Culture Trips- historical or modern day culture

On a recent trip, I met a high school student who had just returned from a  school trip to the target language country. When I told him, I was a Spanish teacher, he showed me his itinerary- three cities with visits to historic and religious buildings. As I heard him describe what he saw and did in the trip, I wondered why it was a Spanish language trip since most of what he saw was  buildings. Yes, the students and teachers spoke in Spanish but their tours were in English. The students learned about these famous buildings and the history behind them. It sounded  like a Social Studies trip.
Another thing that fascinated me was that the students had no contact with native speakers except for the tour guides. They did not have the opportunity to learn about the daily culture of today. The trip only focused on the past as seen in buildings, not the living breathing culture of today.

What type culture trips do you take with your students?

At http://bit.ly/tpthtuttle, I have numerous students-as-investigators cultural activities (modern language culture). At  http://bit.ly/tsmash, I have an ebook 90 Mobile Learning Modern Language Activities (mainly speaking and many current culture activities).

 Also, at http://bit.ly/tpthtuttle, I have 5 any language  picture speaking activities and 25+ ready-to-use Spanish structured speaking activities  for beginning students (including 5 Can-Do ones). At  http://bit.ly/tsmash, I have an ebook. Modern Language Proficiencies-Can-Do.  At http://bit.ly/tuttlebks, I have a book, Improving Foreign Language Speaking Through Formative Assessment.

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Comprehensible Input’s Impact on World Language Learners

If world language teachers do 70% of the class in the target language, then the students hear the language and the students use the language for 70% of the time. If  those teachers use  comprehensible input through gestures, visuals, etc, then the teachers can increase the class to 90% or 100%  of comprehensible input (ACTFL says teachers should talk 90% in the target language). What impact does changing from 70% to 90% have?

In a comprehensible input based classroom where 90% of the classroom is in the target language, each day students hear  and use 20% more language than in a classroom with 70% language, Each week in less than four total classroom days of 90% input, the students have exceeded the amount of language heard and used  in a 70% classroom. By the end of the week, they will have heard 1.4 days more of the  target language.  Within less than a month of 4 weeks, the 90% comprehensible input teachers will have picked up 1.4 x 4 days or 5.6 days extra.  10 months at 5.6 days = 56 additional days of hearing their world  language.These teachers have actually increased the students learning time without increasing the school year.

Do you increase or decrease your students’ opportunity to hear and use the target language?

At http://bit.ly/tpthtuttle,  I have 5 any language  picture speaking activities and 25+ ready-to-use Spanish structured speaking activities  for beginning students (including 5 Can-Do ones); and numerous students-as-investigators cultural activities(modern language culture).  At  http://bit.ly/tsmash, I have two ebooks, Modern Language Proficiency: Can-Do Strategies and 90 Mobile Learning Modern Language Activities (mainly speaking and culture). At http://bit.ly/tuttlebks, I have a book, Improving Foreign Language Speaking Through Formative Assessment.