explicit grammar rules.

Compelling Input Hypothesis:

  • Learners are more likely to acquire language when they are exposed to messages that are interesting, engaging, and personally relevant to them.
  • Compelling input captures learners’ attention and motivates them to engage with the language, which can lead to more effective language acquisition.

Making Input Compelling:

  • Incorporate authentic materials, such as news articles, podcasts, videos, and TV shows, that are interesting and relevant to your students’ interests and cultural background. The format can be as compelling as the topic.
  • What movies, TV shows, books, games, sports events or local events are happening? School related activities?
  • Use exit tickets to figure out what the interests are?  Use Card Talk Drawings.
  • Focus on meaningful communication instead of grammar rules. Research has shown that language acquisition is more effective when students are focused on meaning rather than form.
  • at their age and proficiency level

Compelling Input and Compelling Output, Comprehensible Inout, CI, French and Spanish.

Compelling Input and Compelling Output, Comprehensible Inout, CI, French and Spanish.

 Making Output Compelling:

  • Provide students with opportunities to use the language in authentic situations, such as role-playing scenarios, mock interviews, and real-life simulations. 
  • Give students choice and autonomy in their learning by allowing them to select their own topics and projects. 
  • Provide feedback that is specific, actionable, and focuses on both form and meaning. 
  • Use the same formats for making input compelling to provide opportunities for compelling output.

Compelling Input and Compelling Output, Comprehensible Inout, CI, French and Spanish.

Compelling Input and Compelling Output, Comprehensible Inout, CI, French and Spanish.

Podcast episode on this topic:


  • Krashen, S. D. (1985). The Input Hypothesis: Issues and Implication. 
  • Krashen, S. D. (2011). The Compelling (not just interesting) Input Hypothesis  

Do Nows and Exit Tickets in the World Language Classroom

Are you using Do Nows and/or Exit Tickets in your classroom?  They sometimes have different names, but essentially Do Nows are quick assessments that students complete at the beginning of class to get their brains warmed up and ready to learn.  Exit Tickets are assessments at the end of class that provide teachers with valuable information about what their students have learned and where they may need more practice. Do Nows and Exit Tickets are effective tools for language teachers that help to track student progress, inform lesson planning moving forward, and provide opportunities for immediate feedback to students.

Do Nows and Exit Tickets in the World Language Classroom (French, Spanish)


Let’s look at Do Nows first.  

Why are Do Nows useful and what are some ways of using them?

  • Quick Assessment of Previous Class: Do Nows provide teachers with an immediate snapshot of their students’ understanding of a topic. This quick assessment helps teachers tailor instruction to meet the needs of their students right away in that class.  Maybe there needs to be a little more review before moving on to a new topic or perhaps that planned additional review won’t be necessary.
  • Immediate Engagement that Builds Confidence: Do Nows are short, focused activities that engage students and encourage them to be active learners. By starting class with a Do Now, teachers can create a positive and productive learning environment. Students feel successful because the material is not new, but rather reviewing or building on previous content.
  • Practice: Do Nows provide students with the opportunity to practice their language skills in a low-stakes situation. This regular practice helps students build confidence and develop proficiency in the language. Also an opportunity to recycle or review previous topics and content to keep it fresh.
  • Prep for Class Activity: Do Nows can be used as prewriting or to access prior knowledge on a topic. Maybe a new topic will be covered in class, but the Do Now focuses on prior knowledge and builds schemata. They can also be used to spark discussion or as a pre-reading activity.
  • Differentiation: By creating multiple versions of a Do Now, teachers can differentiate the activity to meet the needs of their diverse students. This makes it possible to provide students with a meaningful and challenging learning experience, regardless of their level of proficiency in the language.

Where is the prompt and where/how do students respond?

  • The prompt can be on the board and students record their response on a sheet of paper. Students can also do this in a notebook that they keep, either with them or in the classroom.
  • Instead of writing a prompt on the board, the teachers can hand out individual prompts, such task cards, slips of paper with vocabulary words, pictures, or a a quote.  This will make the Do Now more individualized.  There can also be a prompt on the board instructing students what to do with the information on their card or slip of paper.
  • Do Nows don’t always have to be written responses.  Students can read a short text or even engage in a short speaking activity using similar prompts.

resources for Do NOws:

Now Let’s look at Exit Tickets.  

Why are Exit Tickets useful and what are some ways of using them?

  • Formative Assessment: Exit Tickets provide teachers with an effective and efficient way to assess their students’ understanding of a topic that was covered in class that day. This regular assessment helps teachers identify areas where students need additional support and can adjust instruction accordingly. Not unlike a Do Now, but an Exit Ticket is focused on new content from class. A Do Now is typically more focused on previous material.
  • Reflection: Exit Tickets encourage students to reflect on their learning and think critically about what they’ve learned in class. This reflective practice helps students make connections between new concepts and prior knowledge, deepening their understanding of the language.
  • Practice: By completing Exit Tickets, students have the opportunity to practice their language skills and demonstrate their understanding. This helps students build confidence and develop proficiency. Build in previous content and material into the prompt so that students continue to build on their skills and proficiency levels with new and prior topics.
  • Feedback: Exit Tickets provide teachers with valuable feedback on the effectiveness of their instruction. Teachers can use this feedback to make changes to teaching strategies and improve their students’ learning outcomes the next day.
  • Planning: Exit Tickets can also help teachers plan for future lessons. By analyzing students’ responses, teachers can identify areas where students need individualized additional support and plan lessons that address these needs. This proactive approach to planning can help ensure that all students make meaningful progress.

Where is the prompt and where/how do students respond?

  • The prompt can be on the board and students record their response on a sheet of paper or a notebook, just as they might so with Do Nows. However, these papers or notebooks should remain in the classroom so the teacher can look at them after the class or as students are leaving.
  • Hand out individual prompts, task cards, vocabulary words, pictures, or a quote with a prompt on the card or on the board. Just like a Do Now, but an Exit Ticket is focused on new content from class. A Do Now is more focused on previous material.
  • Students can hand these Exit Tickets to the teacher as they leave.
  • Exit Tickets don’t always have to be written responses.  Students can speak to the teacher at the door as they leave, providing a spoken response.  If there are large numbers of students, mix it up with some doing verbal and others doing written responses.

resources for Exit Tickets:

29: Teaching Circumlocution Skills

As teachers, and proficient second language speakers,  we have figured out ways to communicate words that we don’t know. We can teach this skill to students early on so that they can begin doing it right away. Circumlocution is a strategy for describing or defining a concept instead of saying or writing the specific words (when we don’t know it). We can teach students how to do this and give them tools to help in the process.

In this episode I give some suggestions to teach students the art of circumlocution.  I also talk about some games that are useful for practicing this skills.

Blog Post on Circumlocution.

Work with Joshua either in person or remotely.

Follow wherever you listen to podcasts.

No Prep Group Speaking or Writing Activity

Do you have a deck of regular playing cards?  Yes? Well, you’re all done and the activity is ready to go.

This is a no prep activity that you can pull out at any time, on any topic, for any language at any proficiency level.

No Prep Group Speaking or Writing Activity (French, Spanish)

I call this activity Special Card (La Carte Spéciale, La Tarjeta Especial).

Here’s how it works:

  • Choose one card from the deck before beginning and write it down on a piece of paper.  Don’t show it to students. Keep the card in the deck
  • Put students into groups of 3 or 4.
  • Groups will need a piece of paper or small white board if you are focusing on writing.  No need if focusing on speaking.
  • Tell students that they will get a question and will either respond orally or in writing.  If responses are spoken each group will need individual questions each round.  If it is in writing all groups can get the same question for the round.
  • I make up the prompt on the spot based on the topic.  You can do this in advance, but I like to keep it “no prep.”  It can be novice level questions with single words answers all the way to higher levels with questions about a reading or video.
  • If the response is correct, hand the group a playing card.  Their points for the round are the value of the card.

No Prep Group Speaking or Writing Activity (French, Spanish)

  • Ace is 1 point, number cards (2-10) are their face value, a Jack is 13, a Queen is 11 and a king is 12.  [The Jack, Queen & King values are arbitrary.  You can make them what you would like.]
  • Once all cards are earned, and the deck is depleted, groups add up their points. The final move is to reveal the Special Card, which is worth 25 or 30 additional points.  The group with that card earns the additional points.
  • The group with the highest points wins the round.
  • Collect cards back.  If there is time to play another round groups can continue with their points from the previous game or start fresh.
  • If you’re playing additional games, be sure to choose new special cards each time.

The topics and proficiency levels are open depending on what you are doing in your class.  Here are some prompt ideas

Novice Low-Mid:

  • What are three colors, animals, days, months, seasons, articles of clothing, activities, etc.
  • Questions about concrete vocabulary themes that require a 1-2 word spoken or written response.

Novice High:

  • Where do you …?
  • When do you …?
  • What are your opinions about…?
  • Questions about concrete vocabulary themes that require a sentence of chunked spoken or written language as a response.

Intermediate Low:

  • Describe….
  • Sentence level questions about details in a story
  • Questions about personal or story details that require a complete spoken or written sentence response created by the group.

Intermediate Mid:

  • Explain…
  • Tell me about…
  • Why…
  • What is…
  • When did
  • When will…
  • Questions on themes covered in the current unit that require 2-3 spoken or written sentences that are connected by transition words.

Intermediate High:

After groups read a passage together on their own…

  • Specific or general questions to demonstrate understanding
  • Questions on themes covered in the reading that require 3-4 spoken or written sentences that are connected by transition words and may require speaking or writing in various time-frames.

I also talk about this activity on episode 25 of the World Language Classroom Podcast.

22: 90% + Target Language Use

In this episode we are talking about 90%+ target language use in the classroom.  We start with where this comes from and why we want to do it, then I ask 4 questions about what is happening in your classroom.  These questions will help to focus on some of the challenge areas and I provide some ways to address them.

  • Q1: Are prompts and tasks at the appropriate proficiency level?
  • Q2. Do students have the language tools they need to communicate?
  • Q3. Are students held accountable for using the target language?
  • Q4. Are all the students actively engaged and interested?

Links referenced in this episode:

Work with Joshua either in person or remotely.

Follow wherever you listen to podcasts.