Welcome to Foreign Language House

July 14th, 2012
  • Training & coaching personnel
  • Presenting & teaching instructional best practices
  • Curriculum and materials writing for all ages of world language learners

We also offer

  • Culture and language training for professional environments and relationships
  • Cultural communication skills for the professions- Spanish & French
  • Curriculum and materials writing for diverse professions with expertise in Spanish and French



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Making a Voice Recording in Garage Band & Uploading it to your Stie

March 15th, 2014

What a great group of participants today at Classroom in the Cloud at SCOLT in Memphis, Tenn!  Here is a short explanation of how to make a PODCAST or simple Voice Recording in Apple’s Garage Band.  AND– if you have the iphone 5 the very latest OS 7 update includes FREE GARAGEBAND & other software.  You need enough space on your iphone– I don’t have enough on mine right now.  :(

Here is an example of super simple podcast on one of my sites.

The Basics You Need to Know:

  1. You create the podcast in Garage Band
  2. You then export it to your own ITUNES LIBRARY.  Important- The Itunes podcast is now in an MP3 file that is REQUIRED by your site. A Garage Band file can’t be uploaded; has to be SHARED AND EXPORTED in to iTunes.
  3. You upload the ITUNES mp3 file on to your website or wiki

Make a Podcast or a Voice Recording

  1. Open up the Garage Band Application on your laptop, tablet, or iphone.  (Buy it or download if for free; it doesn’t come automatically w the device.)
  2. Select New Project
  3. Push the PODCAST button
  4. Save it with a VERY SPECIFIC NAME. The title of a reading or list of interview questions, Oral Exam Part, Unit, Lesson, Topic, etc.
  5. Push Create
  6. In the far LEFT MENU BAR/COLUMN- select your gender
  7. ON THE VERY BOTTOM select the RED BUTTON to record. This starts the microphone so you and anything else will be recorded.
  8. **THE SPACE BAR IS THE STOP BUTTON
  9. Go to the SHARE pull down menu at the top.
  10. Select SEND PODCAST TO ITUNES
  11. Name the Playlist very specifically– for a class section, grade level, unit, or lesson

Uploading the Podcast- Voice Recording to your Website

  1. Log in to the back end of your website or wiki
  2. Go in to a specific Post
  3. Select the MEDIA ICON button above the formatting tool bar.  Press that icon.
  4. Upload the podcast; either drag it from your ITUNES LIBRARY  in to the box or use the BROWSER UPLOADER.
  5. Insert it in to the Post and Save it.
  6. Voila!



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Teaching Grammar, Vocabulary and Content in CONTEXT- The Gouin Series

March 14th, 2014

Thank you SCOLT workshop attendees this morning!  You made Targetlanguageapolooza fun.  :) We tackled a humongous set of topics– how to determine which technology to use for our students. I had a few requests for some explanation and examples of how to teach grammar or vocabulary in CONTEXT without reverting to English.  We have found the Gouin Series to be the best tool for all of this. Check out the explanation and examples in the uploaded document below.

Gouin Series Explanation and Examples

More Free Materials and Activities requested at today;s workshop-Gouin Series Write Up & Examples, Target Language Practice Activities- Lists of 4 Skill Independent Activities, Dialectical Journal Entries for Upper Levels, Spanish Differentiated Activities for Upper Levels



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Protected: Targetlanguagapolooza

March 13th, 2014

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Task Analysis- in the Target Language

March 10th, 2014

How we know and love the organization CASLS (Center for Applied Second Language Studies) and in their awesome newsletter Julie Sykes, CASLS Director, writes about the Three Steps of Task Analysis. This frames a language task- a reading, listening, speaking or writing activity- for the learner to ensure that the learner understands what he or she just did. I know that sometimes I skip over this step because I’m in a hurry or just not mindful of it at the time.  Sometimes we think that Task Analysis can’t be done in the Target Language for students below the Intermediate levels.  BUT—I’ve figured out how to do it with beginners. Be creative and use lots of images, gestures, and minimal, but effective TL.  Here is how you can do the Three Steps of Task Analysis in the Target Language– even for novices.

1. Pre-Task Activities.
So, so important. This is Brain Activation Time to primer your learners’ target language bank. Ensure your students understand the language input- listening, reading, speaking, or writing– that you will present to them. Present vocabulary, phrases, verbs, and even content with:

  • images, dramatic presentation with gestures, target vocabulary or verbs embedded in short phrases that are 85% comprehensible, review of previous language or content, guided information gap speaking activities for partners using review language related to new material, teacher talk presenting the previously learned material with images.

2. Language Task. Make sure that this is useful, everyday target language with a COMMUNICATIVE PURPOSE.  Grammar description— for Intermediates and above– comes way later in 5 minute increments. :

listening to songs, directions, teacher descriptions, reading signs, websites, lists, stories, non-fiction readings, speaking to fellow students about daily topics, information gap activities, surveys, ASKING QUESTIONS, copying directions to a place, writing lists, writing short bullet points, labeling, jotting down ideas, writing summary-notes of readings.

3. Reflection/Assessment.

Formative-  or in the moment informal assessments– are best for Novices to Mid Intermediates. This can be done in the TL-

Simple TL forms and rubrics that the students can check off, simple checklists that partners can do together about the Task, Teacher writes her own feedback on the form filled out by student, more advanced students can write simple bullets or phrases describing their experience with the task. No matter how advanced the student, provide a framework of evaluation with a guided form.

Questions?  Let us know at foreignlanguagehouse@gmail.com

 



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Protected: Classroom in the Cloud

March 6th, 2014

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Carnaval 2014

February 25th, 2014

Now it is Carnaval’s turn, the Hispanic sister of Mardi Gras. There is so much cultural fun and excitement that you and your student’s shouldn’t miss it.  Students love the general idea- Carnaval is  the last time to have fun before the circumspect and contemplative season of Lent that lasts until Easter on the Roman Catholic calendar.

Bring Carnaval in to your classes . . . .

For All Levels . . . . show a video of last year’s carnaval parade in a Hispanic country. ***Make sure that the footage is appropriate for your age group. Lots of skimpy costumes.

  • Show the iconic video of Celia Cruz singing La Vida es un Carnaval. Be sure to tell students that she is near 90 in the video!
  • Post a world map of Hispanic countries and indicate the big cities that put on a big Carnaval parade: Sevilla, España, Santo Domingo de la República Dominicana, Veracruz, México.
  • Play Carnaval music. You can create a Carnaval playlist on Pandora or Spotify.
  • Images. Search for images of parades, floats and costumes.  Select some— that are classroom appropriate— to project and describe.

Carnaval For Novices

1. Spanish Carnaval Vocabulary

2. Carnaval Sopa de Palabras- Word Search

Carnaval Intermediate Activities



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Mardi Gras Free Activity 2014

February 20th, 2014

Mark your calendars–March 4, 2014 is MARDI GRAS!

Mardi Gras is French for “Fat Tuesday.” How can a day be fat? And why all the French? Let’s look at a little history to learn about Louisiana’s French Connection. You can absolutely teach the following Mardi Gras facts in French for all levels if you simply the French suitably for your learners.  See Diane’s French Mardi Gras Materials.

Mardi Gras is a carnival or festival that takes place for a few weeks between Epiphany (January 6) and Ash Wednesday. In New Orleans, the festivities include parades, costumes, and balls. The events are staged by Carnival Organizations called krewes. The official Mardi Gras colors are purple, green, and gold.

For Beginners

Celebrate French in honor of its heritage surrounding Louisiana’s Mardi Gras. Make sure your beginning French learners of all ages learn and know  following. But, make sure to present the vocabulary with visuals and gestures and NO ENGLISH. Then play age appropriate matching or bingo games:

  • Bonjour – Hello
  • Au revoir – Goodbye
  • Merci- Thank you
  • S’il vous plaît – Please
  • Oh là là! – Oh my!
  • Vert – Green
  • Violet – Purple
  • Or – Gold
  • Laissez-les bons temps rouler! – Let the good times roll!

For Intermedite + French Proficiency

Here is your chance to use the ACTFL “C” for Content for your French II’s Plus. Translate the following bullets in to French they can understand. Create a time line with dates to practice higher numbers. Then, play question and answer games based on the historical content– all in French.

  • A French King, Louis XIV, sent explorers to the Mississippi River. In 1682, one of these explorers reached the river’s mouth, claimed it for France, and named the area Louisiane or Louis’ land.
  • A subsequent expedition was led by Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville in 1699. The day before Mardi Gras, he established a camp about 60 miles from present-day New Orleans. In honor of the holiday, this spot was named Point du Mardi Gras.
  • In 1718, another French explorer founded New Orleans as a permanent settlement. This colony was named in honor of the Duc l’Orleans.
  • In 1803, France’s Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte sold Louisiana to the United States in what is known as the Louisiana Purchase.
  • Other settlers to Louisiana were the Acadiens, or Cajuns. The Cajuns were also French, but they had originally settled in Nova Scotia, Canada. They were forced to leave as a result of the French-Indian War in 1755, and eventually settled in the rural areas of Louisiana, such as the bayou or marshes.
  • French is the second most spoken language in Louisiana and traditions such as Mardi Gras have taken on a life all their own.
  • Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, is the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. The forty days of Lent is a serious time of fasting and prayer in preparation for Easter. Mardi Gras is the last night of eating rich, fatty foods. Get it? FAT Tuesday!

We’ve  prepared a FREE Mardi Gras conversational activity for BEGINNERS  to INTERMEDIATES.   Cheers!

 

Alligator image by clipart.com



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Valentine’s Day Activity- The Gouin Series for Spanish, French, and ESL

February 9th, 2014

Start your Valentine’s Day classes with some partner conversational activities followed by a hands-on WRITING activity- making and writing a valentine in the Target Language. Even using just a couple of the partner Q and A’s will get students warmed up in the language and ready for the more intense Gouin series on making a valentine.

Conversational Activities for Partners

Give partners one or a few of the following questions. Make sure to post them on the screen in the Target Language only. If you teach young, non-readers choose just 1 or two and post a picture of what the question is talking about. Until your students are trained on asking and answering target language questions to each other MODEL both the question and the answer in the target language 2,3, even 4 times.

A. What date is Valentines Day?  It is . . .

B.  Do you like Valentine’s Day?  Yes I do or No, I don’t . . . A great circulating and survey activity for students to ask several people.

C. Do you eat candy on Valentine’s Day?   Yes I do or No, I don’t .

D. What is your favorite Valentine’s Day candy or treat?  It is . . . Another great surveying activity.

Making A Valentine for Novice Levels- Using the Target Language in Context

Wanna teach using a simple context? Easy for you and great for the students?  Here is how to teach with a Gouin series. The Gouin Series is a direct method for teaching foreign languages in context.  Use this fun, active method to teach English, French, or Spanish this Valentine’s Day.

The Valentine Gouin series include directions, sentence strips, vocabulary and verb/CLOZE activities. Choose your language to find out more:

French Valentine Gouin

French Valentine’s Day Materials

Spanish Valentinte Gouin

Spanish Valentine’s Day Materials

English-ESL-EFL Valentine Gouin

ESL- EFL Valentine’s Day Activities



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Winter Olympic Themed Activities for French, Spanish, and ESL Classes

February 4th, 2014

I can’t tell you how excited I am for the Games in Sochi— the ice-skating events and the ski events are already set on Record. Your students of all ages love the dynamic, sporting fun of the Olympics so you’ve got to bring them in to your classes in the Target Language.  Here are some activities and tips.  Get some exercise along with our Olympic athletes!

Conversational Activities for Partners, Small Groups, or for a Circulating Activity

1. Expressing Preferences.  Do you like . . . bobsledding?  Yes, I like . .  or No, I don’t like . . . . Add in a few to several Olympic events in the Target Language.

2. Easy, Hard, or Meh . . .  Is . . . ice dancing easy?  No, it is not easy.

3.  What is your favorite Winter Olympic Sport?  My favorite is . . . . This is perfect for a student to circulate to several students for an answer, while making a simple tally list. Then as a class you can led a bar graph creation by each sports and how many student-favorites it gets. Go further and put the number in to percentages. Math content here we come!

Categorizing

Nothing helps learners pick up new vocabulary like categorizing the target vocabulary into a few, simple categories.

1. Here I use, snow (la nieve) or ice. (el hielo); outside (al aire libre) and inside (dentro) can also be used.  Young learners can categorize pictures of the sports into Category symbols on the floor during circle time. Older students can do this in partners, groups, or as a whole class warm up.

2.  Which body parts does the sport use?  This is so much fun! Students fill in the blank orally or in writing- ___________ uses the ______ and the _________. Again, younger students can place the sport-images under body part image categories during circle time.

Winter Sport Charades

Now this really gets going strong! Have groups or pairs play charades a variety of ways, but only the Target Language or silence is allowed. Videoing students doing the charades and then immediately viewing them as a class is dynamic and effective for practice.

More ideas are to come: Turn your class this February in to a Target Language Olympic Village- student groups as a country’s team, medal earning processes, simple presentational reports on olympian countries, star olympian athletes.

French
Winter Olympic Sport Flash Cards and Games for French Learners
French Winter Olympics Preference Interview and Survey

Spanish
Winter Olympic Sport Flash Cards and Games for Spanish Learners
Spanish Winter Olympics Preference Interview and Survey

English
Winter Olympic Sport Flash Cards and Games for English Learners
Winter Olympics Preference Interview and Survey for English Learners



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The Big Game 2014 Super Bowl 48- SALE on Spanish, French, and ESL Activities!

January 26th, 2014

And it’s almost here! My Spanish students of all ages love, love the Super Bowl. There is so much to like: the excitement, the hype, the teams, the players and the American festivities. You can review, practice, and extend a surprising number of vocabulary groups: colors, numbers, personal descriptions, sports vocabulary, and dynamic action verbs. Target language videos on the Super Bowl abound since it is popular the world over.

For Your Language Class

1. You can review, recycle and recombine colors and numbers, but you can extend to Personal Descriptions using the players and even the coaches. Project some images of famous Broncos and Seahawks for conversational prompts and activities with descriptions. Play Beat the Clock- Partners or groups are given a minute or 30 seconds to describe a projected photo of a Broncos or Seahawks player. This is fun in small group teams.

2. I find that for students hearing and internalizing target language numbers is always challenging. Practicing with the players’ jersey numbers is a hit. See this  French Super Bowl 48 Numbers Listening activity And here is the Spanish Super Bowl 48 Numbers and Names Listening Activity.

3. Even Beginners can do some Reading and Writing about the Super Bowl in the TL. Get this French Collection of Super Bowl 48 Activities for Novices.  Here is the Spanish Collection of Super Bowl 48 Activities for

Novices.

I often make podcasts or voice recordings with Garage Band of the listening/reading scripts. I teach from an edublog website that I created, meaning that I enter my lesson content and upload the documents to it and then I project it on the Smart Board or White board. Then I upload the podcast to my class website and play it from there. Or  Partners would also do great with the listening and reading activities.

4.  Football Math. This takes some prep. Find an image of a football field with the “yards” on it and project it. Divide the class in to the Broncos and the Seahawks. Play a Super Bowl game on the projected field with stick-on or magnetized player-markers. Make this as simple or as complex as your students are willing to help you out with. Students are to keep track of the yards that a player runs or throws and the yard line where the action takes place.  With lots of prep time next year this would be fantastic for small groups for grades 6-12- each with its own printed football field and set of player-markers.

Have fun and you’ll be surprised at how well your students know their TL numbers, a few colors, personal descriptions and some football verbs after Super Bowl 48.  Here are the French Football and Winter Sports Activities and the Spanish Football and Winter Sports Activities.



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