Boosting spontaneous language use is top of every MFL teacher’s agenda. Yet the dream of having your 33 ‘lively’ Year 8’s chatting away independently to each other in the target language whilst you look on in admiration can seem a little like mission impossible.
This ‘In Brief…‘ article first featured in the March 2015 Edition of UKEdMagazine – You can order your printed version of the UKEdMagazine by Clicking here, or freely read the Online Version by Clicking here.
But there is an answer: ‘Spanter’. Spanter is, of course, ‘Spanish banter’. I put together a list of annoying things that students would typically say to each other in class and found their Spanish equivalents. Students have these in their books and are invited to use them at every opportunity. This transforms what would usually be an off-topic and unproductive provocation such as “you wish, mate!” into a glowing example of pupil-pupil target language interaction. Without them even realizing it, pupils start to hold entire conversations in Spanish, even when they haven’t been asked to. They beg you to tell them how to respond to their classmate’s comment in Spanish, showing a real thirst for language learning. If this is built up over time consistently, it really does change the whole ‘culture’ of your language lessons and boosts your pupils’ confidence, creating independent linguists who can respond to a variety of situations in the target language. ¡Toma!
@theSpanishist Oxfordshire – MFL Teacher