Your Feedback on 90 Mobile Learning Modern Language Activities ebook

Dear colleagues,

I am writing an  ebook, 90 Mobile Learning Modern Language Activities, with the anticipated publication date of May 2013 and I would appreciate your feedback.   I have the following categories and  numerous classroom examples of each category in the book:

Introduction (Why? What is it? How to implement? Why focus on communication?)
Speaking Activities
Mobile images
Internet searching
Internet image searching
Timer
Survey /Polls
QR code
Voice and video recording
Phone
Video chat
Apps for media
Texting
Twitter
Facebook
Writing to a blog Wiki or website
Listening activities
Reading activities
Listening activities
Culture (is integrated into the activities)
Assessment activities

Are there any other categories of mobile learning activities that you feel need to be included in a book on mobile learning? If so, would you please add a comment  to this blog that includes that particular mobile learning category with a phrase of definition or explanation of the term.  Thank you very much.  With your help, this book will better help modern language teachers as they begin mobile learning to improve their students modern language communication skills.

Also, if you would please answer a question about what you would be willing to pay for such an ebook https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1v1jFzrtGHApRxGaf6kcwYY9DKYYm-nrzDm0mXr7R_sI/viewform#start=invite

Please forward to any other modern language  teacher who uses mobile learning for his/her reaction.

My Spanish spontaneous speaking activities (24+) includes Structured Speaking (Students substitute in or select words to communicate in pairs), Speaking Mats ( Student can talk using a wide variety of nouns, verbs and adjectives to express their ideas in pairs or small group), Modified Speed Dating (Students ask their  partners one question from a card-whole class), Role Playing (Students talk as people in pictures or drawings from 2-4 people), Spontaneous Speaking (based on visuals or topics in pairs), and Grammar speaking games (pairs or small group). Available for a nominal fee at Teacherspayteachers: http://bit.ly/tpthtuttle.

At the same site, I have a series of modern language visual stories with no words (the beach, the city, school, etc.) for two students to role play; the restaurant role play involves four students.  These can be used in any language since there are just visuals, no words.

My book, Improving Foreign Language Speaking Through Formative Assessment, and my book, Formative Assessment, Responding to Students, are available at http://is.gd/tbook

How to show student achievement (SLO) in Modern Language class for Teacher Evaluation

With the new teacher observation system, modern language teachers have to be able to show student gain from a pre-test to a post-test (student learning outcomes or SLOs) Although many teachers have opted to use a grammar point such as the future tense as their performance measure, I would suggest that having a speaking goal is much more impressive.

For example, a teacher could state that as a result of studying the vocabulary and grammar of the school unit, students will be able to say ten sentences about school. For a pre-test students talk to their partner who records the number of sentences said about school at the beginning of the unit. Most students will say no sentences or they may be able to make up one or two. The teacher collects these partner sheets and transfers them to her official sheet or puts them directly into a spreadsheet.

After studying the unit, the students can easily say ten random sentences to  explain what they do in the class such as “I study.  I do my homework. I work alot.  I write. I have three pens. I work with a classmate.  I talk in Spanish. I look at pictures.  My Spanish book is big. My teacher teaches.”   Again, they can tell these sentences to their partner who counts the sentences and records the number. The teacher collects these partner sheets and records them on her official sheet to show the dramatic increase in sentences said.

She puts the numbers  in a spreadsheet to get both individual and class achievement. She  produces a chart that shows the very low scores in the beginning speaking  and the very high speaking scores at the end.

Administrators who see the results will be doubly satisfied. Not only has the teacher shown improvement in his/ her students’ academic growth but he/she has had them speak which is what many administrators see as the main goal of modern language study. They see this as a worthwhile performance goal.

How will you show student growth in your modern language class?

My Spanish spontaneous speaking activities (29+) includes Structured Speaking (Students substitute in or select words to communicate in pairs), Speaking Mats ( Student can talk using a wide variety of nouns, verbs and adjectives to express their ideas in pairs or small group), Modified Speed Dating (Students ask their  partners one question from a card-whole class), Role Playing (Students talk as people in pictures or drawings from 2-4 people), Spontaneous Speaking (based on visuals or topics in pairs), and Grammar speaking games (pairs or small group). Available for a nominal fee at Teacherspayteachers: http://bit.ly/tpthtuttle.

At the same site, I have a series of modern language visual stories with no words (the beach, the city, school, etc.) for two students to role play; the restaurant role play involves four students.  These can be used in any language since there are just visuals, no words.

My book, Improving Foreign Language Speaking Through Formative Assessment, and my book, Formative Assessment, Responding to Students, are available at http://is.gd/tbook

Modern Language Speaking Mats (Learning Mats) For Meaningful Conversations

A modern language learning mat or speaking mat allows students to quickly  find words that they want to use to talk about the topic.  These mats derive from the learning mats used for very young children who see an alphabet mat, a numbers mat, an animal mat or for older children such as a states mat.  Foreign language mats usually follow one of two formats: critical words and expressions for several important  topics or  critical words and expressions for a specific topic.

Speaking mats differ from the usual foreign language textbook listing of vocabulary such as classroom words listing. Most textbooks supply just a list of  common nouns such as  “chair”,  “teacher”,  and  “book”.  However, that list probably does not teach the students how to say   “The chair is uncomfortable”, ” The teacher praises me”, or “The  teacher always corrects me” which are expressions the students would want to say.

Most modern language speaking mats organize the topic by categories. For example, a clothing speaking mat may include a category of the  actual clothing, a category of  describing clothing, a category of where clothing can be worn, and a category of asking questions about clothing. The category of  the actual clothing is the smallest category in the speaking mat, on the other hand, the description of clothing category, usually adjectives, is the biggest category since these are the words that students most often want to use in talking about clothing.

The modern language students use the speaking mat as a  quick reference; if they do not know word, they look it up on the speaking mat that has both the foreign language word and the English word. The speaking mat has all the critical words in one location as opposed to a student having to look up each word in a dictionary or to constantly ask the teacher. These foreign language students use the mat to orally express their feelings about clothing and to describe clothing.

For example, modern language students for homework may be asked to prepare ten sentences about clothing.The next day in class they will be prepared to ask their questions or make their statements about clothing. They want to be able to say more than the simplistic “The dress is red” as they talk about movie stars in their dresses; they want to say, “That silk dress does not fit her;  the stripes make her look fat.”

I have prepared some Speaking Mats for Spanish and am working on several more:
Spanish Activities / Sports Spontaneous Speaking Mat – Small Group
Spanish Clothing Spontaneous Speaking Mat – Partner Talk
Spanish Casa /House Spontaneous Speaking Mat – Partner Talk
Spanish Food Speaking Mat

My Spanish spontaneous speaking activities (29+) includes Structured Speaking (Students substitute in or select words to communicate in pairs), Speaking Mats ( Student can talk using a wide variety of nouns, verbs and adjectives to express their ideas in pairs or small group), Modified Speed Dating (Students ask their  partners one question from a card-whole class), Role Playing (Students talk as people in pictures or drawings from 2-4 people), Spontaneous Speaking (based on visuals or topics in pairs), and Grammar speaking games (pairs or small group). Available for a nominal fee at Teacherspayteachers: http://bit.ly/tpthtuttle.

At the same site, I have a series of modern language visual stories with no words (the beach, the city, school, etc.) for two students to role play; the restaurant role play involves four students.  These can be used in any language since there are just visuals, no words.

My book, Improving Foreign Language Speaking Through Formative Assessment, and my book, Formative Assessment, Responding to Students, are available at http://is.gd/tbook

Transform modern language classroom activities into spontaneous speaking

Transform grammar or vocabulary recognition activities into spontaneous speaking ones so students can speak the language

Do Find Someone Who + Add a Question and add an alternative answer

Basic picture: vocabulary →  Say what is the Same/Different;   say  actions

Modify/ Substitute Basic Sentences – Substitute in your own words for critical word

Use variety – Students say different verbs

Scaffolded conversation  – Speaking Mats,  Columns

Extend Speaking  How many consecutive sentences do they say?  Use dice.

Role Play for people in pictures  speak with the emotions that that people would

My Spanish spontaneous speaking activities (29+) includes Structured Speaking (Students substitute in or select words to communicate in pairs), Speaking Mats ( Student can talk using a wide variety of nouns, verbs and adjectives to express their ideas in pairs or small group), Modified Speed Dating (Students ask their  partners one question from a card-whole class), Role Playing (Students talk as people in pictures or drawings from 2-4 people), Spontaneous Speaking (based on visuals or topics in pairs), and Grammar speaking games (pairs or small group). Available for a nominal fee at Teacherspayteachers: http://bit.ly/tpthtuttle.

At the same site, I have a series of modern language visual stories with no words (the beach, the city, school, etc.) for two students to role play; the restaurant role play involves four students.  These can be used in any language since there are just visuals, no words.

My book, Improving Foreign Language Speaking Through Formative Assessment, and my book, Formative Assessment, Responding to Students, are available at http://is.gd/tbook