So, we’ve already talked about the changes that you need to make in your classroom to prepare for success and I’ve given you 20 strategies to get students speaking in the target language as well as a few pointers for implementing your strategies. Today’s post is about what to do when you try some of these strategies and still struggle. You might find yourself saying . . .
“But Sherry, I tried a few of these strategies, and then I had a few bad days and my class reverted back to English. Am I back to square one now?”
So what if you employed several of these strategies and still didn’t meet your goal of 90% target language? No need to beat yourself up. Some days, we just don’t have the energy or reserves to be perfect. I constantly fight this battle with getting my own kids, whom I’m raising bilingually to speak Spanish. We do so well when I’m rested and everything is running smoothly. But life sometimes throws us a curve ball that requires energy elsewhere and things break down.
If today didn’t go so well, get some rest and try again tomorrow.
Just by striving to get our students to immerse themselves in the target language, we will be doing better than we were before we started trying.
I will tell you though, that if you can stay really consistent for at least a few weeks, your students will get into the habit of speaking French/Spanish/etc. in class and everything will flow so much more easily.
On the days when you don’t have it in you, use other resources that expose them to the target language. Try showing a few Francophone or Hispanic countries video clips to give them extra motivation to learn the language so they can visit all these beautiful places. They say a picture says a thousand words, so a video must say even more. This is perfect when you are tired of saying all the words. 🙂
Sometimes just by trying something a little different in your routine, you’ll re-energize yourself and your students and everything will run more smoothly. Want some free resources to get you started?
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6 Final Thoughts:
- Be sure you’re speaking in the target language.
- Try a new strategy for a few weeks. If it doesn’t work, try another method.
- Be consistent and keep trying (even if it’s hard).
- Teach your students to police themselves.
- It’s okay if you’re not perfect.
- Seek advice from other World Language teachers when you get frustrated.
Have any more strategies to get students speaking that I should add to this article? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear your thoughts!
See you in the Teachers’ Lounge soon!