This semester I teach three classes: two Spanish 1 College Tech Preparatory Level classes and one Spanish 4 class called Culture and Civilization. For the Culture and Civilization class, I do not have a text book, which is wonderful, but a lot of work. The course is based around thematic units that use authentic resources with an emphasis on songs that are the basis for each unit. I love teaching this course and the students love learning. Often times, I feel like I am learning about certain topics with them. As I look at the ACTFL 21st Century Skills Map, I feel like I am covering most of those skills on a weekly basis. I am also teaching towards the proficiency guidelines and assessing them in the three modes: interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational. I am proud of what I do in that class, and I fee like the students are becoming life-long learners of Spanish.
As I look at what I (and my students) do in that class and compare it with what I (and my students) do in Spanish 1, I feel like I am teaching in the classroom of "the past" as described in the ACTFL 21st Century Skills Map (see bottom of post for descriptions of classroom from "in the past" and "today").
So, I have decided to change what I do in my Spanish 1 classes, starting with my next unit. In my school we use the Realidades text book series as the basis for our curriculum. The next chapter, 3B, is focussed on healthy eating habits and exercising, and also, grammatically, ser and adjective agreement. Instead of focussing on worksheets and grammar, we are going to focus on presentational assessment that I have developed, in which they have to create a PSA (Public Service Announcement) describing a healthy lifestyle, including eating habits and exercising.
The technologies that they will use are: Google Docs, Google Blogger, Google Voice and iMovie App for iPad2
So here is a short description of my plan. Students will be put into groups of thee and do all of the following together.
- We will do a variety of communicative activities in order to learn the new vocabulary.
- Students will watch some commercials on our class website and PSAs and do a worksheet.
- Students will create a blog using Google Blogger.
- Students will look for commericals and PSAs on YouTube, analyze them, and post them on their blog.
- Students will brainstorm and write their script for their PSAs. They will share it with me via Google Docs. I will correct and approve it.
- Students will practice what they are going to say and share with me via Google Voice. I will listen to all the recordings and give feedback on their blogs.
- Students will use iMovie to make their PSAs. They will upload them to YouTube and put it on their blog.
- Students will make a worksheet to accompany it for other students to do when they are watching it.
- Students will watch each others' PSAs and do accompanying worksheets.
What am I hoping they will learn?
- How to describe what a healthy lifestyle is, including eating right and exercising.
- How to pick out key words when listening to native speakers talking in commercials and PSAs.
- How to analyze media and decide who the target audience is.
- How to use some new technologies: Google Docs, Google Voice, iMovie, and Google Blogger.
- How to collaborate, innovate and create.
ACTFL 21st CENTURY SKILLS MAP - Description of different classrooms:
IN THE PAST
- Students learned about the language (grammar)
- Teacher-centered class
- Focused on isolated skills (listening, speaking,
- reading, and writing)
- Coverage of a textbook
- Using the textbook as the curriculum
- Emphasis on teacher as presenter/lecturer
- Isolated cultural “factoids”
- Use of technology as a “cool tool”
- Only teaching language
- Same instruction for all students
- Synthetic situations from textbook
- Confining language learning to the classroom
- Testing to find out what students don’t know
- Only the teacher knows criteria for grading
- Students “turn in” work only for the teacher
- Students learn to use the language
- Learner-centered with teacher as facilitator/collaborator
- Focus on the three modes: interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational
- Backward design focusing on the end goal
- Use of thematic units and authentic resources
- Emphasis on learner as “doer” and “creator”
- Emphasis on the relationship among the perspectives, practices, and products of the culture
- Integrating technology into instruction to enhance learning
- Using language as the vehicle to teach academic content
- Differentiating instruction to meet individual needs
- Personalized real world tasks
- Seeking opportunities for learners to use language beyond the classroom
- Assessing to find out what students can do
- Students know and understand criteria on how they will be assessed by reviewing the task rubric
- Learners create to “share and publish” to audiences more than just the teacher
Any suggestions or comments?