General Competency Six. The teacher candidate uses knowledge of effective verbal, nonverbal, and media communication techniques to foster active inquiry, collaboration, and supportive interaction in the classroom.
Principle 6. Language teachers use effective verbal and non-verbal communication, and multi-media resources, to foster language development and cultural understanding.
We learn a language in order to communicate. The theories of language learning have progressed from teacher as expert who instills knowledge in the students to teacher as facilitator who assists the students in their path to communicating in the second language.
In my Penpal lesson plan, the students are encouraged to practice communicating about themselves. They first have the opportunity to collect their thoughts using the Inspiration program to make graphic organizers and then put their thoughts into writing. In order to become fluent with the vocabulary, they need to practice the vocabulary. By doing this in writing, they are able to prepare their responses in a non-anxiety producing environment.
Similarly in The Royal Family lesson plan, the students are able to produce their “reports” based on information gathered from the internet in the form of a poster, also a non-anxiety producing situation. This time they are also asked to elaborate and present their information to the class, or to a group of class members. This gives them a chance to use the presentational form of communication. In the warm-up exercise, when we are talking about our own families, the students could use the Spanish language to ask and answer questions and to practice Interpersonal Communication, using vocabulary that they are familiar with.
The Royal Family lesson plan presents a culturally authentic topic that can be related to current events and to the students’ personal lives.
In my Unit Plan, based on the story Tico Tango, by Anna Witte, I use a variety of methods of presentation, including power point, teacher readings and student readings, to repeat and reinforce the vocabulary. Tico Tango presents several interesting contexts for vocabulary; rainforest animals, fruits, friends, even several different synonyms for “taking” that provide opportunities for discussions. Many of the exercises involve partner work which encourages the students to collaborate with each other.