Tag Archives: french

French & Spanish Verb Form and Sentence Writing Activity

Let’s see if this rings a bell. Students know the meaning of verbs and often also know the forms. But, they can’t always take that verb and write a detailed sentence. French & Spanish Verb Form and Sentence Writing Activity

This is an activity that gets them there. In the end they will be writing full sentences in French or Spanish that have accurate verb forms and additional details that show that they clearly know the meaning of the verb.

French & Spanish Verb Form and Sentence Writing Activity French & Spanish Verb Form and Sentence Writing Activity

There are three parts to this activity. When done in order they scaffold the writing process and ensure that students know the meanings of the verbs and their accurate forms.

French & Spanish Verb Form and Sentence Writing Activity

Page 1: Students cut out the Spanish and English infinitives, mix them and then match them up.

Page 2: Students cut out the subject/infinitives and verb forms, mix them and then match them up.

Pages 3-5: Students cut out the subjects and verb forms, match them up, and then write a full sentence with the subject and verb. They can also glue the subject and verb forms onto the page.

French & Spanish Verb Form and Sentence Writing Activity

Photocopy the pages and hand them out to students. They take care of the rest. And, when they finish they will have lots of complete, detailed, accurate sentences in French or French.

French & Spanish Verb Form and Sentence Writing Activity French & Spanish Verb Form and Sentence Writing Activity


42: LGBTQ+ Inclusive Classrooms with Joseph Parodi-Brown

In this episode we talk about creating LGBTQ+ inclusive classrooms and curriculum.  While this is certainly beneficial to our students that identify as LGBTQ+, inclusive classrooms and curriculum benefit all students.  Joseph Parodi-Brown, a Spanish teacher in Connecticut, has done extensive research in this area and puts it into practice in his classroom.  He joins us to offer insights and suggestions for ensuring representation in our classrooms so that all of our students are seen, understood and valued.

Joseph speaks specifically about:

  • the benefits of an inclusive classroom and curriculum.
  • his  journey to creating an LGBTQ+ inclusive classroom and curriculum, the challenges and successes.
  • GLSEN and what can we learn from the National School Climate Survey.
  • the challenges with gendered languages.
  • entry points for positive representation in our classrooms.
  • intersectionality; is the LGBTQ+ experience the same in all cultures?
  • common fears that teachers experience when implementing inclusive curriculum and how to proceed.

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41: Practice or Communication?

In this episode I talk about the ideas of practice and communication in the language classroom.  Sometimes what we think is authentic communication in the language is actually just practicing structures and vocabulary.  Is there a place for practice or should it always be focused on communication?  I take on these concepts with suggestions for what this can look like in you classroom.

I speak specifically about:

  • Sandra Savignon’s definition of communication: “The expression, interpretation and very often negotiation of meaning in a given context. Communication has purpose.”
  • Proficiency: what a student can do with language in real-world situations .
  • Distinguishing Practice and Communication and what these look like in our classrooms.
  • Practice, Activity and Task
  • Practice Language and Communication Language

Common Ground: Second Language Acquisition Theory Goes to the Classroom
by Florencia G. Henshaw and Maris D. Hawkins


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40: Microinstruction in the Language Classroom with Lindsay Mitchell

In this episode we talk about the concept of Microinstruction. This approach is being applied in general education contexts, but we we speak about how it can be used specifically in the language classroom.  I’m joined by Lindsay Mitchell, a Spanish teacher in New Hampshire, who talks about her own personal experience and success with Microinstruction.

Lindsay speaks about:

  • the skill set from her previous profession that she brought to her teaching
  • obstacles and challenges that she saw in her classroom that led her to look for other approaches
  • the concept of microinstruction and its benefits
  • what a lesson looks like using the microinstruction approach
  • the levels and content best suited to microinstruction

Connect with Lindsay Mitchell:

French and Spanish Teaching Position at the Brookwood School in Manchester, MA.

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39: Target Language Games with Kevin Quigley

If you listed to episode 19 with Trudy Anderson you heard her talk about using Jessica Haxhi’s acronym M.A.G.I.C. in the language classroom.  This stands for Movement, Authentic Resources, Games, Interaction and Communication. The focus on this episode is games.  I speak with Kevin Quigley, a French and Spanish teacher in Vermont, and he shares several low-prep target languages games that you can use in your classroom tomorrow (or even today).

Kevin speaks about:

  • why games, and student engagement in general, are beneficial
  • misconceptions about games
  • several effective games and activities that you use in the classroom right away
  • how often we should use a particular game 
  • the important of mixing up games

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38: Strategies to Engage Early Language Learners with Carolina Gómez

Even if you are a middle or high school teacher you will surely learn a lot from Carolina Gómez, my guest on this episode.  Carolina is Spanish teacher in Massachusetts and she walks us through planning and procedures that authentically engage learners with compelling, meaningful and comprehensible language.
Carolina speaks about:

  • the benefits of early language learning and any concerns or fears that parents may have.
  • what draws her to teaching early learners.
  • how we can engage early learners and make language comprehensible for them.
  • what lesson planning looks like with early learners.
  • what teachers of all ages can take away from the strategies that she shares with us.

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Grading for Proficiency and Competency

There is momentum in the move toward competency-based or proficiency-based grading and assessment.  The foundation of these assessments is to provide feedback about what students are able to do with the target language.  There will certainly be formative assessments of vocabulary of or perhaps some language structures, but ultimately we want students to be able to communicate with the vocabulary and structures.

If we are assessing the language that students can interpret and produce then the majority of students’ grades should rightfully reflect that.  With the understanding that there are other factors that come into play, here is the grading percentage breakdown that I use.

Let’s break down one of the categories to see what a competency/proficiency-based grade looks like.  For this example I will use my Presentational Writing assessment process.

I begin with the ACTFL Performance Descriptors for Presentational Writing:

The main takeaway for me is the Text Type, as this the language that students are producing and there are clear indicators of what student output should be at each proficiency level.

I began with the idea of a single-point rubric from Jennifer Golzales at the Cult of Pedagogy and combined it with John Hattie’s notion of Medals and Missions. 

I modified the idea of the single-point rubric and developed a 4-point rubric with a “3” being the goal/objective, which is a B+.  This allows for feedback below or approaching the objective and output that goes above.  Here are examples of Novice High, Intermediate Low and Intermediate Low/Mid rubrics.  You will notice the text-types and language control are aligned with the ACTFL Performance Descriptors.

I then took that 4-point scale and aligned it with letter grades, which is how grades are reported in my school.  When it comes time to average out the grades, I take the average grade of each mode (on the 4-point scale) and average them together with the formative grade using this scale.

Here is an example of how a term or semester grade would be determined using this process of assessment for competency and proficiency in the target language.

As we move in the direction of assessing what students can do with the target language, and not just what they know about it, we will need to find ways to bridge traditional grading with competency assessment.  The above process is working well for me and my students, but I will continue to modify and reassess how I’m doing it, and look forward to feedback from others as I continue to work out the details and efficacy.

37: Competency-Based Grading with Ursula Askins-Huber

In this episode we talk about grading.  More specifically, how we can grade based on what students are able to do in and with the target language.  This requires a bit of a shift in thinking and approach, especially when coming from more traditional grading.  I’m joined by Ursula Askins-Huber, a Spanish teacher in New Hampshire, who has been teaching for over 30 years.  She helps us to see ways to adopt competency-based grading in manageable ways.

Ursula speaks specifically about:

  • what grades have traditionally represented.
  • what competency (or proficiency) is how this has been missing in legacy grading practices.
  • what a grade based on competency tell us.
  • What competency-based grading looks like in the classroom.
  • how accounting for HW completion, behavior, participation, being prepared for class, etc. work into a grade that is based on competency.

Books that Ursula References:

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36: Go-To Activities For Your Teacher Toolbox (Vol 2)

This episode is volume 2 in the Teacher Toolbox series.  In these “Go-To Activities for Your Teacher Toolbox” episodes you will hear suggestions for go-to activities and games that can be easily modified for any language or proficiency level.


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35: Technology to Support Language Students with Joe Dale (Part 2)

This is the second part of an extended episode on using technology in language learning.  Joe Dale continues the discussion about technology tools and resources to support students in the language classroom. Joe Dale is a language consultant from the UK who works with a range of organizations such as Network for Languages, the BBC, Skype, Microsoft and The Guardian. He is a regular conference speaker and recognized expert on technology and language learning. He has spoken at conferences and run training courses in Europe, North America, South America, the Middle East, Asia and Australasia.

Joe Speaks about…

  • how technology helps with intercultural competence along with resources that help to support language learning and engagement at all levels
  • how teachers who may not be so comfortable with technology can take the leap and use technology in their teaching

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Resources that Joe mentions:

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