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Running Dictation Relay Race

Running Dictation is a review activity. Traditionally, language teachers have used this fast-paced team game to review a story. Students benefit from repeated exposure to information and to language, and so content area teachers will find this activity just as helpful as language teachers. Running Dictation in a nutshell In a Running Dictation, students are…

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Rethinking Dictation in language classes

Dictations have been a standard activity for language classes for a very long time. In particular, the traditional French dictée has a non-negotiable place in courses from Kinder through university level courses. Traditionally, dictations are used to learn spelling– a purpose which is debatable at best. Certainly, direct spelling instruction and practice has a positive…

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Online + Hybrid Spanish lesson plans for Fall 2020

This fall, teachers are facing an unprecedented instructional challenge. While plans for re-opening school are in a constant state of flux, we know that many teachers will be required to manage students in multiple instructional contexts: in-person, online, and combinations of the two. Just as SOMOS has given thousands of teachers the confidence to step…

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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – Stick with what works in the classroom!

Yesterday was Earth Day 2020, and I celebrated with a romp through the woods and a spontaneous interview with Elicia Cárdenas during our #SOMOSathome launch party. The three big questions were: What have you REDUCED in your teaching in recent years? What activities do you REUSE over and over again? How do you RECYCLE content…

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How to ask your first story

My students and I made strong, lasting connections as we co-created stories. Whether it was TPRS® (Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling) or OWIs (One Word Images), we had so much fun being creative together. It was through storyasking that I first experienced the power of acquisition-driven instruction. As I helped my students to understand…

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20+ stations for proficiency oriented language classes

Whether you call them Stations or Centers, you probably love them—and so do your students. Stations give you a laissez-faire teaching day and provide lots of movement and small group interaction for students.  Stations do not, however, come without challenges. Stations often take quite a bit of prep work. For the proficiency oriented, comprehension based…

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MovieTalk + TPRS® = Magic

MovieTalk has quickly become a favorite strategy for providing comprehensible input to language learners since Michele Whaley brought it to the TCI world in 2012. Developed by Dr. Ashley Hastings as the listening module for the Focal Skills ESL program, MovieTalk is an incredibly effective activity because it provides loads of comprehensible input to students. I just…

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End-of-term assessments

Along with the holidays come something else that all teachers and students anticipate…end-of-semester assessments!!! While midterms and finals are often viewed as burdensome and intimidating–both for the students that take them and the teachers that create, administer, and grade them–they certainly do not have to be. What should semester exams in language classes look like? Let me…

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