As I look to the beginning of summer break, I have set a few goals for my time “off”. I am listing them here as much for myself as anything else, but maybe they can inspire others as well.
1. Advocacy: I mention advocacy in a bit of a non-traditional way. Of course, we need to continue to stress the importance of language study and how it applies to citizenship. However even at our small rural school, most students and community members understand the value of Spanish, and our numbers have been strong for many years. I feel I need to improve advocacy for our specific program. I fear that sometimes students do not realize how far they’ve come, how much they can do and how unique their skills are. My regret after our finals exams was that I didn’t have one last day to show the students their speaking and writing sections and say, “Look what you can do! Even after two years, you are producing incredible amounts of language. Not everyone can do that.” I realize this goal is a bit vague and hard to measure, but I hope to find ways to allow our program to show off a bit.
2. CI for Dual Enrollment: This year for the first time, our level 4 Spanish class was a Dual Enrollment course with a local university. Students were able to earn college credit. The materials from the course come from the university. The curriculum is based on a thematic textbook. Because it was the first year, I taught traditionally with the book and threw in CI activities when I could. Now that I have finished one year, I hope to adapt the material of the text to a more CI/TPRS approach. There are about 15 students who will be earning the dual credit next year – a very strong group. My task is to take the content of the text and present it in a way that still exposes students to as much input as possible while emphasizing grammar a bit more than we have in the past.
3. Organize A/V resources: This year, I’ve utilized audio and video more than ever. Movie Talk, images and videos I’ve created have been very helpful to finding new ways to increase input. My goal is to create and organize many audio video resources so that I can use them at the most appropriate times next year. Recently, I’ve been noticing the TV programs that my 2 year old daughter watches. She tends to be drawn to the very simple, comprehensible programs such as Dora, Kipper and Pingu. This past weekend, she got hooked on a show called “Trotro”. The program consists of three-minute stories about a donkey and his family. The animation is super simple. It looks like it was all created on Microsoft Paint. But, my daughter loves it. She watches the English version on Netflix, but it appears Trotro originated in French. I was watching an episode last night and realizing that nearly all the actions and dialogue would be known to my students. There is something very valuable in it; I just need to find the best way to utilize it. Movie Talk? Adding subtitles?
If you have the time, adding subtitles in Spanish to authentic sources has been a terrific scaffold in my classes. I do this mostly for upper level classes who might otherwise be intimidated by the kind of listening required on the AP language exam, but I have started doing it more with lower level classes.
Have you tried slowing down the video with VLC player (free to download)? It controls the pitch so that it doesn´t sound super ridiculous… except for the fact that they are speaking really slowly.
Awesome! Thanks. I will try the VLC player. Sounds like it could be very helpful.
Hello Bryan! I can’t believe I’ve only just stumbled upon your site — amazing resources for TPRS newbies like me. 🙂
To add to Mike’s comment, try http://amara.org to add subtitles to YouTube or Vimeo videos. It’s quite easy once you get the hang of it.
Thanks Crystal. I’ve used Amara before but only briefly. I think it could be useful for adding subtitles myself. The problem I ran into was that I wanted to create an activity in which students created subtitles of videos and amara seemed to not allow multiple subtitle versions of the same video.