I was really inspired by Kara’s last post about giving students a task during listening activities. This is one area in my classroom where I need to get students more actively involved. My classes always begin with a short video clip to grab the students’ attention with new and exciting music, language, and culture. I love having upper level language learners use the TL to describe what they see or hear in a video and talk about how this is similiar or different to their own culture. The question I think many of us have is… What can novice-level learners DO?
The majority of the classes that I teach are level 1. I usually do some research at the start of each school year to remind myself about the “silent period” that new language learners start in. I believe it’s unreasonable to expect most novice low learners to produce in the TL based on what they have seen or heard. They simply don’t have the writing or speaking skills yet. This dosen’t mean they didn’t understand anything though – there is just a disconnect in what they understood and how they can show what they understood. They could tell me in English, but this breaks the flow of TL and can sometimes be a crutch.
I’m going to use this form for my novice learners at the start of the year so that there is less pressure on them to produce the language on their own. Instead, they can show their listening skills by circling the correct words based on what they saw/heard.
Step 1.) Watch video.
Step 2.) Students circle the words that correctly describe what they saw/heard.
Step 3.) Watch video again.
Step 4.) Share their opinions with a partner.
Step 5.) I’ll ask a few questions about the video for “Yes” or “No” responses for the boxes. (example: Was this video about the family? What about sports? Was it funny? Was it interesting?)
I want my novice level students to see that they don’t have to feel “lost” during a TL lesson. They can stay in that comfortable silent period and still learn by reading and recognizing new words on this paper and hearning how to say them when I ask the questions. I plan on making more advanced versions of this same form as students learn new vocabulary. My questions will also become more advanced over time. Like TPRS, I’ll start with YES/NO questions, then THIS or THAT, then I should be able to ask “What was the video about?”, “Describe it for me”, and “WHO did you see in the video?”
I find that I tend to revert to English in level 1 when I can’t think of a way to stay in the TL and still be comprehensible and get students involved. This form should help me stay in the TL, keep it at their level (+1), and give them the input they really need!
See this activity used with Christmas commercials: Watch Holiday Commercials
*If you like the Novice listening/interpretation form (Spanish) and would like to use the same one that is in today’s post, you can find it here…
Brilliant! I absolutely *love* this idea. Thank you so much for sharing it! <3 –Anne
Megan – I have had the same problem- wanting to allow a silent period for new language learners but falling back into English when I felt they were getting frustrated with me expecting too much of them. This is a GREAT tool! Thank you so much for sharing it! I am going into my second year of teaching spanish 1 and 2 for high school and now that I have found your blog – you and kara have literally changed my life and I amore excited than ever about this new school year!!!
Me, too! This is my third year teaching Spanish at the upper elementary/middle school level and this blog has literally changed my entire view on my lessons! I feel so much more prepared! Thank you, Megan and Kara!
Anne, Kim, Karyn,
Glad you like this… It’s nice to share with others that understand our situation. World Languages simply take a different approach! Get a little crazy and have a fun year!
Megan, I like the form but my only concern is that they can see everything and not have to understand anything for them to be able to circle something. Would it be better to just listen to the audio one time and see what they circle and then add the video so they can check their answers?
Rebecca, that would be a good strategy, especially since AP and other tests normally don’t have visuals. Eventually as they work their way up to summaries, the visuals will help them make predictions and connect to the text. As an activity (not assessing), I think this will challenge novice low students enough even with the visuals because they are looking at all these new words. Mix it up! All this will work.
Where do you get the clips? I am new to a lot of the new tech stuff.
YouTube is my main source because I like for them to have some embedded culture. I search in the target language using broad and specific words (like restaurant and hamburger).
Here’s another that has tons of different languages: http://langmedia.fivecolleges.edu/
I have a few where I asked native students to record themselves or from people I meet on my trips.
I get 99% from YouTube too! I have collected hundreds in the last few years! My favorites are those that are full of culture and language my students are learning. I probably use commercials and music videos the most! My kids love it, and it takes the spotlight off of me. My old boss always told me that “90% in the TL” doesn’t have to be THE TEACHER the entire time – readings, video clips, and songs count too!
Great idea! I am going to be a first year Spanish teacher and this would be perfect! I would also love if you shared some of the types of clips you use.
This would be a good post, huh?! Only problem is that they are Spanish only. Sorry to the others. I’ll cover my favorites soon!
Perhaps the Francophones could recommend some of THEIR favorite videos? En français, of course!
Megan, how early do you introduce this form? Most of the words seem to be cognates, so I’m tempted to use it right away. Is that too soon?
I suggest trying it pretty early and see how they do. Like Megan said, if you do some simple ‘or’ questions in the target langauge (“is it about a conversation or a product?”) where you are modeling each word before they answer, I think they will respond well to it.
Agreed! Kids LOVE seeing the videos/culture/music videos – AND this allows my to stay in the language and them to just listen/read and pick up new words!
It’s so important to make them excited and still feel comfortable listening to something they’ve never heard. I’ll start using this by week 2, and make other versions that include more vocab as they learn it. By the end of the trimester my goal is that they will be able to describe the video on their own without the paper.
Thank you for sharing this. BTW: vi clicked on the link above, but it was not functioning, i.e. error message. Here is the correct one: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Listening-Form-1-for-Beginning-Language-Learners-Spanish
Thanks for letting me know!! Oops!
Kara is this something you do everyday as a do now?
or maybe a couple of days a week?
Also, this is a great idea. Can it be done without any of the clues and just have them think about what the video was about and have them write it in their notebooks?
Absolutely wonderful!!! Quick question: if my school blocks You Tube (booo!) is there a quick alternative to be able to convert the videos from You Tube to an ‘allowable’ format to use in the class? Maybe I’ll get lucky and the district will have ‘lifted the You Tube ban’ this year when we return? ;/
I had shaky internet access when I first started teaching so here’s what I did. I downloaded the videos I was going to use with keepvid.com. It took 30 seconds to paste the URL and then I always had the videos with me on my flash drive no matter what!
Now I have over a hundred little clips organized for each unit I teach. Even if someone removes them from Youtube, I’ll have them forever!
Thank you SO much for the keepvid.com tip!