Link to Strategies
Predicting by House Hunting
In this activity students find a video of a home for sale in a country where the TL is spoken. The instructor provides a worksheet helping the students gradually decode the video. Pre-viewing questions ask students to predict what they would expect to see and hear in a video presenting a home for sale. Students then watch once without sound to predict what is being said. Next, they watch with the sound and identify logical vocabulary words they heard based on a list provided by the instructor. Finally, students must describe in their own words what was presented in the video.
Variation: The activity could be built upon by examining and discussing cultural differences between the places each student presents. The instructor can provide a handout students fill out while their peers present their house hunts. This also fosters active listening while their peers speak.
Focus on a Paragraph
This activity focuses on students being able to narrate a paragraph based on the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines. Before class, the teacher records one to four different recordings of a proficient speaker of the language narrating a series of pictures into a paragraph using cohesive devices (e.g. transition words). Students listen to the example paragraph, then they record their own version of the paragraph using the same picture series. Students are encouraged to imitate connectors, intonation, but not to copy exactly. Finally, students conclude with a self-evaluation comparing their performance to the Guidelines.
The Joy of Listening
This activity is a great way to help students understand why we use the target language in class. First, ask each student to write down the title of their favorite song in their first language. Next, ask them to write down all the lyrics. Spoiler---they never seem to be able to write them all down! Discuss with them how we all still love listening to music even though we do not understand every word. Then, compare this experience to listening to the target language. Finally, give them a set of specific listening strategies to help them when they don't understand and proceed to use more TL in class.
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