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- Foreign Language Exercises and Tasks; Task-Based Activities
- Design Communicative Activities in the Foreign Language Classroom
- Backwards Planning in the Foreign Language Classroom (SlideShare)
- Foreign Language Lesson Planning with Backwards Design
- The PACE Model: Inductive Foreign Language Grammar Teaching (SlideShare)
- The PACE Model: Teach Foreign Language Grammar Inductively as a Concept
- Help Students’ Foreign Language Writing Rise from Novice to Intermediate (SlideShare)
- ACTFL Core Practices. Students Build Language Proficiency. (SlideShare)
- Foreign Language Writing Activities for Aspiring Intermediate Learners
- ACTFL Core Practices
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Tag Archives: Foreigh Langauge
The PACE MODEL is a very effective way to use one of the ACTFL Core Practices, which is to teach grammar as a concept and to use the structures in context. Essentially this means that students should focus on the forms of the grammar structure after they focus on the meaning. The PACE Model (Donato and Adair-Hauck, 1992) encourages the language learner to reflect on the use of target language forms. The teacher and learners collaborate and co-construct a grammar explanation after focusing on the meaning in context. The PACE model provides a concrete way for teaching grammar as a concept.
Much like authentic language learning that happens outside of the classroom, this approach stresses that learning happens between people through social interaction (reminiscent of Vygotsky). The PACE model requires the learner to be an active participant in the language learning process.
The PACE model is a “four-step” process that includes elements that encourage student comprehension and participation. The four stages are:
1. PRESENTATION :
The teacher foreshadows the grammar structure with an appropriate text, with emphasis on meaning. Typically, the teacher recycles the storyline through pictures, TPR activities, etc., to increase comprehension and student
participation. The focus is not on the grammar structure at this point, but it is used by the teacher and in the text.
2. ATTENTION :
The teacher now has students focus on the language form or structure through the use of images, powerpoint slides or highlighting a particular linguistic form.
3. CO-CONSTRUCTION :
After the teacher has focused student attention on a particular target-language form, together they co-construct the grammatical explanation. The teacher provides scaffolding and assists the learners with questions that encourage them to reflect, predict and form generalizations regarding the consistencies of the language. Students construct their own grammar rules, guided by the teacher who will make sure that they end up with an appropriate explanation.
4. EXTENSION :
The learners use the grammatical structures to complete a task relating to the
theme of the lesson, which helps the language remain communicative while also highlighting a particular structure.
Reference: Donato, R. & B. Adair-Hauk. “A Whole Language Approach to Focus on Form.” Paper presented at the American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Languages. San Antonio,Texas (1992).
As students grow in proficiency beyond the novice level, where they are parroting language structures and chunks, they aspire to create with language and speak and write on their own. As teachers we need to provide opportunities for students to create with language. This can be an intimidating prospect for the novice high/intermediate low language learner. It is best, in my experience, to scaffold this language creation in a way that makes students feel confident that they are creating messages on their own, but at the same time not feeling too overwhelmed by the process.
To assist students in this process of moving toward creating their own sentences that move beyond memorized chunks of language I made these tactile sentence writing activities. They are set up to provide some scaffolding in terms of the types of sentences that writers create, while also ultimately leaving the content of the sentence up to the student.
There are two versions of these writing activities. The first version looks like this:
This is how it works. A pencil, a paperclip and a copy of the worksheet are needed to complete this activity. Students place the point of their pencil and a paperclip in the middle of each hexagon. They spin the paperclip by flicking it with a finger. Students write complete, detailed sentences based on the three responses to the spins. Each verb is followed by a question word. Students write an answer to the question word in their sentence.
The second version looks like this:
One die or three dice and a copy of the worksheet are needed to complete this activity. Students roll the die three times or roll three dice once. Students write complete, detailed sentences based on the three responses to the rolls. Each verb is followed by a question word. Students write an answer to the question word in their sentence.
You can download over 20 versions of these writing activities for French and Spanish by clicking on the links below:
I am always a fan of repurposing things in my classroom. Why completely reinvent the wheel when you can just spin it in a different way? Playing cards are something that I always seem to have so I got to work trying to figure out how I can use them to get students speaking the target language. I always want to make sure that in addition to practicing vocabulary and language structures (initially) that activities and tasks also provide ample opportunities for authentic communication as well.
Last year I wrote a blog post about an activity that I crafted using playing cards. You can read the details of that those activities HERE. I was looking though Pinterest and saw that there was a math game that many teachers are doing using playing cards and I started thinking about how I could do this type of activity with my foreign language students. The teachers were having groups lay out the cards in a path of their choice and using them as a sort of playing board. I thought that this be easily modified for use with foreign language vocabulary and language structures and it also lends itself very easily to proficiency levels depending on the task and prompts given to the students.
In my previous playing card activity post I wrote about a reference sheet that I created for students that coincides with each card in the deck.
I decided to have students use this same reference sheet to engage in this new activity. Students have a chance to get a little creative with how they lay out the card path. Once laid out they get a copy of the reference sheet. This can be pictures, time, subject/verb pairings, questions…unlimited possibilities. In addition to the deck of playing cards and the reference sheet, each group of 3-4 students also gets one die and a playing piece, such as different coins or any small object that distinguishes the players.
Each player takes a turn by rolling the die and moving the number of spaces (cards) along the path. They find the box on the reference sheet that corresponds with the card they land on (4 of diamonds, king of hearts, 10 of spades, etc.) and speak using what is in the box. If students are novice they may identify with a singe word or phrase, but intermediate students could use the word or picture in a complete, discreet sentence.
The first student to reach the end of the path is the winner. This can sometimes move quickly, so I have students keep points by the number of wins and go back and start again each time there is a winner.
Be sure to keep this communicative by asking students to do more than say a verb form, time or vocabulary word. Consider what the proficiency levels of the students are and have them speak using the reference prompt in context and with the text type that is at their proficiency level.
You can get these card reference sheets on a number topics by clicking the links below.
- AR Verbs
- Regular Verbs
- Irregular Preterite
- Reflexive Verbs
- Class Objects
- 20+ additional verb form and vocabulary topics