How much teacher preparation, materials needed, and class time go into an activity and how much student learning comes out it? If we measure student learning by ACTFL’s Can -Do statements, then we have an objective measure of student learning.
If a teacher prepares a vocabulary bingo game to help students learn common actions by preparing bingo cards for two hours and the students spend ten minutes in class, what ACTFL proficiency has been achieved for that investment? The answer is none. Vocabulary by itself is not communication. If on the other hand, a teacher prepares om thirty minutes two sets of ten written questions about the common actions of family members and this activity takes ten class minutes, then the return is a student demonstration of Novice Mid, “I can communicate basic information about myself and the people I know.” There is a high return on the investment.
Backward planning improves ROI. How do what we do and what our students do lead directly toward the students achieving a specific oral proficiency? If we spend days on students learning and practicing vocabulary, we have a low ROI. If we quickly move our students from learning vocabulary to using the vocabulary in meaningful sentences then we obtain a high ROI.
What is your ROI in World Languages?
Some materials that can help you students communicate about topics are at http://bitly/ml, click on a top topic and then look at the list below.