I’m fairly new to teaching language. It’s a sad realization when I find some incredible resource from some incredible language educator that makes me feel utterly mediocre. There’s just so much I want to change about the way that I teach and the way that I assess! I have a main goal in mind, but here’s one of the small steps I took towards reworking my hardly original system of homework and worksheets: tareas semanales.
HANDOUT: Tarea Semanal (Word format)
This semester, I swapped my daily homework/worksheet routine with my Spanish I students for a weekly “tarea semanal,” an assignment similar to a choice board. I came upon this idea on @SECottrell’s wonderfully helpful blog (http://musicuentos.blogspot.com) and immediately did a bit of googling to adapt it to my novice-level learners. Basically, students:
- Select an activity from a list (such as changing their Facebook language to Spanish and playing on it for 30 minutes, or watching YouTube videos of Latino artists),
- Write a brief reflective paragraph afterwards describing what they learned, what they liked/disliked, words they recognized, etc., and
- Choose a different activity each week.
This assignment can be used for either homework or extra-credit, and intermediate or advanced students preferably write out their reflective paragraphs in the TL. While I understand it’s difficult to say whether or not this type of assignment actually helps in student mastery of specific learning objectives or in the production of the target language, it’s no doubt that it does a great job of exposing the student to the TL/culture outside of the classroom. To discover aspects of the language and culture I’d not previously covered in class gives students some ownership in their journeys through language learning.
How do you feel about choice boards/student choice in homework? Do you feel this type of assignment adds/does not add to the student’s overall experience with or production of the TL?
For more examples of student choice in homework, visit @SECottrell’s original blog post, @karacjacobs’s Tarea Semanal for her Cultura y civilización class, @AudreyMisiano’s awesome additions to the weekly assignment list via Edmodo, and The Creative Language Class‘s post on Real World Homework tailored to fit your current unit of study or theme.