With 20 years of teaching Novices, I am still understanding better each year how to support them in acquiring language. Let’s unpack what Novices are doing to improve their proficiency. During World Language class we are having them communicate on high-interest topics by having them negotiate the language to express meaning to others. While Intermediate students create with language, Novices use practiced and memorized language to express themselves.
Let’s look at how the tool Jamboard can be used for students to take phrases and combine them into sentences. On this Jamboard I ask students to group and order the stickies to form sentences to describe their activities. This is a first step to eventually talking with their classmates about activities that they do every day. Coach them to delete stickies they don’t need and to add in new ones with their own phrases.
To build their language skills further I then devised a way for students to order sentences before they write about the activities of their routine. This is a start to building from writing sentences to writing paragraphs.
In this current unit students also speak about the times of the day they do different activities. I have been stumped about how to give my students practice telling time in an engaging way. So, I came up with the idea to use Jamboard as a game that would encourage practice. I made a Snakes and Ladders game board and added pawns the students will move around the board. Students read the time on a Quizlet flashcard and if they get it right roll the die to move around the board.
Have one student run the flashcards on their device and the other represents both themselves and their opponent by operating the die and moving the pieces on the game board.
The next activity is for a different unit, one on clothing. I want to address how to support Novice students when asking them to read an article on a controversial and timely topic and then express their opinion in one sentence, more of a fit for Novice-High students as this is definitely a higher skill level. My students read an article on dress codes, with a lot of help from me. Then, they moved stickies that I had written mostly using language from the article to show what they agree and disagree with. This step allows them to process the input from the article and prepares them to participate in a conversation.
You can make copies of my Jamboards to use right away with your students. Then, you only have to share them on Google Classroom as assignments giving each student their own copy.
My message to all teachers as we teach our last few days before break, we are all better for the new tricks we have learned during remote and hybrid teaching. Please remember to share your strategies with those in your network and to leave a comment here if any of these ideas might work for you!