I love getting new ideas – big and little – from ACTFL! Here’s one lesson plan idea that incorporates a social justice issue appropriate for novices and higher.

I was really inspired by “Promoting Social Justice in Classes from Novice to Intermediate” presented by the following ladies:


Anneke Oppewal talked about a lesson that she has done with novices about names.

  • Show just a name.
  • Ask questions in TL like:
    • Is it a girl or boy?
    • Where is he/she from?
    • How old is he/she?
    • What language does he/she speak?
  • Show another name and repeat.
  • Eventually students will say something like you can’t judge a person based on a name. There’s the ah-ha moment!
  • Show the “José vs. Joe” video about José Zamora searching for a job. It’s only 1 minute in English and I think this is worth being a part of my 10% English time.
  • Discuss this using the cognates that she has on the screen. Keep it simple for novices!
    • Is this discrimination? Stereotyping?
    • Do you agree?
  • Last, they can write a response letter to someone. This is where I’m trying to think of a person to write it to in the target language. Also my novices need a little more input to do this in the TL. After seeing the comments on the Primera Hora article, I’m thinking this would be a way to model how to talk about this in the TL. So I’ll find more comments (other articles, twitter, Facebook) and show a few of them so students can respond back. This is similar to what I’ve done for “What’s Trending” before.

You can turn on the subtitles in Spanish.

So a big thanks to Anneke for sharing with us and those who inspired her to do this lesson! You can follow Anneke on Twitter for more ideas. -> @an_oppewal

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What would you add to this lesson for novices or intermediates? Share below in the comments!

Written on Nov. 22, 2016