Please post your questions and comments about the agenda for today's Span 477 Summer 2015 class on this page.

August 5:

Teaching Demo in Russian: Dr. Jennifer Bown
Superheroes Unit

Homework: Teaching Demo for Friday

August 3: Writing

July 27-31

Guest Instructor: Elizabeth Robinson

July 17

Today's Topic: Literacy

Today's Objectives:
  • Students will explain why narrative is an effective framework for organizing language teaching and learning.
  • Students will articulate key principles of story-based instruction.

Today's Can Do Statements

1) I can explain why narrative is an effective framework for organizing teaching and learning.

2) I can articulate key principles of story-based instruction.

3) I can make both oral and written input comprehensible to students.

4) I can develop pre-, during, and post-reading activities and explain their purposes.

Today's Guiding Questions:

1) Why is narrative an effective framework for organizing teaching and learning?
2) How can teachers make textual input more comprehensible for students?
3) How do pre-, during, and post-reading activities support reading/listening/viewing comprehension?

Key Principles:

Activity 1: Inside-Outside Circles
Read the following handout.

- A list of principles for selecting children's books appropriate for use with second language learners

Story-based Lesson Plans

Ways to Read a Story:


Draw a Paragraph

Audacity Recordings

Act What You Hear

La gallinita roja - Good for direct object pronouns

Corduroy - Useful for working with preterit v. imperfect

Sample During Reading Activities:

Chumba, la cachumba - Useful for working with time and verbs in Spanish

Oye al desierto/Listen to the Desert

La niña invisible - A great book for discussing bullying, gangs, human rights, and prejudice

El canto de las palomas

La casa que Juan construyó - House That Jack Built

Salta, ranita, salta

El secreto en la caja de fósforos

Froggy se viste - A great way to teach/reinforce clothing and reflexive verbs!

Si llevas un ratón a la escuela

Activity 2: Explore each site

a) Explore the library of children's stories on each site below.
b) Use the principles from the handout in Activity 1 to make a list of at least 5 stories you could use as a teaching tool here:

- Extensive library of digital texts (including children's literature and museums) from Colombia

- Common fairy tales in Catalán, English, Euskara, French, & Spanish

- Read by native speakers (click on Biblioteca to access fairy tales, regional stories, original stories, etc.). You can also download the mp3s.
I don't think this one works - krothert krothert

- Available in Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, & Spanish

- Searchable database of children's books in a wide variety of languages (including Arabic, Chinese, Croation, Farsi, Filipino, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Mongolian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, & Thai), categorized by age, color of cover, genre, length, topic, etc., that can be read online -

- Links to audio and stories online in French and Spanish
I'm not getting this one to work either - krothert krothert

- Lists of the children's picture books currently available for check-out from the collection (organized by year of publication)

- Click on the map to launch the animated folktales in a separate tab. Folktales are subtitled in the language in which they are spoken. Some of them offer choices of English or Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew, etc.

Spanish Children's Stories - A list of links from Dr. Lori Langer de Ramirez posted to FLTEACH

This link doesn't work) - unklesbay unklesbay

- Interactive, online stories in English and Spanish, links to printable activities (find the difference btwn 2 pix), list of children's books in Spanish with descriptions in Spanish and links to Amazon, and interactive games and activitie

Activity 3: Explore this site.
How could it help you make the texts you have selected more accessible?

Reading Strategies That Benefit All Learners - An annotated list with some templates and examples

TodaysMeetLogo.jpg - Use this to converse with your colleagues about each of the activities below.

Activity 4: Explore Inanimate Alice in the language of your choice.
Which reading strategies are embedded in it?

Activity 5: Read these handouts:

- Outlines key considerations in developing a story-based lesson and includes lists of possible pre-, during, and post-reading activities

- Outlines the key purposes of pre-, during, and post-reading activities

- Tips for reading stories to your students

Activity 6: Skim this just so you are aware of what it contains.
Topical Listing of Children's Books

Homework: Choose ONE of these two readings and skim it.

  • Taylor, James, & Luckau, Paul F. (1996/1986). Chapter 8 - What have you read lately? Fundamentals of language teaching: What every Spanish teacher needs to know. Brigham Young University. (Required: Use this template to provide feedback on this chapter to the writers of the chapter:

Use one of these free, online tools to create a one-page, graphic organizer that summarizes the main ideas from the article:

July 15

Today's Topic: Literacy

Today's Objectives:
  • Students will explain factors that make reading in another language difficult.
  • Students will explain the purposes of pre-, during, and post-reading/listening/viewing activities.

Today's Can Do Statements

1) I can explain what makes reading difficult in another language.
2) I can develop pre-reading activities and explain their purposes.

Today's Guiding Questions
  • How do pre-, during, and post-reading/listening/viewing activities make input more comprehensible?

Sample Pre-reading Activities:

La hora de acostarse de Francisca - Useful for units involving commands, present subjunctive, and childhood
Two women (Poem; Lesson Plan)

Sample During Reading Activities:

Oye al desierto/Listen to the Desert

La niña invisible - A great book for discussing bullying, gangs, human rights, and prejudice

Si le das una galletita a un raton

July 13

Hau ab, du grobes grünes Monster! (Text)
Crictor (Possible activities)

Artist Stories

July 10: Lesson Planning

Today's Can Do Statements

1) I can write well-formed objectives to guide lesson planning.
2) I can use principles of thematic planning to create meaningful, standards-based, student-centered activities.

Today's Guiding Questions

1) What is the purpose of an objective and what does a well-formed objective for a Spanish class look like?
2) How does thematic planning different from other approaches to world language lesson planning?

Janae Purcella Video: Juanes

Danielle Kessie Video: Direct Object Pronouns

Danielle Kessie Videos: Natural Disasters

Jessica Haxhi Video: Backpack Interpersonal Communication Activity

July 8: Culture

Today's Objectives:

  • Students will define culture.
  • Students will locate high quality, culturally authentic materials.
  • Students will explain how the cultural triangle can be used to plan meaningful language lessons.
  • Students will design a meaningful language lesson that incorporates at least 3 research-based principles or instructional strategies for teaching culture.
  • Students will design a project that engages secondary students in exploring culture and assesses their learning.

Today's Can Do Statements

1) I can define culture.
2) I can locate high quality culturally authentic materials.
3) I can use the cultural triangle to plan meaningful language lessons.
4) I can design a meaningful language lesson with a cultural focus.
5) I can design a project that engages middle or high school students in exploring culture.

Today's Guiding Questions:

  • What is culture?
  • Why is it important to teach culture in the second language classroom?
  • Where can teachers find high quality, culturally authentic materials?
  • How might the cultural triangle from the National Standards for Foreign Language help us to better understand and teach the relationships between the products, practices, and perspectives inherent in a given culture or a specific community within the target culture? Annenberg - El triángulo cultural
  • How might teachers use the National Standards to design opportunities for students to experience and explore culture in meaningful ways?
  • How might teachers guard against reinforcing stereotypes and prejudices when teaching culture?
  • How might teachers assist students in recognizing the diversity that exists within the target culture (i.e., avoid overgeneralizations)?

Today's Tools:

DotSubLogo.jpg (Annotated Dotsub captions for A Single Story)


Sicilian Discussion with Bisnonna

The Danger of a Single Story - Segment 1

The Danger of a Single Story - Segment 2 (Immigration, Mexicans, & the Power of a Repeated Story)

The Danger of a Single Story - Segment 3 (Of Flattened Experience, Stereotypes, & Incomplete Stories)

  • Activate Prior Knowledge & Experiences -Build on what students already know about their own culture to help them understand cultural ideas and practices that are new to them. Start locally and then build (i.e., self, families, communities, nations). Teach them that they have a culture (i.e., how would they respond to the idea of eating chicken soup on Thanksgiving?)
  • Allow the Culture to Speak for Itself -
    • Interaction/Participation - Provide students with multiple opportunities to interact with the target culture (through exposure to culturally authentic artifacts and materials, native speakers, opportunities to view and participate in culturally authentic practices, community events, etc.).
    • Evaluation - Assist students in evaluating the accuracy, authenticity, authority, credibility, and coverage of the cultural information they encounter.
    • Interpretation -Teach students to generate a variety of alternative hypotheses about the meaning of the cultural information they encounter and to base their final interpretations on sound reasoning and evidence (as opposed to emotional reactions or hearsay).

  • Avoid Stereotypes- Purposefully provide counterexamples to stereotypes and over-generalizations. Try to avoid absolutes (i.e. "All French people . . . ."), "othering" (objectifying the other culture or separating "US" from "THEM," often with the intent to criticize or pass value judgments), "exoticizing" (i.e., emphasizing only what grabs attention or will be perceived as strange or weird by students), "trivializing" (i.e., presenting only what is quaint or silly) or "political bias." You can "type" without "stereotyping."

  • Critically Evaluate Texts - Consider the cultural content (or lack thereof) embedded in the texts you choose to use
  • Elicit & Challenge Incomplete or Mistaken Information- Uncover students' mental models about culture by giving them opportunities to talk about their own culture. Address their misconceptions respectfully. Offer students multiple examples/representations of the phenomena under study so they can see the diversity that exists within the target culture. Be sure to address both "big C and little c" culture.

  • Embed Culture in EVERY Activity (See activity examples below)
  • Frame the Culture Positively - Encourage students to avoid value judgments (i.e., "different," not "better," "worse," "stupid," or "weird"). Speak about the culture as though a native speaker were standing in the room--honestly, openly, but respectfully.
  • Highlight Connections & Relationships - Focus on the relationships between products, practices, and perspectives in the target culture rather than considering each one separately and in isolation.
  • "Make the Familiar Strange" - Encourage students to examine their own culture from the perspective of an "outsider."
  • "Normalize" the Target Culture - Use culturally authentic images and materials on a regular basis. Try not to "frame" or "teach" the culture as something that needs to be separated or "pulled out" each time (from Deanna Mihalyi)
  • Prioritize Perspectives- Encourage students to examine how the beliefs, values, historical events, and physical conditions of the culture influence the logic behind what and how people do things.

Sample Activities:

July 6: Teaching Demos

Well-scaffolded Information Gap Activity Teaching Demonstrations

a) Choose a grammatical principle and a vocabulary topic.
b) Design a speaking practice activity.
c) The activity should require oral exchange of information.
d) Progressively build students' language (words to sentences to paragraphs).
e) You will teach the activity in class (so bring 3 copies).

July 3: No class

4th of July Holiday

July 1: Interpersonal Communication

Today's Objectives:

Guiding Questions:

Today's Activities:

Activity 1: Bienvenida

Activity 2: Pop Quiz over Chapter 8

Activity 3: Review of Standards

Activity 4: Information Gap Activity Presentations

Activity 5: Interpersonal Communication Activities

Story Sequencing

Tiras cómicas

Have You Ever

1) Review this one-page summary of the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines.

2) Watch these videos.

a) What do you NOTICE about the speaker's Spanish?

b) In what areas does the speaker SUCCEED?

c) In what areas does the speaker's Spanish BREAK DOWN?

d) How would you rate this speaker's proficiency?

e) What NEXT STEP will improve this speaker's Spanish? (Would this rubric help students know what to do next? How about this one?)

Ordering in Spanish at Taco Bell Fail (2:25) - ViewPureLogo.JPG

Mayor Bloomberg Speaks Spanish (:42) - ViewPureLogo.JPG

Gov. Rick Scott of FL Speaking Spanish (:26) - ViewPureLogo.JPG

ARGO Interview - Ben Affleck (3:08) - ViewPureLogo.JPG

Gwyneth Paltrow Speaking Perfect Spanish (1:10) ViewPureLogo.JPG

Selena Gomez in Spanish Interview (3:18) ViewPureLogo.JPG

One Semester of Spanish Love Song (1:41) - ViewPureLogo.JPG

June 29: National Standards

Today's Objectives:

  • Students will explain the structure, content, and purposes of an oral proficiency interview (OPI). (See the 1st and 3rd paragraphs in the first column: ACTFL OPI: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
  • Students will explain the difference between the three modes of communication (interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational).
  • Students will define "information gap activity."
  • Students will analyze how different types of interpersonal communication activities support the development of proficiency.
  • Students will support proficiency development of second language learners by making input comprehensible, giving clear instructions, and scaffolding tasks.

Guiding Questions:

1) What is an OPI and how is it structured?
2) How do the three modes of communication differ?
3) What is an information gap activity and how does it support proficiency development?
4) How might different activities be adapted so that they progressively build proficiency from the word level to the paragraph level?
5) How can teachers make what they are saying in the target language easier for students to understand?

Can Do Statements:

1) I can explain the structure of an OPI.
2) I can explain the differences among the 3 modes of communication.
3) I can define "information gap activity" and explain how it helps develop proficiency.
4) I can provide suggestions for adapting activities for different levels of proficiency.
5) I can make input comprehensible for students.

Today's Agenda:

1) Bienvenida

2) FL Proficiency: Novice & Intermediate

3) Introduction to World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages

4) 3 Modes of Communication

5) Information Gap Activity Examples

Los objetos de escuela

The Perfect Diet Story

June 26: Proficiency

Today's Objectives:

  • Students will define proficiency.
  • Students will analyze speech samples from different levels of proficiency.
  • Students will experience a variety of getting to know you activities that can be used to foster proficiency development.
  • Students will edit a wiki.

Guiding Questions:

1) What do world language educators mean by "proficiency?"
2) How do novice speakers differ from intermediate and advanced speakers?
3) How might teachers establish a productive classroom climate at the beginning of a semester?
4) How can wikis support language instruction?

Can Do Statements:

1) I can define proficiency.
2) I can explain why specific characteristics of speech performance are rated novice, intermediate, or advanced.
3) I can edit a wiki.

Today's Agenda

0) Administrivia


1) Course Overview & Technology Skills

3) Popcorn Introductions


4) Cell Phone Introductions

5) I See, I Think, I Wonder

6) Pedagogy: Content v. Process

7) Proficiency: Beginner v. Experienced v. Proficient v. Expert

June 24: Designing for Proficiency

Today's Objectives:

  • Students will define proficiency.
  • Students will list the typical performance characteristics of novice, intermediate, advanced, and superior language speakers.
  • Students will explain pedagogical strategies that support shifts between various levels of proficiency.
  • Students will identify key strategies for scaffolding proficiency.

Guiding Questions:

1) What do world language educators mean by "proficiency?"

2) How do novice speakers differ from intermediate, advanced, and superior speakers?

3) What are some of the misconceptions that teachers sometimes have about different levels of proficiency?

4) What are some of the key linguistic features of language teachers much strategically target in order to support students in progressively improving their proficiency?

Can Do Statements:

1) I can define proficiency.
2) I can explain how novice, intermediate, and advanced speakers differ.
3) I can explain what some misconceptions about proficiency that keep teachers from supporting students well.
4) I can identify where to spend my time in a lesson in order to improve proficiency.

Today's Agenda:

Designing for Proficiency Presentation

BYU SpanTeach Wiki

June 22: True Colors

Today's Objectives:

  • Students will articulate how personality characteristics influence interpersonal relationships with students and colleagues.
  • Students will analyze the implications of various personality characteristics for classroom management.

Today's Guiding Questions:

1) How do personality characteristics influence interpersonal relationships in a school setting?
2) What implications do personality characteristics have for classroom management?
3) What implications do personality characteristics have for language learning?

Today's Can Do Statements

1) I can identify different personality types.
2) I can explain the unique challenges, strengths, and needs of students with different personality types.
3) I can explain how different personality characteristics may create problems for teachers and learners.
4) I can explain how attention to personality characteristics can guide teachers in selecting appropriate pedagogical strategies for meeting individual student needs.

Today's Tools



Today's Activities

1) Getting to Know You:
  • Who are you?
  • What do you hope to learn?
  • Why are you interested in teaching?
  • What background do you have in foreign language?
  • What next steps do you plan to take after this course?

  • TrueColorsTraits.JPG - Page 3 contains brief descriptions of how each color is likely to interact at home, at school, and with friends
  • Reframing.JPG - Pages 3-6 compare how each color sees itself to how others may see each color. Very useful for thinking about why people might sometimes misunderstand you, as well as how you might accidentally misunderstand others. (See also Page 2 of this handout: TrueColorsCharacteristics.JPG )

    WhatToLookForWhenYoureOutOfEsteem.JPG - Page 1 contains a list of typical behaviors each color exhibits when having a bad day.

    CoachingTips.JPG- EXCELLENT charts that indicate how to relate to, motivate, appreciate each color; reframing lists; symptoms of a bad day; and team member role cards

    BluesOnYourTeam.JPG - Very well-designed handouts that highlight what each of the 4 colors brings to a collaborative situation, along with questions each color is likely to ask about the task at hand


    YourPersonalityTypeHowToWorkWithAllTheColors.JPG - Pages 18-21 of this very professional PowerPoint presentation that provides useful strategies for working effectively with each color


Archives (Previous Agendas)

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