Jason Fritze at iFLT: Procedures in the TL

Jason Fritze’s message during his iFLT session was clear: Our class time is precious. Waste NO time speaking in English. Train your students IN THE TL. Keep your expectations high, your language comprehensible, and your class POSITIVE AND HAPPY.

Here are some of his tips and tricks!

  • TEACH and QUIZ the signals.
    • Have a SLOW DOWN signal, a NOT CLEAR signal and a I WANT TO SEE IT WRITTEN signal. (“The signal for I would like to speak in English is….. (drumroll) a raised hand! Because it’s important OR an emergency.”)
    • Allow students to create their class signals. Thanks them for helping you create the procedures.
    • Teach the signals like TPR. “Show me what to do when you want me to slow down. Show me the signal for That wasn’t clear.”
    • Train them to use the signals by throwing in random stories in high level Spanish. Or use a different language completely.
    • Later in the week, quiz the signals using an eyes-closed quiz. “Everyone got a 5/5 except for Tina who was peeking and she’ll have to retest with me some other time. That was her choice.”
  • PRAISE and THANK students often. Thank them for listening. Thank them for speaking in the TL. Thank them for doing the procedure. When they use the signal, thank them for helping you be a better teacher CHASTISE yourself when you are going too fast “Oh noooo. ¡Yo hablo muy rápido! ¡Profe mala!”
  • WORD WALLS!!!!!! Put your word walls under your question words. (No translation) Under “Where” put a list of place words they know. Under “Who” list people vocab they know. Under how put a list of adverbs. Under “what” write your verbs.
  • !!!SO SO SO IMPORTANT: PLAN ALL THE LANGUAGE YOU WILL NEED FOR YOUR PROCEDURES!!! In order to stay in the Target Language, we need to give lots of commands throughout the day. Put those words in your lesson plan, then teach them with TPR and circling. For example, levántense or se levanta (stand up). Teach that word. Write it on the board. Do basic TPR action with half the class, then the other half, then individual students. Circle “Does Sally stand up? Does Jim stand up? Does Sally or Jim stand up? Does Sally stand up quickly or slowly?”
    • Here is my list of words I need for the first week
      • stand up
      • sit down
      • look at
      • stop
      • touch
      • hand
      • foot
      • say
      • high five
      • open
      • close
      • write
      • listen
      • read
      • turn on
      • turn off
      • change positions
      • raise your hand
    • They do NOT need to fully acquire these words. They DO need to be able to recognize them so they you don’t just sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher when you give instructions.IMG_5578

Some other ideas: 

  • 10 Wonderful Interactions to every 1 Mildly Punitive Interactions: Give students a chance to hold the stuffed unicorn as a reward. Give students a chance to press the Easy button. Give students a high five. Have a box with dumb prizes in it marked “¿Quieres un regalito?” (Do you want a little present?) When it’s their birthday or something special happened ask them “¿Quieres un regalito?” Do the same thing with a box of pencils marked “¿Quieres un lápiz?”
  • Get students’ attention with a sound. (He uses a gong.) Use your voice only when you have their attention. (I just bought a music wand… and I plan on using it with high schoolers. And I’m totally comfortable with that.)
  • English Infractions:
    • FROG OF SHAME: Student who speaks English has to hold the “English frog” or “Frog of shame.” If someone else speaks English, they hold the frog. The last student holding the frog has to stay after class to speak Spanish with the teacher.
    • MYSTERY STUDENT: Choose one random student, but do not tell who it is. When that 1 student speaks English, the class loses points. When they speak Spanish, the class earns points.
  • “Rituals build good will” 
    • Birthday crown or birthday sign!
    • Weather: Give students the job of telling the weather, the highs and lows for the day, maybe they take guesses from students about what the exact temperature is right now.
    • Day/date: Another student job.
    • Cantaninja a la Martina Bex
  • Humans like having control, or the illusion of control. When possible, give them choices (always in the TL!)
  • Use CLASS JOBS to keep everything in the target language
    • Have a student answer the phone in the TL. Put a script by the phone.
    • Have a student keep track of your markers.
    • Plus the million other class jobs from my previous post
  • We generally know to always use two colors: one for English, one for Spanish, but I did NOT think about underlining the Spanish or TL word. IMG_5576
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