IntroductionTable of Contents:A. Activities for grammar point and spelling.
1.-Adjectives. 2.-Commands. 3.-Demonstratives. 4.-Object pronouns. 5.-Possessives. 6.-Prepositions. 7.-Spelling. 8.-Verbs.
1.-Dia de los Muertos 2.-Sainte Catherine 3.-Holidays. (Others and in general)
C. General classroom activities.
1.-Appointments, pairing and telling time. 2.-Competition. 3.-Describe it! 4.-Fable portrayal. 5.-Interactive. 6.-Role-playing & skits 7.-Listening and/or singing. 8.-Upper level (ii, iii, etc.) activities. 9.-Word review games and activities. 10.-Writing.
D. FL mini-topics.
1.-Art activities. 2.-Clothing & body parts. 3.-Colors, Numbers & Money. 4.-Family. 5.-For small kids. (Just for them?) 6.-Geography and FL. 7.-Idiom fun. 8.-Learning directions. 9.-Poetry activities. 10.-Shopping. 11.-Sponge activities. 12.-Student newcasts. 13.-Talking games. 14.-Teaching culture. 15.-Time expressions. 16.-Weddings.
E. Special activities.
1.-Animals in the FL class. 2.-Class warm-ups / Bell ringers. 3.-Fashion shows. 4.-Native games. 5.-Puppetry and dolls. 6.-Scavenger (and other hunts). 7.-Sports.
F. Special times of challenge.
1.-Beginning of year. 2.-End of class period. 3.-End of year. 4.-Fridays. 5.-Spring fever.
G. For the teachers..
1.-Blocks/Algebraic rods. 2.-Bulletin boards. 3.-Card games in FL. 4.-Constructing activities from a contemporary book. (Example) 5.-Game rules. 6.-Integration of activities. 7.-Learning centers. 8.-Pictures (How to, what to, etc.). 9.-Postcards. 10.-Pro & Con of game-playing. 11.-Resources. 12.-Review for tests. 13.-Slow but nice students. 14.-Types (Lists) of activities. (Lots of ideas here!) 15.-World Wide Web / Internet 16.-Miscellaneous.
to Activities That Work
The most common denominator for these activities is that they have been devised so that children will use the target language in order to be successful in each activity. Some activities require a more robust insertion of the learner than others. Some activities are far more intricate and involved than others.
Many activities (grammar, vocab) pull learners into action that helps them become more skilled in recognizing and manipulating the basic elements and forms of the target language. Or perhaps the will be involved in learning or dealing with certain elements of the culture (geography, holidays, etc.).
Yet other activities work with students by building some sort of human situation, an artificial construct, so to speak, that pulls them into making use of the target language (shopping, family, newscast, etc.) that they have learned (or can reasonably guess) thus far.
It seems to be in the nature of most young people (nearly all of us humans, actually!) to prefer an adventure rather than a review. So even if it is a review, we often don’t admit it, far be it from our best interest to advertise it in advance. That’s why these activities are important and why it behooves all teachers --ones of a foreign language at least as much as anyone else-- to become skilled at using at least a small variety of learning activities in the classroom.
This important trend of thought got started early in 1995 when Don Houghton wrote FLTeach: “...By definition, the main component of 'Successful Programs and Teachers' is 'Activities That Work'. ...We should be concerned .... with activities that challenge our customary way of looking at what we do, and that give us insights into how we can help greater and greater numbers of our students be ‘successful’ language learners (successful in quotes because I see it as a notion that needs re-defining as well).”
Bob Hall is probably the first to respond with a team-oriented game for reviewing vocabulary. Marilyn Hannan had the inspiration to write: “I LOVE your sentence relay game! Please tell us more! Por favor!” Bob promptly responded with variations of his work, and he also added a review game that utilized pick-up-sticks. Then Susan Navey-Davis added a contribution and the activity-sharing fun fest has been going strong ever since.
FLTEACH as a group may not have always achieved the high standards Don was looking for, but well over one hundred FLTEACHers have taken up the gauntlet and try to communicate to all some of their own Activities That Work. Since then more than one hundred contributors have submitted about 300 pages under this rubric.
Here is a first attempt at systematizing their work. We invite you to comb through each part as you need and as you find the time.
And here are the numerous contributors
Wendy C. Baker
Richard E. Daugherty
Joseph J. Goebel
Denise M. Jones
Helen V. Jones
Sharon L. Kazmierski
Joann M. Kissell
Norma Y LaVoie
Patricia Jane Long
Susan J. Mitchell
Jean L. Pacheco
India C. Plough
Barbara A. Sanchez
Jennifer Jo Schafer
Jose A. Sendra
Sue Alice Shay
Deborah Lynn Smith
Melita SperlingTara Stace
Candi Van Dyke-Sherwood
Rita Lynn Watkins
Jean Carolyn Williams
Jo Anne S. Wilson
Rosemary A. Zurawel
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