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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Replies to This Discussion

Dear Eulalia, overall you and your colleague did a good presentation. The use of PowerPoint was helpful for the students to perceive what the activity will be about. There was interaction with the students but not too much of connection because they students were a little confused understanding what exactly you were requesting them to do. Not forget to mention that you emphasized reading comprehension by adding culture to the activity, which is good so they get to learn how parties are celebrated in Spanish speaking countries.  

Languages are based on the premise of being able to communicate. Communication in itself has many definitions, many aspects, and many interpretations. From the beginning of our teaching presentation Dr. Katherine Brillante and myself wanted to introduce new vocabulary words that were focused on professions. This is a very important category, because there are so many ways to expand on this. We chose to use this category as a way of enhancing the input, listening and reading. I will speak more on this later on, but we wanted to focus more on the words themselves and how the words are said in the target language. 

The presentation was done on a PowerPoint, and all participates were involved equally. This was assisted with the class being in a circular formation around the smart board. I have always said that this allows for a better interaction between student and teacher, and it can also enhance the teacher's ability to control the classroom. The PowerPoint gave the class a strong foundation to the lesson, and allows the students to be adequately prepared for the material. The PowerPoint incorporated the new vocabulary words, spelled on the board, with a visual means of understanding the vocabulary words using pictures of professions. Dr. Brillante and I really focused on the students speaking aspect of the lesson by having the class repeats words after hearing how they are pronounced. I wanted this lesson to WOW the class, or at least be different from other teaching slices that we have seen this semester, so I decided to bring some outside help. With several guest speakers, students got to hear the target language from other people, and this to me is important when trying to learn another language. The students were tested on their comprehension of a small skit that the speakers said, thus fortifying the lesson being taught, and clarification was acquired regularly from the lesson by saying "Bene o Male" throughout. 

One reading from class that stuck out to me that can be used with the presentation is the one found on SpanishPlans.org with Connecting Vocabulary to our Students. There is a clear connection between what was said in this reading passage, and what was present in the classroom. One way to change things up was to have the class interact with the guest speakers and have them interact with each other. Another good thing to try is to get student involvement even from the beginning of the lesson. This is a great topic that students can really dive into! Again, I wanted to have this lesson standout, and I hope you guys all enjoyed it! Grazie Mille e Ci Vediamo!!!!!!!!

Hey Joe! I really enjoyed your and Katherines presentation. I think your communication goals were met very well. You guys were able to involve the whole class and you had us interacting with each other. You made the activity fun and involving your other collegues was a great touch. Great job

Ciao bello!

You and Katherine did a fantastic job! I have to say that your presentation actually blew me away, I loved the spontaneity that you both brought to the presentation. Communication is certainly the best way to convey a message and it that's what you were hoping to do you both definitely did that. I really liked the way you made sure whether the class was confused or not and focused or not. The constant involvement of the class allowed that activity to be more enjoyable, hence, if you grasp the audience's attention you get better results. The new vocabulary and professions introduced may have been new to a student but the examples you both provided facilitated our ability to determine what profession was being described. Your guests were also a very cool part of the presentation. "Who am I?" that part of the activity really allows the student to thoroughly think based upon the new vocabulary presented to determine what profession was being described. Fantastic job! :D

Hello Joe, first of I want to congratulate you with your lesson. As you previously mentioned you were able to change the usual mini lesson that everyone does by involving outside of class students. This is beneficial to those students whom are just acquiring skill sets of pronunciation. By allowing these guest speakers to participate you show them that the language is spoken throughout the community and not just in class. I have the same proposal as to have the students interact with these guest speakers in the target language. It allows them to fortify the language and experiment with words to get their message across to the interlocutor Your PowerPoint was in sync with the lesson which is crucial because you don’t want your students to get lost throughout the lesson. Great job Joe!! Keep striving for better.

Hi Joseph, I believe you and your partner did a great job because you were able to get everyone attention by showing pictures and not just word on the board. I was able to understand perfectly everything you asked us to do; even though I don’t know too much of Italian. The part when you brought the guest was great because that kept the students excitement as well as their desire to participate in your class. Your objective was clear and simple which help us to keep us on track. 

My partner and I set up this activity with the goal of students being able to read a few passages that each had a question connected to it and be able to answer those questions based on the details provided in the passage. The instructions were made clear at the beginning of the activity so students knew what their goal would be. All participants were equally involved. We would select them at random. Some would be called to answer the questions and others would be called on to explain why they believe their classmate chose the answer they gave. This allowed us to make sure other students were also paying close attention to the reading instead of just the students who picked the answer. Most vocabulary in the passages was provided to the students in the past lessons. Anything they didn’t understand they were welcome to raise their hands and ask questions. One of the passages that was provided was a short conversation in the format on instant messaging/texting. This is extremely relevant to students today because that is their form of communication. So we decided to incorporate that into the activity. We did not mix groups or have the students interact with each other but that task could have benefitted the students a little more. Students could have possibly worked together by helping each other by having one student that is more advanced paired with someone who is having more difficulty grasping the task.  

Hola Nataly

I really enjoyed your presentation in class. The questions that you guys developed had a clear connection to the reading passages assigned, and they made sense. It is really important that the practice and the presentation are connected! As you said, students could have possibly worked together by helping each other. It would further develop their speaking skills, and can allow positive interaction in the class. What stood out to me the most was the short conversation with an instant messaging format. It was a much more modern way of use in the target language that you don't really see that much in language classrooms today. 

Awesome job :)

Our goal for this mini lesson was to provide the students with the opportunity to learn more about their classmate’s culture and family tradition. This allowed students to improve their verbal communication and or receive some corrected feedback from their partner if she/he is more fluent in the language. Also this helps with intimidation from the teacher because they aren’t worried that the teacher is going be correcting them, allowing them to hear it from another person might help them transition their bad habits into good ones. We also decided to take it up a notch and made them compare and contrast; this goes beyond their range by allowing the students to experiment with the language. There may be words they want to use from their L1 but if they don’t know it they will have to find a synonym for it. We definitely included everyone (students) fairly because they were all paired up and were asked to carry out the task provided. They all learned something new from their partner and shared it out loud with the classroom again helping them with their communication skill (confidence is building).Those with less proficiency in the language were paired up with a native speaker to help her or him accomplish the task successfully in this task. A way that we could have improved our activity was by involving the students from the start of our presentation for example e.g., when Independence Day was being covered we could have asked what days is their independence day for their country. We should also manage time more efficiently to allow students some extra time to finalize their activity. Meaning those who have trouble expressing themselves can ask questions or even use dictionaries if available. Our students were well prepared for this task because it was a one day recycling chapter overview in preparation for the regents. Nevertheless, circulating around the room isn’t a bad idea because it shows that you want to help them complete the task adequately. The other plus side to this is that you can help with their communication skills meaning how they want to put their ideas out there (expressing ones true self). You can elicit their mind by giving the students samples or making them guess a word closely associated to the one that was chosen by him or her. Overall I felt like we did well, we incorporated as much of the methods that were required by us.

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Hello James, i really liked your mini lesson. I learned a lot and learned about my partners culture very much. This was an interesting mini lesson because we had the chance to compare and contrast which is something different and something that will capture the students attention. I like the fact that you mentioned that we were recycling a chapter in preparation for the regents. Definitely would be a very big hep for the regents. Good job.

Hi James, I thought your group presentation was well done. I like the way you guys incorporated the 5cs into your lesson plan. Culture and communication played a major role in your activity. I agree with you when you say that students should have been included throughout the lesson since the beginning of the presentation. I thought that students learning about each other’s culture was a great way for them to open up more in class and learn about different cultures. 

Our groups teaching slice was based on reading comprehension. In other words, our goal was to help students understand what they read. For this activity we gave students a passage in which they would read and then answer some questions based on what they understood from the reading. For this activity we chose a novice high/intermediate low level passage and the questions were mostly at a novice level. In this activity everyone was able to participate by reading out loud the small passage that was given to them and answering the questions that went along with the passage. This activity was to be done individually because this way each student would put more focus in comprehending what they read. I believe our activity was simple but at the same time challenging for a novice high/intermediate low level students.  Our goal was to have students understand the passage as well as work on their communication skills which they did when they read the passage out loud. To incorporate students’ interest into the lesson we took into account what students find interesting which can be clothing brands. Since we wanted to incorporate some culture into the lesson we decided to choose one of the most common clothing brand in Spain. Sometimes reading on its own can be very challenging and boring depending on the topic of the passage. That can sometimes delay the process of understanding the passage for the student. Therefore, we thought that if we chose an interesting topic for our passage students would be more interested in reading the passage and actually interested in understanding what they read. I believe our instructions were said clearly and they were pretty straight forward. However, there are a couple of things that I believe we could have paid more attention to. For example, for next time we can choose an article that interests students as well as includes grammatical terms that we might have learned that week. 



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