Sunday, October 31, 2010

Spanish: El Día de los Muertos - Music Video

Hi all, Claudia here,

I would like to share a music video you could use to practice vocabulary for el Día de los Muertos. This is a modern video so your students will most likely enjoy it. You could use it as a warm up activity for your students to fill in the gaps to the lyrics, or you could have them try to identify vocabulary related to el Día de los Muertos.

German Video: Funny Anglizismen Video

Hello all, Chris here. Today I have a quick video (audio only) to share from German comic Dieter Nuhr. Here he is making fun of all the anglicisms and new terms used in German. This would could be used in business German and advanced level courses as a discussion starter. Enjoy!

German: Future Perfect Activity

Hello all, Chris here with an activity to help your students practice the future tense and the future perfect or Futur II in German. While this isn't a tense that receives too much attention in textbooks and introductory courses, it is nevertheless a useful part of the language for students to know in order to express themselves more fully, especially abstract situations.

I will skip any grammar explanation as that will be up to the individual teacher.

First have students speculate on what they think their fellow classmates will have done this coming weekend.

Bob wird wohl seine Hausaufgaben gemacht haben. or Stefanie wird wohl nach Hause gegangen sein.

Students should try to speculate on as many of their classmates as possible. Obviously their success in this will depend largely on how well they know their fellow classmates. The activity will assume that students all have had a chance to get to know one another to a certain degree. Future perfect would generally be taught later in a semester or course so there should already have been plenty of opportunities for students to get to know one another. Allow students 5-7 minutes for this part.

The next part of the activity requires the students to write out what their plans for the coming weekend will be using Futur I. This can be done on scrap pieces of paper or note cards if the teacher can supply them. Provide each student with two note cards. On the first card students are to write what they will actually do. On the second card students should write a false statement about their plans.

Ich werde fernsehen. and Ich werde mir ein neues Auto kaufen. or Ich werde nach New York fliegen.

These false statements will serve to add confusion. Once students have finished writing, collect all of the cards. Students should not write their names on these cards. Mix the cards up and randomly redistribute them. Students must now interview each other about what their weekend plans are and they can use their speculations in order to help them guess whose card(s) they have. This will help them asking questions in the future tense. An alternate way is to have the teacher add in a few of their own statements while secretly removing some of the students' cards. This will keep the students guessing as to who the owner is. Another alternative is to first divide the class into smaller groups and then proceed as described above. This will make it easier on the students.

As always, questions and comments welcome!

Spanish: El Día de los Muertos

Hi all, Claudia here,

El Día de los Muertos is a very important festivity in Mexico celebrated on November 1st and 2nd. This is a Mexican tradition you should certainly share with your students. I would like to share a few links you can go to if you want to learn more about el Día de los Muertos.

http://www.azcentral.com/ent/dead/ Through this site you can find all sorts of information regarding el Día de los Muertos.

http://www.mexonline.com/daydead.htm This site provides important information about the celebration for people who plan to visit Mexico during this time.

http://www.terra.com/turismo/articulo/html/tur154.htm Through this link you can access information in Spanish about the different parts of the tradition of el Día de los Muertos.

http://diamuertos-gplanas.blogspot.com/ This is a link to a blog created by a Spanish teacher just for her students to learn about el Día de los Muertos. This is a very good idea you might want to try out in your classes.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

News: ICT for Language Learning, 3rd edition

The 3rd edition of the “ICT for Language Learning” conference has the aim to promote and share good practice and transnational cooperation in the field of the application of ICT to language learning and training.
The conference is also an excellent opportunity for the presentation of previous and current language learning projects funded by the European Commission and by other sources.

Florence, Italy
11 - 12 November, 2010

The conference focuses on the following topics:

ICT based language teaching solutions
Innovative language teaching and learning methodologies
Languages for business and vocational purposes
Integrating e-learning in classroom based language teaching
Collaborative language learning
CLIL, Content and Language Integrated Learning
Studies in Second Language Acquisition
ICT-enhanced Language Learning to Support Mobility and Integration

Please note that this is by no means an exhaustive list and other topics will also be considered.

http://www.pixel-online.net/ICT4LL2010/index.php

Friday, October 29, 2010

German Video: Gespräche 2

The second video in our Gespräche series features Marek and Anna discussing some common stereotypes Germans have about America! Check below the video for a short worksheet!



1) Was hält Marek von amerikanischen Essen?
2) Was wird über Kleidung gesagt?
3) Was findet Marekt komisch an vielen amerikanischen Häusern?
4) Was verbindet Anna mit vielen amerikanischen Städten?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Vocabulary Wordle

Hi everyone, Jason here.

This is an another visual aid I made for vocabulary activities in fourth semester German (Kursbuch Station 7: Köln). This image takes vocabulary beyond flash cards and can be used in various group and class activities.

See my earlier posts on Wordle™ on this blog and check out www.wordle.com to find out how to make your own.

Spanish: El Chupacabras

Hello everyone, Becky here!

A colleague recently shared this with me.
Zachary Jones' blog "Actualidades" includes a fun activity for this time of year about chupacabras, a popular topic on Twitter.

Enjoy!

http://zachary-jones.com/spanish/archives/24820

Useful Sites: Foreign Languages Teaching Ideas

Hello all, Chris here. Today I would like to share a link to a fellow language teaching site. Take a look at Teaching Ideas which contains activities on virtually any school subject. They feature language teaching activities as well! Let us know what you think and provide them some feedback as well! You can also find a link to their language teaching section in our Partner Sites section.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Spanish: Conversaciones Españolas 2



Hello all, Chris here. Today I would like to share the second video in our Conversaciones series! We will be adding a worksheet soon. Many thanks to Claudia and Heidi for their work with the video! Comments welcome! Enjoy!
















Preguntas sobre el video:

¿Acerca de cuál país hablan las chicas?

¿Cuál es la celebración mas importante?

¿Qué hacen las personas el 24 de Diciembre?

¿Qué hacen las personas el fin de año?

News: Small Update

Hello all, Chris here. We have added a new 'Popular Posts' feature to the site! You can view this directly below the followers section on the right side of the page. Now you can see which posts everyone else is checking out. More redesign coming soon! Enjoy!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

News: 2010 ESL Speaker Series

Hello all, Chris here with some local news:

The 2010 Speaker Series is pleased to present:

Dwight Atkinson
Associate Professor, Department of English, Purdue University

Friday, October 29, 2010
5:00pm - 6:00pm

Place:
RAWL2079

Title of the talk: Adaptive Intelligence and a Sociocognitive Approach to Second Language Acquisition

Hope to see you there!

Japanese: Nihongo Kaiwa 4 Update

Hello all, Chris here. We have updated our Nihongo Kaiwa 4 post with comprehension questions! Many thanks to Junko for providing the questions!

Check here for the updated post:

http://lteacherstoolbox.blogspot.com/2010/10/japanese-video-nihongo-kaiwa-4.html

Saturday, October 23, 2010

News: 37th International MEXTESOL Convention

37th International MEXTESOL Convention.

10th Central American and Caribbean Convention

November 04–07, 2010
Cancún, Quintana Roo


The Mexican Association of Teachers of English, A. C. is a professional academic association which seeks to develop in its members, as well as in non-members, the highest standards for teaching English to speakers of other languages so that their students can communicate effectively in all the diverse situations in which they may find themselves.

http://www.mextesol.org.mx/?modulo=convenciones

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Spanish: Reflexive Verbs

Hello everyone, Claudia here,


Today I have a fun video my good friend and colleague, Claudia Sadowski, wants to share with us. This video is a really nice way to get your Spanish students to practice and remember the uses of Spanish reflexive verbs. It also illustrates how you can integrate an activity such as having students make their own videos to your class. You should check back on a post I did some time ago on Spanish student videos for more ideas on this!


Monday, October 18, 2010

Scholarship of Engagement/Conference Scholarship and Service Poster Session

October 28, 2010
8:00am-2:30pm
Discovery Learning and Research Center (DLRC), 1st Floor Atrium
Purdue University
Poster Session: 1:45-2:30

Agenda: 8:00am Breakfast
8:30 Welcome and Overview
8:45 State of Service Engagement at Purdue
9:00 Impact of the First Five years of Service Learning Faculty Grant Programs
10:00 Engagement Panel
11:00 Preparation for Promotion and Tenure Based on Engagement Efforts
12:00 Q & A Session and Lunch
1:00 Student Testimonies
1:45-2:30 Poster Session

Sunday, October 17, 2010

News: Language Teacher's Toolbox

Hello all, Chris here again. The Language Teacher's Toolbox conference went very well today! Thanks to all those who attended and a special thanks to all of our presenters!
Check back soon for some pictures and video footage from the conference!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Conferences: The Language Teacher's Toolbox Fall 2010 Schedule

Hello all, Chris here. Today I would like to share the schedule and poster for our upcoming conference! We hope to see you there!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Japanese Video: Nihongo Kaiwa 4

Hello all, Chris here. Today we have the fourth video in our Nihongo Kaiwa series. This video features Junko and Shogo discussing common stereotypes about Japan and Japanese. We have listed comprehension questions below! Comments welcome! Enjoy!



1. junko wa dokokara kimashitaka? sonomachi wa donnna machi desuka?
2. junko no machi de yuumeina monowa nandesuka?
3. chogo wa dokokara kimashitaka? sonomachi wa donnna machidesuka?
4. shogo no machi de yuumeina monowa nandesuka?

News: Nihongo Kaiwa 3 Questions Added

Hello all, Chris here. We have updated our post for Nihongo Kaiwa 3 with comprehension questions! For the full post, click here:

http://lteacherstoolbox.blogspot.com/2010/10/japanese-video-nihongo-kaiwa-3.html

News: Nihongo Kaiwa 2 Questions Added

Hello all, Chris here. We have updated then post for Nihongo Kaiwa 2 which now features some comprehension questions after the video. Click here for the full post:

http://lteacherstoolbox.blogspot.com/2010/10/japanese-video-nihongo-kaiwa-2.html

French Video: La Disparition Massive des Abeilles Dans le Monde



Bonjour, c'est Johanne encore.

Niveau/Level: FR 102 and higher

Quelles sont les causes de cette disparition massive des abeilles?

Prenez des notes sur le documentaire et soyez prets à en discuter en petits groupes de 4 à 6 étudiants dans la salle de classe pour une durée de 15 minutes en incorporant vos opinions et en apportant des solutions à cette situation mondiale.
Please, pay close attention to the 8-minute documentary, then be prepared to discuss its content in a small groups of 4 to 6 students for the next 15 minutes.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

News: Opportunity for Chinese Teachers to Travel to China


Hello all, Becky here!

I have listed below an opportunity for Chinese teachers to travel to China this Winter Break!

Enjoy!



CLASS is offering its first Winter Program for Chinese teachers. Please e-mail your 
application as an attachment directly toclassinchina@gmail.com before Oct. 20, 2010.
2010 魅力北京美国汉语教师培训班
Chinese Teachers Winter Program in Beijing
December 24, 2010 - January 2, 2011
What:
An intensive ten-day program that will allow teachers to participate in professional development with a focus on advancing
their Chinese linguistic knowledge and cultural understanding about people and places in Beijing.
Who:
This program is open to all Chinese teachers currently teaching at K-12 schools in the United States. Priority will be given to CLASS members who have never been to China and /or Chinese teachers who have actively taken part in professional development courses offered by universities and colleges.
Where:
The program will take place in a school in Beijing arranged by the Beijing International Education Exchange and the Beijing International Center for Chinese Language.
When:
Departure from the US is on December 24, 2010 and the return on January 2, 2011.
Cost:
There is no cost for the participating teachers during their study in Beijing once they are selected to the program. Participating teachers will be responsible to arrange their own international travel to and from Beijing, visa application, and other personal expenses.
How:
The application form is available through the CLASS website at http://www.classk12.org/ and the Graduate School of Education and the World Languages Institute at Rutgers University. Or send an e-mail request to CLASS at classinchina@gmail.com.
Application Deadline:
October 20, 2010
For more information: please email classinchina@gmail.com

Useful Links: Livemocha.com

Hello all, Becky here!

You can sign up for free Chinese language opportunities through Livemocha.com. There are for pay and free options. You can use the online program, and then native speakers give you feedback on your writing sample!

Another site to consider: Hello-Hello.com, which is partnering with ACTFL.

Enjoy!


Spanish: LoMasTV

Hello everyone, Becky here!

Check out "LoMasTV" http://lomastv.com/?alt=1
 
"LoMásTv is an online video magazine for Spanish learners who wish to improve their Spanish skills. Authentic Spanish videos include television programs, music videos, interviews, documentaries, and travel. Only LoMásTv offers Spanish and English captions, pitch-correct slow play, integrated dictionaries and listening exercises."

Enjoy! Comments welcome!

Friday, October 8, 2010

French Video: Documentary - Secrets d’une danseuse guinéenne à Paris (Advanced)


Secrets d’une danseuse guinéenne à Paris.


1.Quel âge a Rama ? Quelles études fait-elle ?

2.Quelle expression idiomatique décrit comment Rama se sent a Paris ?

3.Quand est-elle arrivée ?

4.Comment caractérise-t-elle les Parisiens ? Que veut dire "imbu de sa personne"?

5.Quel est le mystère des Africains ?

6.A quelles occasions pratiquait-elle le reggaeton ?

7.Quel est son projet à son retour en Guinée ?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

French Video: Les dessous de tables de François Simon - Petit déjeuner à Rungis & la c...



Niveaux-Levels: French 202 and higher
Sujet-Topic: La cuisine. Le voyage. Les saveurs
Objectifs-Goals: To sharpen students' listening skills

Please answer (in French) the following questions based on the 14-minute documentary video:

1.Quels sont les nouveautés-adresses de la semaine?
2.Quelle est la définition de "radin chic"?
3.Dans quelle rue de Paris se trouve le resto-bistro Promenade?
4.Quels types de plats-menus offrent-on au resto A La Marée?
5.Quels sont les trois ingrédients clés qui figurent dans sa recette du dimanche?
6.Quels sont les deux livres qui sont sortis dans la boite aux lettres?
7.Situez la Vandée sur une carte de France et décrivez son paysage.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

News: The 8th International TELLSI Conference: a CALL for Change in our Language Teaching

The 8th International TELLSI Conference: a CALL for Change in our Language Teaching

The English Department of Al-Zahra University is to have the honor of holding the 8th international TELLSI conference this year, October 13-15, Tehran, Tehran, Iran.

http://tellsi8.alzahra.ac.ir/

Spanish: Viva Cuba

Hello everyone, Becky here!
Below is the synopsis of a wonderful movie from Cuba:

Viva Cuba
In a tale akin to "Romeo and Juliet," the friendship between two children is threatened by their parents' differences. Malú is from an upper-class family and her single mother does not want her to play with Jorgito, as she thinks his background coarse and commonplace. Jorgito's mother a poor socialist proud of her family's social standing, places similar restrictions on her son. What neither woman recognizes is the immense strength of the bond between Malú and Jorgito. When the children learn that Malú's mother is planning to leave Cuba, they decide to travel to the other side of the island to find Malú's father and persuade him against signing the forms that would allow it.

This is a great movie to use to discuss the linguistic characteristics of Cuban Spanish as well as some cultural aspects. You can borrow it from the Lafayette Public Library in Lafayette, IN!

It would also seem that most if not all of the movie is watchable on YouTube. It may also be commercially available. A good place too check would be Amazon. --- Chris

I have copied the youtube site for the trailer below:

Spanish: Colombia is Passion!

Hello everyone, Becky here!

I have included a short video (in English) that I like to use with my students to give them a little introduction to Colombia. I have heard that this is a video often shown on flights to and from Colombia to attract tourists. I think it's a great way to get students to think about Colombia, its rich culture, and its fabulous people in ways other than what they hear/have heard on the news.

Enjoy!

Del video Colombia es pasión (en inglés con subtítulos en español):



These are some questions I have my students answer as they watch the video:
1. ¿Cuáles son 3 festivales en Colombia?
2. ¿Quién es el artista mencionado de Colombia? ¿Cómo son las figuras que pinta?
3. ¿Cuáles son 2 cantantes y 2 deportistas del video? ¿Ya conocías alguno?
4. ¿Quién es el escritor mencionado en el video de Colombia y qué escribió?

News: International Education Week

Hello everyone, Becky here!

International education week is November 15-19, 2010.

I have included the website about International Education Week from the State Department website below. Enjoy!

http://iew.state.gov/

German Video: Gespräche 1

Hello all, Chris here. Today we have the next video in our German conversation series! This video features Marek and Anna discussing their plans for the upcoming weekend. We will be adding a worksheet soon. Comments welcome! Enjoy!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Spanish: Vocabulary Game

Hello all, Julie here. Remember the scene in the movie Inglorious Basterds when a group of German soldiers is in a bar playing a name game? I used this idea in my Spanish class last week as a communicative activity and as a way to get students 'thinking' and speaking in Spanish. The next chapter that we studied was going to be on nationality vocabulary so this game was a good way to incorporate speaking skills, culture, and vocabulary.

This game could be used with introductory levels as well and could be a good game for practicing question formation. Just think of some famous celebrities from the Hispanic, German, Japanese, etc. world and write one name on each small piece of paper. I used Rafael Nadal, Penelope Cruz, Fidel Castro, Pedro Almodovar, Don Quijote, Sancho Panza, Jennifer Lopez, Cheech Marin...etc. Then, put students in groups of 2 and give one student the name of the famous person, but do not let them look. The student with the paper sticks or holds the name card to their forehead. (The other student sees the name.) The students with the name card does not know who they are and have to ask questions such as, "Am I a male or female? Am I famous? Am I a politician? Am I young or old...etc. Students can keep track of how many names they guess.

I usually play this game for about 15-20 min and find myself constantly giving each group a new name so have many name cards ready. At the end of the game one of my students, who is usually reticent to speak, screamed out, "I'm Rafael Nadal! Oh my gosh, I love him!"

Comments welcome!

German: Messe Activity (Subjunctive I)

Hello all, Chris here again. Today I would to share a fun activity which you can use to practice Subjunctive I (or Kojunktiv I) with your students. I created this activity for a chapter that we teach on Leipzig which focuses on trade fairs or Messen. The class was a fourth semester class at the university level. This activity would also work well in business language courses and is easily adaptable to any language.

For this activity I divided the class into random pairs. Each pair was then asked to come up with a company name, a product, and a slogan for the product/company. Students were then given a blank sheet of paper and some markers in order to design a poster containing the above information. Once this was finished, each pair was divided into two roles: Reporter and Vertreter. The classroom was then arranged in a large semi-circle with the Vertreter from each company standing at a desk. The Reporters were then asked to visit at least 5 different companies and to write down the slogans from these companies. Here the students would have to ask questions such as Wie heisst Ihre Firma? Was verkaufen Sie? Was ist Ihr Produkt? Once all the Reporters were finished they were then told to return to their partners. Each group was then asked to take each of the slogans from the other company and rewrite them as if they were reporting them using Subjunctive I.

For example:

Unsere Autos sind die schnellsten. (original slogan)
Sie sagten, Ihre Autos seien die schnellsten. (Subjunctive I)

Once the groups finished this stage, they were then asked to select whichever slogan they found to be the best or most interesting and then report this to the class using Subjunctive I.

This activity allows the entire class to participate and provides students with excellent opportunities to practice Subjunctive I. I hope the above has been useful to you. comments welcome!

German: Freiburger Gespräche 1 Worksheet Added

Hello all, Chris here. I've added some comprehension questions to our first Freiburger Gespräche video! Check the link below for the updated post!

http://lteacherstoolbox.blogspot.com/2010/09/german-video-freiburger-gesprache-1.html

News: Language Teacher's Toolbox 2010 Conference Reminder

Hello all, Chris here again with a reminder that the Call for Papers for the 2010 Language Teacher's Toolbox conference is open until Friday October 7. This is a great opportunity for TAs, instructors, and professors alike! Check the link below for full information:


http://lteacherstoolbox.blogspot.com/2010/09/news-language-teachers-toolbox-fall.html

Japanese Video: Nihongo Kaiwa 3

Hello all, Chris here. Today I would like share the third video in our Nihongo Kaiwa series! This video features Junko and Shogo discussing their hobbies. There are comprehension questions below the video! Comments welcome! Enjoy!



1. Futari wa nannno hanashi wo siteimasuka?
2. Junko-san no shumi wa nandesuka?
3. Shogo-san no shumi wa nandesuka?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Japanese Video: Nihongo Kaiwa 2

Hello all, Chris here. Today I would like to share the second video in our Nihongo Kaiwa series! This video features Junko and Shogo discussing their plans for the upcoming weekend! There are comprehension questions below which can be shown in conjunction with the video. Comments welcome! Enjoy!



1. Junko-san no shuumatsu no yotei wa nandesuka?
2. Shogo-san to Junko-san wa dokode aimasuka?

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Teaching Phonetics and Phonology to Elementary Education Majors

My career has taken an interesting trajectory: in my final semester as a TA, I had to adapt the introductory linguistics class I had been teaching to foreign language majors for an audience of elementary education majors instead. Needless to say, there are some differences between these two groups of people. Then, in an interesting twist, I ended up becoming an elementary school teacher myself. This has given me a unique glimpse into the kinds of information my last class of undergraduate students would have been privy to before sitting in my linguistics class, and it has helped me to see where they, and I, went wrong in trying to develop their understanding of linguistics. Hopefully by sharing some of this information with you, I can help you to understand where your students are coming from before it is too late to adapt your teaching to best help them.

The biggest difficulty I had with my elementary education majors, other than their increased likelihood over my former student base not to have studied any languages other than English (and maybe Spanish), was in teaching phonetics and phonology. This is probably the most difficult unit to teach to any group of students, but what I didn't know then that I know now is that elementary education majors have often been exposed to the vocabulary of phonology in a different context from the way linguists use it; thus, they may have already heard words like "phoneme" and "phonological" and have attached definitions to those words in their minds. Unfortunately for both of you, the definitions they know and the definitions you want them to know do not always match up.

Education majors talk about phonology within the context of literacy; "phonemic and phonological awareness" is a buzz-phrase that most of them probably know, having to do with a child's ability to isolate the different phonemes that are being realised in some way in words. In a typical elementary word study activity, teachers might pronounce the sounds in a word separately and have students try to blend them together, for example:

Teacher: (holding up one finger for each sound) [b] [i] [t]
Students: (in unison) "Beat!"

Or, the teacher might say the full word and point to her fingers or to counted-out blocks as the students say each separate sound in the word. In more complex activities, the teacher might have students blend a word and then change one sound to make another word:

Teacher: (holding up one finger for each sound) [h] [i] [t] [s]
Students: (in unison) "Heats!"
Teacher: "If I change the 'h' sound to [m], what word do I get?"
Students: (in unison) "Meats!"

The point of these exercises is that students need to be able to break words into component sounds and build words out of smaller sounds in order to read. Students who come from homes with less frequent exposure to language may not have developed this awareness of the sounds that make up words to the same extent as other students, but making sure that all students have this understanding of spoken language before trying to make sense of the sounds attached to graphemes sets them up for greater success in literacy.

The problem when trying to teach about the purely linguistic understanding of phonetics and phonology to elementary education majors is that educational texts on this subject often confound the definitions of "phones" and "phonemes." I have seen texts that introduce the term "phoneme" with the appositive "phonemes, or speech sounds," for example. If you want to teach your students a dichotomy between phonetic variations that do not make a difference in word meaning, and phonemic variations that do--a concept which is already difficult enough to understand the first time you are exposed to it--you need to be aware that many of your education majors are coming from a world where they see words inappropriately defined from a purely linguistic sense. Knowing this ahead of time and pointing out to students that "for this class, it is not safe to rely on what you have learned in your education classes about what a phoneme is" may help draw students' attention to the difference you want them to notice.

A further problem is that educational texts often simplify their written conventions for the sounds of English by representing sounds based on typical spellings rather than IPA standards. Thus, many students will have seen things like /ch/ representing the initial and final sounds in "church," or vowel symbols that use the straight- and curved-line conventions to distinguish "long" and "short" variants of the letter 'a'. Again, students from other backgrounds will probably have been exposed to things like this in dictionaries that do not use IPA transcription, but your elementary education majors will be confronting this system more frequently in the coursework they do outside your class. To help your students feel less threatened by the use of a different system, you might want to seek out an educational text, such as Honig, B., Diamond, L., & Gutlohn, L. (2008). Teaching Reading Sourcebook (2nd ed.). Berkeley: Arena Press/Consortium on Reading Excellence, Inc. (which also has a painfully confusing vowel chart that squeezes the front-back/high-low trapezoid into a V), and spend some time in class making comparisons between the text's charts and the IPA chart.

Fortunately, if you know what your students want to do with the information you're teaching them, you can better hook their interest and build a foundation for your teaching to actually be useful. Rather than just trying to sell them on why linguistics is important for capturing information about all the world's languages, convince them why they need to understand linguistics to be better literacy teachers. In my word study training this summer, several students kept asking, "how do you actually know whether letters count as just one sound?" Instead of just doing your usual phonetic transcription activities, have your elementary education students race to see who can break down a written word into the correct number of phones the fastest, or have one group of students try to transcribe phonetically the sounds that another student pronounces in doing a mock blending activity to make sure they come up with the same number of sounds. Read a Dr. Seuss book to your class and have them try to identify how many times the rhymes are minimal pairs and how many times they involve insertion or deletion of a sound. Ask them to think about whether and how they would organise a word wall (a common practice of posting new words on a wall as students learn them and having students do interactive activities with the visual words) by sound rather than just by spelling (most word walls group words by first letter); what would be the advantages and disadvantages of doing this for different age groups? If you can relate your lessons to what your students are doing in their other classes, and point out the differences wherever you can, then hopefully you can help your students not only take a greater interest in what you're teaching, but avoid confusion as they navigate different approaches to talking about it.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Update: Hamburger Gespräche 1 Worksheet added

Hello all, Chris here. I have added a short set of comprehension questions to our first Hamburger Gespräche video! Check here for the updated post:

http://lteacherstoolbox.blogspot.com/2010/09/german-video-hamburger-gespraeche-1.html

Update: 50 Followers!

Hello all, Chris here again. Looks like we have finally reached 50 followers! Thanks to everyone who is a follower of the site, we really appreciate your support! Please let your fellow language teachers know about us! We will be working on creating a feature solely for followers which will grant you access to extra content and/or a discount on future products! Stay tuned.

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