Most of my memories from school come from field trips, experiments, and after school events. Good or bad, I don’t remember a lot of specific “lessons.” I don’t think I am alone on this. Getting hands-on and experiencing something new – that is what learning is all about!
Language classes are a perfect place to include new experiences. If we want our students to use a new language, we can’t spend the whole year just practicing. They need some action! It’s up to us as teachers to plan lots of authentic opportunities to do just that. The more the merrier, in my opinion. Yes, it takes time. Yes, it takes phone calls and emails. But the rewards are oh, so sweet.
So, what are your plans for this new school year? What would you like to DO to dig in to both language and culture? We’d love to hear! Share your dreams and ideas in a comment below! You may just inspire the rest of us to join you!
I LOVE these ideas!! I teach in Bardstown, but am not originally from here. What are some places you take your students to in the Louisville area??? Just wondering what is near us that I am unaware of. Appreciate the help and ideas! Thanks!
Honestly, it’s much easier to bring someone in than actually leave the building so that was what I’d do most of the time! There’s a Cuban musician who plays at Havana Rumba (in the Highlands) and you can hire him to come play. Of course, we always interview anyone that comes, too. I’ve had a Bachata instructor from Dance Louisville come in.
I’ve done the blind food testing where students have to describe what it tastes like (sweet or bitter, seeds or no seeds, ect.) and then guess the fruit from a list. They loved that! Plus, students did all the prep work preparing the fruit!
U of L’s language dept has an international movie week in the fall and we took students to see movie from Paraguay (I think). It was subtitled but kids loved testing their listening skills on a movie they had never seen.
Holy Mole! is a really popular food truck in Louisville and Taco Luchador also delivers! I haven’t done this one yet, but I’ve been dying to get them out!
Do you have an ESL program at your school? I’d check with the parents of any latino students. Many volunteered to come and tell their story or cook or teach something! So many times if we reach out.. there are lots of friendly people willing to share their culture! Just ask!