REMINDERS : Get Your Students Talking!





Reflecting on the practices I use to help my students grow as language learners is what is helping me grow and become a better teacher. Since I've started the CI (comprehensible input) journey with my students, I've seen so much growth in my students and myself. Working with my students to make them feel comfortable speaking Spanish is the goal.


Sometimes students just don't want to talk. (That's the problem most language teachers deal with!) The students are nervous, the language is completely new, they don't want to make mistakes, and they don't want to be wrong. I've worked to encourage my students to keep pushing through. It's important that they know that their efforts are noticed. Below are the four things that I think have been most influential in my efforts to get my students chatting and enjoying it:


Relationships:

Building relationships with students should be one of the most important things for ALL TEACHERS. When I say building relationships, I mean taking interest in the interest of your students. Kids want to know that you care about what they care about. That doesn't mean tailor all your lessons to basketball because little Billy loves the Lakers. That means that when you have lessons, ask students questions about what they like and prefer. Make connections. If you're teaching hobbies, ask students what they like and go the step further and mention if you like it too or what you prefer. It's a process of learning more about each other.

Provide students with support:

I created interview questions with images to help students make connections. The resource I use is called Entrevistas. I use images and some teachers draw and make it a fun class activity. Support is support, and the goal is for students to understand.

I've use the images with interview questions introduce new vocabulary and verbs. Students don't have to understand every single word in order to understand the message. I've found that through conversations students learn how to use words. I've used phrases often when I speak Spanish with my students and they've picked up on the use without being explicitly told the definition. I use "para nada" SO MUCH when talking about likes and dislikes that they acquired the meaning and vocabulary. They even start to use phrases like "para nada" on their own in conversations and response.

Encourage mistakes: 

Mistakes are proof that you are trying! Students won't get it right every time. It's unfair for us as teachers to expect them to. I don't like to directly tell students they are incorrect. If a student says something that doesn't flow, I normally repeat the same sentence with the correct answer and say ¡MUY BIEN! They just heard the correct way to use the word, phrase, or verb and didn't feel chopped down by the teacher in front of the class. Communication and effort over perfection!


Have fun: 

While students are playing games, solving puzzles, and participating in classroom activities they acquire so much information. They learn from each other and I love to see it. My students ask to do certain activities and I have seen how they retain information learned during activities. The process of learning become more natural.


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Thank you for reading!

   - Jade

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