I think that it is very important to have vocabulary prompts around the classroom to enable the students to maximise their use of target language in the classroom. Checkout two of my poster displays this year.
I loved teaching this unit on invitations. The form (related concept) of language that we practiced throughout the unit was conversations with the purpose (related concept) of connecting with others.
At the beginning of the unit we reviewed the construction of questions that don't contain question words. The students had a list of familiar phrases used in previous units which they first had to practise saying as statements. They then practised saying the phases as questions by using intonation in their voices. Examples of these phrases are below:
Next, the students were given a large piece of paper and they were asked in groups to write down all the questions that they had learned and practiced throughout the year and to identify the interrogatives within those question words. Examples of these questions can be seen below:
Now it was time for the students to master knowledge of these interrogative words, as well as the structure of questions. I bought this excellent bundle of resources from TeachersPayTeachers. The PPT presentation is carefully scaffolded by introducing the question words and then asking the students to recall these words using pictures. It then has practice questions with a blank space and students need to select the correct question word from a choice of three. Within this bundle there is a document which can be printed and laminated to make question word cards that students can use and hold up to the teacher as a whole class formative assessment.
In this bundle of resources there is also a very clear and simple explanation of the difference of use between ¿Qué? and ¿Cuál? and lots of opportunity for students to demonstrate their understanding with written gap fill questions.
Last week I came across another excellent post on The Creative Language Classroom, this time on the use of flags for pair work research tasks. Kara Parker has made a colourful set of flags for the 21 countries where Spanish is an official language, and they are available to buy here. I have printed and laminated the flags and I have already used them to randomly pair students for oral work. In my Spanish Novice 1 class I have also had students choose a flag at random as their country of choice for their research project. This has helped avoid the usual problem of students arguing over he countries they want to research and ending up with 20 presentations on Mexico!
A former colleague of mine and good friend Laure Kruger found this snail template and shared it with to be used as a speaking practice activity. It is so simple and I love to use it for students to practice questions and answers, particularly to revise prior to an assessment.
How does it work? Students each have coloured counters and share a dice. Students throw the dice, move that number of squares and then answer the question in the square. If they can't answer the question they miss a go and they may land on a square requiring them to move forwards or backwards. To win the game they must throw an exact number to finish in the centre square. It often takes a few attempts for them to throw the exact number they need and because they keep having to go backwards again, they keep practising and re-practicing the same questions. Take a look at some examples I used recently in class.
Here is the blank document for you to download and use.
I have been teaching French and Spanish for 13 years. I qualified and started teaching in the UK, and I currently work at Shanghai Community International School, China. I have experience teaching GCSEs and IB DP and MYP. Find out more about me within these blog pages or below at Linked In.