We have seen that guided practice and communication are quite distinct one from another; that is, whilst the first represents “apparent communication”, the second one, conversely, implies “real communication”. The goal of communicative language teaching is "communicative competence," which is achieved through the use of the foreign language for actual communicative purposes.

Based on Brandl’s (2008) guidelines for implementing communicative activities, in this blog (300-350 words approx.) I would like you to reflect on the type(s) of tasks incorporated into the activity that your group designed and presented in class:

  • Make the goal clear from the beginning;
  • Involve all participants equally;
  • Make sure students are adequately prepared;
  • Provide clear instructions and examples;
  • Make an effort to mix groups;
  • Assign activities that are relevant and interesting to students;
  • Circulate, circulate, circulate;
  • Teach group interaction skills;
  • Hold group accountable for completing task on time.


To that end, not only are you expected to identify and describe the tasks that your group put into practice, but you should also consider how your activity could have benefitted from other types of tasks simultaneously.

Bear in mind that, in order to earn full credit for this blog, you must also leave at least two comments (50-100 words each) on your peers’ posts. Please take the time to read what they wrote – you’ll find that you often have similar reactions to the teaching experience, and can help one another a great deal through this first semester!




For personal blog: Sunday, April 19, 2015, 11:59pm

For two comments: Tuesday, April 21, 2015, 11:59pm

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The goal of a second language acquisition is communicative competence, which is  the ability to use the language correctly and appropriately to accomplish communication goals. In the activity designed by my colleague Nataly and I  we guided practice which represents "apparent communication," because reading comprehension falls in the category of practice and this is what we presented in class. The goal of reading comprehension, in other words, its purpose is the interactive process that happens between the reader and the text, which results in comprehension. We designed four paragraphs with a respective question from one of each, so that, the students can apply to achieve comprehension by reading the paragraph and then answering the question from the text that encoded meaning. In this particularly activity, my colleague and I tried to involve all participants equally by calling onto their names so that they participate in the activity designed, but not all of the students achieved comprehension  because they did not have the skills and/or strategies appropriate from the type of text that was presented to them. By presenting this type of activity, we can say that the students should be prepared adequately because by then they should have the knowledge and understanding of reading comprehension. The activity that was presented, is for low levels of the target language, in other words, for novice students. My colleague and I tried our best to give clear instructions so that the students can get the hang of it, and before doing the activity we explained what they had to do but we did not provided examples because we tough there was no need for it. For beginners, we (instructors) should start making them work individually, instead in a mix group, so that they can work comfortable and once they have adapt the idea of the activity, we will make an effort to mix groups. The activity was relevant to the students. For this specific activity, there was no much of group interaction skills but there was individually interaction skills. We hold the group accountable so that we completed the task on time.

Hey Kimberly!

So for starters, I really enjoyed your groups presentation. I felt that you gals both hit the main points  very well. Reading comprehension is a task that requires you to really understand the level of the class to further on with assignments. Being that this class was a novice learning class, you both made sure that your passages were adequate for everyone to understand. The questions that you both provided at the end of every passage allowed the students to review what they had just read and gain knowledge. I thought that the passages were fine, how ever, someone that may not have insight in that target language may have a harder time understanding. Of course, with the help of context clues within the text it is possible to gain some minimal understanding of what is being read. So with that being said, some of the larger passages should be a tad bit shorter and straight to the point. Great job over all ! :D

Hello Kimberly, I really liked how you and Natalie presented your activity. It was really a dynamic process because you make students to participated and get involved. Moreover you’re presented to a novice mid-level.  Speakers have a limited vocabulary as well as comprehension. Sometimes they make pauses to think about how to say the words and many times they are short of these words.  One way to teach this novice level is to illustrate the material and to visualize the main objective.  Teachers’ guidance it is required for this level. Students can get involved if they have the right direction into practicing the target language. Rules that involve the grammatical structure of the vocabulary were achieved with teachers’ instructions

The main goal of our lesson was to give the students an opportunity to practice their pronunciation as well as their speaking ability through an activity in which their will have to talk, to compare and to contrast their family’s traditional celebration with a partner. I believe the idea was great because in the lesson we incorporate culture through traditional celebrations. There was definitely connections because this was not just another lesson, but it  was a lesson that could help the students to create or maintain a steady conversation outside the classroom. Each student was assigned a partner with whom he or she was going to carry on  this lesson. Everyone was assigned a partner according to his or her skills, and those for whom the lesson was challenging we paired them up with a native speaker to help him or her succeed in this task. I believe we could improve our activity by involving everyone in every stage of the activity, this include the presentation’s time. Why? because this will us to kept everyone attention from the beginning until the end of the lesson. Another way that we could improve our activity is by shortening the presentation time because we want the students to spend as much time as possible talking to each other in the target language. Even though the topic of the lesson was great to cover the cultural aspect it was probably too broad, and for this I believe we could focus in a more specific topic like to compare and to contrast one country to another, and not multiple at the same time. We could definitely improve in making the students accountable for completing the task on time, we could do this by walking around and making sure everyone is talking and writing what their are going to share we the rest of the class, as well as to correct any pronunciation mistake if is necessary.

Hi Jose, I very much enjoyed yours and James presentation. I really liked the way you included culture and how you had us interacting with each other. We were able to communicate and learn about each other's different cultures. I do agree it would have been a good idea to involve the student more throughout the lesson rather than just toward the end.

Hi Jose, I felt overall you both did a great job and nailed the target/goal that you were trying to achieve for this lesson. The presentation was very informational, as a non Spanish speaker I can say I learned a many new things about the culture. I agree with what you said about the cultural aspect of the presentation being too broad, and this could have been adjusted by spending more time on each of the slides and different topics, or by narrowing it down to 1-2 topics and devoting more time to each of those topics, rather than racing through several different ones. I liked how you decided before hand which students you were going to pair up according to their prior skills. This helped to ensure that no one in the class should find difficulty in completing the activity, and also have the opportunity to seek to their partner for help if needed. This gives them the opportunity to teach each other, a little change from the traditional teacher - student way. Lastly, you both did a wonderful job in incorporating the 5 C's into your teaching slice. Great job!

Joseph and I chose to introduce new vocabulary under the a professions category because we felt this particular group of vocabulary words were necessary in acquiring a second language. The goal of our lesson was to give our group of students a speaking and listening session in order to familiarize, introduce, and practice the sounds of new vocabulary, and the sound of the language when it is actually being used by speakers using the TL. Joe and I decided to provide the classroom with a short PowerPoint presentation, which included the new vocabulary which we intended on teaching the class during our teaching slice. We provided the class with portraits of the corresponding professions, with the correct word above each picture so that it was clear which word associated with the vocabulary words. We also provided key words for some of the professions, which they may have heard again during the activity to follow. Joe and I made sure to pronounce each and every word loudly, clearly, and slowly. It is important that learners familiarize themselves with the sounds, syllables, and pronunciation of the target language in order to improve their apprehension, and the most effective way of providing learners with this is by talking in the target language as much as possible. I tried to achieve this goal by pronouncing each of the words for the students, and asking them to repeat after me so that they could practice themselves. If I was not happy with the output, I asked the class to repeat again. My intention was to allow the students to effectively hear the proper pronunciation of the words. After showing the PowerPoint and practicing repetition as a class, we moved on to the activity. The activity was to be done all together as a group. We decided to bring guest speakers to make the activity a little bit more interesting. We asked each of our speakers to read a short script which we provided them with. The class was asked to figure out which profession the speaker was describing. The scripts included some of the key words that we provided the students with earlier. This was to help the students and make it easier for them to recognize the correct profession. Our goal was incorporate as much class interaction as possible during this lesson. The lesson was targeted for Novice High/Intermediate Low. Our intention was to make the activity simple for the students, so that they would not be discouraged or uninterested in a more difficult activity. Instruction was given thoroughly and clarified multiple times to make the activity as stress-free possible. Joe does a good job of doing this by clarifying with the class frequently by asking if everyone was on the right track ("Bene o male?" thumbs up, thumbs down). The purpose of this was to not move further unless every student was comfortable and ready to move on. After reading each of the scripts, the speaker ended his/her performance with the same question: Chi sono? (Who am I?) The students were expected to be able to identify the profession correctly, and it seemed to be fairly simple for the students to identify them all correctly. When teaching a second language it is important to make error corrections whenever necessary. Joe and I tried to attend to this rule as best as possible by correcting any mistakes we heard from the students during the short speaking/listening lesson.  

I really loved this activity Katherine. I felt like I was actually learning and actually taking an Italian course. I really liked that you and joe incorporated a lot of listening and speaking. It helped me out a lot to understand the language better. Not only did I understand it but by prununciating the words that I had to pronounce, helped me when the activity was in session. I also liked how you and Joe brought in speakers because it made the class very interesting and when i had to guess what profession the speakers were talking about, I guessed them all right because I remembered the vocabulary when it was introduced.

Hi Katherine, overall I thought your group presentation was great. One thing I thought was a great way to reassure yourself that the class was paying attention was when you guys would put thumbs up and thumbs down.  Even though we might have not known what those words meant in Italian we had a close idea based on the gestures you guys showed. I thought your lesson was at a good intermediate low level. I might not have understood every word being said but some key words that were mentioned throughout the passage made it easier to understand.  Also making us repeat every vocabulary word before the activity was a great idea because we got more familiar with the word. 

The activity you and you companion designed was great. I will like to point out the way you carry out the situation when a student asked you a question in her L1, and you kept firm in explaining her everything in the L2 until she was able to understand the instructions. As a student I really liked the emphasis you did in making us to repeat each word correctly, which gives me, as student, the feeling the you were paying attention to me.  

The activity that Janet and I did was for an intermediate level class. The main goal was to have students to read and be able to communicate in the target language.  At the beginning of the lesson we gave instructions to students of how to develop this activity. Students were asked to read and comprehend a lecture. Once they had read a paragraph, there were expected to understand. We gave them questions to answers. The activity was proportionated for every student in the class equally. We wanted all students to be involved and be able to think and analyzed. We did this activity by practicing the target language to make communication happen. For students of L2, reading a paragraph sometimes the lesson is not clear because it is not their native language. Even more an intermediate level just gives them less than half of the TL. Students learners of second language can assimilate this lecture by having an idea and blending the words the already know. In order to have a communication happen teachers must be explicit in giving instructions to make sure that students had understood. Students must participate and practice lectures and take these practices into the real world. For example in our activity we asked students if they liked birthday parties and if they celebrated. We gave them a lecture to analyze why they celebrate. They answered according the lecture to be with our friends, bring presents and enjoy. The instructions for this activity were simple and specific to understand. We as a teachers must have students to interact in pairs or in groups to develop activities that are relevant and interesting them.  Constantly, we must ask them if they are following the lecture. In the situation they don’t, we should stop and give them the desire skill. Practicing those skills in reading as well as in writing, acquisition of language will occur. Being able to listen and talk in the target language students make communicative competence happen. The ability of using the target language with appropriate and correctly grammar allows them to communicate. To be proficient in the language students must understand them and try to avoid confusion in the communication.




Hi Eulalia,

Your presentation definitely felt like an honors Spanish class. You and your partner really do a great job at setting a high standard in the classroom. This is important because it makes the students focus more, and allows the teacher to have better control of the classroom. Your PowerPoint was also very effective. It was well organized and facilitated the lesson greatly. One thing I could recommend is to have more interaction with the students. Yeah there was interaction at the end when explaining the activity and making sure there was clarification, but its good to have interaction from the beginning as well, so that the students can be more engaged. Again it's just a suggestion, but I think it will help your future presentations!

A presto.



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