Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Tongue Tied? Time for colours

I have posted quite a few posts recently for speaking tasks. So to help balance it out, time to look at reading/writing support tasks.

I have used colours to recognise word type in reading tasks for a good number of years. One of the ideas presented at #TMWave last term was about making paper chains, using different colours for different elements of formulating a written response for RE. I could see the potential in that for MFL straight away. I will move on to paper chains soon, but for now I am looking at colours.

So, to help access longer texts in class (that is a phrase I use a lot - we have a large number of students in the school whose reading ages are below average), I have introduced posters and standard colours for word and phrase type. The classroom displays will soon mirror these colours as well. Below is one of the posters:

Students are then let loose on the text with felt tips (a pot of 12 colours per 4 students), to read through the paragraph(s) and underline words that they recognise, as shown above. Topic-specific is a good way to recognise key vocab from the lesson or chain of lessons. We are currently on The World of Work with Year 11s, so it is making them consider key verbs like "arbeiten" and "verdienen". (We had played Strip Bingo as a starter with these key words).

How you then use the key vocab and structures in the text is down to you, what you want out of the text, and how you want the students to benefit from their findings.  Today I asked them to adapt the phrases to other aspects of the topic, as well as other topics.

I have also asked students to use the same technique to analyse written work. Visually it is then obvious which aspects of the language they are using readily and frequently, and which elements can be increased in frequency and depth. It gives students a visual reflection of how they can improve their work. In the build-up to CAs I find this of great benefit.

Obviously you can add colours for different tenses and other foci.

Today's choonage is a song that I cannot hear enough, and is perfect for a break in speaking tasks on here! CHOOOOOOOOOOOOON!

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