Authentic activities for the language classroom

 TIC´s (Technology in the Classroom) has developed enormously in the last few years and has come to our rescue, Spanish language teachers (ELE), who until not too long ago, did not have the array of materials and resources English (EFL) tutors enjoyed. 

Since 2008, when I opened this Blog, I have used and experimented with a few of these resources and I can certainly say that many can really spice up your class while making the learning experience more engaging and memorable. 

When dreaming up new activities, I believe our main focus should always be authenticity. If we make activities genuine, our students will be much more inclined to participate, acquiring new knowledge through the process. Many language teachers think that being authentic means decorating their classrooms with flags and other souvenirs collected through their travels. This, for sure will add up to it but it may not be enough. I believe true authenticity comes from the activities we use during class time, leaving an impact on the communicative skills of our students.

Three Learning Modes

Students demonstrate competences by the way they understand written and spoken language (Interpretative), by the way they engage in a two-way communication act (Interpersonal) and by the way they create a one-way communication act, in written or spoken language (Presentational).

I will hereby share 5  Rules I have learnt for the 3 Learning Modes
  1. They should be authentic
  2. They should always be engaging
  3. Activities should be varied
  4. They need to be focused around the unit theme
  5. Perhaps most importantly, they should invite students to use the target language 

Apps and resources that can be used to create activities within each Mode
1. Interpretative Mode
a. Read news articles, blogs, literature, books online. Check out:
- Kiosko 
b. watch the news online
c. make a fun interactive quiz
d. show videos on

2. Interpersonal Mode
a. make surveys 
b. respond to a class blog
- mine for example is Así Nos Entendemos
- use Flickr as a story writing platform

3. Presentational Mode 
a. create a comic strip
b. Produce a movie
c. Make a presentation
d. Generate speaking Avatars
- Voki 
e. Create a story around an event by blending their own words with what was reported about it on social media
f. Make a mindmap to present ideas 
g. Write a story
- Storybird
- Book Creator 
h. Use interactive images
- Thinglink

Please, share your recommendations for language teaching activities in the classroom within the three modes.


Thomas dijo...

I always enjoy reading a book (even children's book) in the target language as this helps me focusing on a subject over a view days and every author has a different style. That becomes more obvious if i read a book rather than an article.

Ana (Así Nos Entendemos) dijo...

Gracias por tu aporte Thomas. Definitivamente los libros nos ofrecen mayor continuidad aunque en tiempos de tanta velocidad informativa, se hace más difícil sostenerla para algunos, creo. ¿Qué piensas?

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Coaching en idiomas