Many modern language teachers love to return to the target language country. They enjoy the food. They delight in walking the streets to soak up the culture. Notice the verbs in the previous three statements. They are not factual verbs but they are emotionally positive verbs.
Modern language teachers want their students to like the target language country. However, often the teachers’ presentations do not contribute to a positive feeling about the target language country. When students learn the factual culture such as the country’s name, its location, its flag, its unit of money, its geography, and the famous places in the country these facts do not help the students feel positively about the culture.
Modern language teachers can connect their students to real people from the culture. These teachers go beyond having their students read about the people in their textbook. They have their student talk with a native speaker about common themes such as weekends, sports, food, clothing, housing. They can have a native speaker physically come in the class or they can use a program like Skype to virutally bring a person in. Teachers may show a picture of a person and then have that person phone in.
A native speaker helps students to move from learning facts about a country to actually meeting someone from the country. Students begin to like that country.
How do you help your students like the modern language culture?
At http://bit.ly/tpthtuttle there are four modern language culture inquiry activities and one Spanish culture inquiry activity. At the same location, I have 30+ activities (about 24 for Spanish and 6 for all Modern Language) to develop student speaking
My Improving Foreign Language Speaking Through Formative Assessment and a general Formative Assessment book are available at http://www.routledge.com/books/search/author/harry_grover_tuttle/
90 Mobile Learning Modern Language Activities and Modern Language Proficiciency: Can-Do Strategies ebooks are available at http://bit.ly/tsmash