Author’s note: for examples of routine language practice and its application on Extempore, scroll down…
Triangle Talk/Triángulo de TertuliaThis is not only a great speaking activity for world languages, but also a student-led activity. The first time I did it this year, the students were scared, but they grew to love it and it became almost a weekly occurrence in the classroom. By the end of the year, students said that their speaking improved tremendously due to this exercise. I call it Triangle Talk. Triangle is my creation so it pairs well with Tertulia-- the art of chatting in Spanish. However, I am sure you can call it any geometric shape you want. Conversation Circle? Rhombus Rap? Small Talk Square? You can work it out in your language of choice! The idea is to arrange the chairs/desks in that shape to allow for open discussion.
Pre-ActivityI make a worksheet to pass out to students. On this, there should be a space for a name, date, goals, topic, 5 questions (to eventually be written by the students) a checklist, a grading scale, and self-assessment. See below for checklist and self-assessment. I create this in the target language...but do what works best for your students.
- Pass out the worksheet and tell them what the topic/theme is. Mention whether if this is a formative or summative activity. You can decide! This usually involves the current unit of vocabulary and/or grammar topics. They fill in the topic in the appropriate space.
- Give the students 5-10 minutes to create 3-5 questions to ask during discussion. Set parameters-- Are yes and no questions ok? Are certain topics off limits? Be mindful of the age and skill set of your students.
- Then, have them fill out a space on the form where they write down how many times they want to participate that day. They can keep track of their individual participation by writing down hash marks. Sometimes I keep track of each student as well.