After years of teaching students between Novice High and Intermediate Mid, I found myself teaching students with no measurable proficiency. They did not know what loco meant (and had never heard of Zorro!?!) (and hated all heartthrob boy bands?!?!). It was new territory for me. And it was time to take a look at my homework choice menu and see what I thought kids at that level might be able to handle on their own. And it worked. Starting the second week of school, kids were consistently involving themselves in activities they found motivating that gave them more exposure to the target language and more importantly, made them want it more. You wanted to see this change too, and this August post was the fourth (very nearly the third) most popular post of 2015.
Do you have any suggestions for activities to use here? Also, check out the elementary adaptation, which is also working well with my six- to eleven-year-olds.
Finally: My homework choices for very early novices
Easily one of the top five topics if you look at my most popular blog posts: Choice in homework.
I won’t go to deeply into what I mean by homework choice because you can see a pretty good summary here in one of the most popular posts of 2014. After you look at that, you may have a question I’ve been asked many times:
What does this look like for novices?
After not having taught novices in five years, this year I have the chance to find out. I’ll have two classes of students with no measurable proficiency. The situation is even more interesting because one of the groups is ages 6 to 10. (Yes! I will be making a homework choice adaptation for elementary students!)
So, I’ve finally adapted the choices to fit (I hope) very early novice students, in my case ages 11 to 15. You can find the PDF and .docx files at the end of my post about my syllabus, or you can see the list here. Feedback welcome, as always.