The idea of gamifying a language classroom is not necessarily new, but it is, according to this article, a way to reach students who are "digital natives." Competing for students' attention is an age-old problem, but has become increasingly more difficult with the ubiquity of cellular devices. This article posits that using games in the language classroom is a way to get students more motivated to learn by allowing them to earn badges on platforms such as duolingo as well as others. While it isn't the only way to get kids interested in foreign language learning, it can be employed as one strategy. The article cautions to be wise when selected apps that purport to help learn language as there are so many out there.
This blog post is actually a first person inquiry into how to use reading books as a way to learn or improve one's second language. Many studies have been done to prove that input is essential to learning language. The author of the post discusses what is called intensive and extensive reading and makes a point that both types of reading are essential to improve on a second language. Essentially, reading for pleasure and reading to understand meaning are both critical when acquiring a second language
In this review of the direct method approach, the author indicates that learning a language using this approach can be very effective if the learner is motivated. It gained success and notoriety in private language schools but was not nearly as successful in a regular language classroom for a variety of reasons including but not limited to the fact that teachers were forbidden to translate and that learners were not highly motivated.
This article talks about Second Language Acquisition as it pertains to adolescent learners. It describes how younger children are more adept at learning language because their brains are more primed to be receptive of new information and can acquire it more easily than adults. The TPR technique was started in 1977 and is a way to engage students and put their boundless energy to use, using movement as a way to reinforce the teaching.
This article addresses the topic of using the format of Socratic Seminars to encourage discussion in the world language classroom. It is often hard to get students out of their comfort zones to engage in conversation because they are scared they will mess up, look stupid or not know what to say. This type of strategy allows the students to speak and bounce basic ideas off of each other. They do not need to be complex thoughts, the article suggests, rather, they can begin as rudimentary opinions on a topic. After the seminar, the teacher provides feedback to each student.
While not necessarily cutting-edge, this article presents two teaching methods which are not commonly used in World Language classrooms as a whole: Cooperative Learning and the Jigsaw Method. Although one could argue that Jigsaw is under the umbrella of cooperative learning, this article separates them. In brief, cooperative learning is employed in the classroom by grouping students to promote an environment where each child is helping the other to achieve a common goal. In the jigsaw method of cooperative learning, students are again grouped but in a diverse fashion as to make groupings even. In the example given, for each group, students are given a different passage from the article. After, they form a group with students who have read the same passage and become "experts." Then, they go back and share with their original group.