Interact with Other Modalities


Students conduct interviews with each other, a more advanced student in another class, or a willing faculty or staff member who speaks the target language. The assignment can be divided into stages that scaffold and integrate each modality.

1. Write-generate a list of possible interview questions being sensitive to interrogative structures, syntax, and formality.

2. Read-students exchange their lists with each other for peer feedback (and with the instructor).

3. Speak/Listen-conduct the interview and record it. The list of questions should be a resource but not a crutch because the student should be able to respond to and build on the interlocutor’s answers. Grading rubric (sample attached) would assess this.

4. Culture-write a reflection (in target language depending on level of course).

Sample Activity 1

Sample Activity 2


Chains link the previous response with the current response. An example would be to prepare an intriguing opening line to a story focusing on a certain vocabulary theme and/or grammatical structure. For example, in a medical Spanish class the students could invent the most horrific injuries for Pobre Pablo. In groups of 4-5 students, they had to each add one injury to describe Pobre Pablo such as “Pobre Pablo has a burned belly –button, a sprained eyeball…” After each group reported, the class paid attention and then ranked in which version Pablo needed the most urgent medical care.

Variation 1: Organize students in groups of 4-5. The first student repeats the opening line of the story and then adds a second line using the words After…, Then… The next person in the circle repeats the first two lines, adding a third. This is continued until all students have had an opportunity to participate. For example, “After I get up, then I take a shower. After I take a shower, I dry myself off.”

Variation 2: When discussing hypothetical situations, ask person A to begin, “If I were a type of fruit, I would be an apple.” Then person B continues the chain, “If I were an apple, I would live in a garden.” Person C would add, “If I lived in a garden, I would be friends with the sun. At the end of the activity, we build a class chain with each group adding one line to the story for one final class chain story.

It’s a zoo in here!

When teaching animal vocabulary to younger learners, ask students to listen then repeat vocabulary words in that animal’s “voice.” Variation: teach emotions and have students say the word “triste” sadly “asustado” in a scared way, etc.

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