This semester, I have been surprised by the literacy levels of my students. They are able to communicate in the target language without using any grammar translation in the classroom. Luckily, some students have some background with the knowledge. Some of them have taken Spanish classes in middle school, are repeating the class, or grew up with the language. Because of the students background knowledge, I am able to present communicatively new material by using pictures, visuals, gestures, or intonation, and they can eventually make connections to understand what I am asking. In addition, they are able to participate in listening activities, and fill out a chart to show comprehension, watch videos completely in Spanish, and understand a some parts. And they are able to write basic sentences and communicate small phrases and sentences in Spanish. They are not able to discuss culture, current events, art, or participate in debates in the target language. They also have a hard time writing cohesive paragraphs because they do not have enough vocabulary to create them organically without using google translator for help.
Journal Entry: September 30, 2013
My literacy rich classroom includes all areas of literacy; reading, writing, listening and speaking and also includes elements of culture in Spanish speaking countries. Students are being introduced to the Spanish alphabet, how to compose sentences, and they are learning how to listen and comprehend what they hear from listening activities, videos, and my own lectures which incorporate at least two learning styles each class period. My students are engaged in the classroom activities where they are communicating with their peers in low pressure situations where they feel comfortable making mistakes and learn from them. My students are reading children's books as a warm-up in the beginning of class at least once a week. At the end of the book, I will have them answer basic questions to show comprehension and be sure they are on task. Students are hearing native pronunciation, intonation, and the words are at a basic level they can understand. As the semester progresses, I can move up with more difficult children's books and ask them to do more in depth reflections of the reading.
Journal Entry December 15, 2013
My literacy rich classroom is a fun, low pressure environment that provides universal access for all students. At this point, I have gotten to know my students as individuals and understand how to best accommodate them.
My students are engages in all aspects of literacy including reading, writing, listening, and speaking in the target language but still make many errors due to the influence of English. Students are able to communicate basic phrases and sentences but are beginning to acquire necessary vocabulary to talk about topics more in depth.
My students are reading children's books and basic readings in the target language with some comprehension and can communicate a translation in English.
Journal Entry May 30, 2014
My literacy rich classroom accesses all students and they are able to communicate basic needs in the target language. They are able to ask each other questions, answer them, and talk about topics such as school schedules, weather, calendar, birthdays, travel, and customs. They are able to write a cohesive paragraph with some errors, but have the vocabulary to discuss specific topics in depth. For example, students will be able to write at least 7 sentences describing their family members including how they look, what they like to do, where they live, etc.
My students engage in discussion about current events in Spanish speaking countries including cuisine, religion, economics, politics, customs and traditions and can formulate opinions and have friendly debates about these topics. I can bring in articles that describe holidays in the target language, and they can compare their own holiday celebrations to them.
My students are reading children's books but are able to understand all words, recognize cognates, root words, and connect sentences based on context clues because they have the skills to do so.
They are writing complex sentences in Spanish including verbs, nouns, adjectives, prepositions of location, and are able to talk about the past.
My students are in discussion about their likes and dislikes, their past as children, and are able to talk about things they are in the progress of doing. My students will be able to communicate basic needs if they traveled to a Spanish speaking country.
My students are capable of independent learning by using online resources to help them study and apply grammar concepts they have learned in class and can communicate with each other in the classroom with some prompt. Students are comfortable in my class and are able to talk about themselves and formulate opinions in a low risk environment.