Spanish Speaking Proficiency

Spanish Speaking Proficiency: Class Activities

How do you help your students build Spanish speaking proficiency in class? Do you feel lost and unsure about how to do it? I did too! But it turns out that there is no big secret or mystery. It’s about giving students the regular opportunities to practice, the scaffolds they need to feel confident, and the feedback necessary to make corrections or improvements!

Use Task Cards to Increase Spanish Speaking Proficiency

For students who are not heritage Spanish learners, speaking can cause a great deal of anxiety. High school students are often self-conscious and don’t want to be wrong or laughed at.

One way to help students feel more comfortable is to have everyone talking at the same time- or at least half of the class!

For me, the most versatile activity I use is open-ended task cards. I create a set for each unit of study, each season, each time frame… you get the picture! Each set has 20 different scenarios, and they are designed for students to tell stories about different people (not always the “yo form”). I usually set a 2 minute timer, and therefore, this takes 4 minutes! 2 minute stories for each partner!

Spanish Speaking Proficiency

Why I Love Task Cards

  1. They are easy to use
  2. I can reuse them so many ways
  3. I can reuse them every year
  4. I can use them quick
  5. I can make an entire class, even a block period, using only a set of task cards!
  6. I can customize what I want students to focus on
  7. I can turn them into an assessment if want
  8. I can turn them into a writing practice or assessment if I want!
Using Task Cards in Spanish Class

Why Do Task Cards Increase Spanish Speaking Proficiency?

This year I have begun using task cards almost exclusively as my bell-ringer activity. As with any routine, it took a little time for students to get into the groove. But now, the prompt is displayed on my SmartBoard and students sit and get out their scaffolds. Usually this means their vocab list and/or their cheat sheet of endings for the time frame we’re working in.

Every day, I ask students to tell their partner a story using the scenario. So every day, students are using their language creatively! Sometimes the task card is related to our unit of study. Sometimes to a season, and sometimes to a time frame. This requires students to recycle older learning while they incorporate newer learning. They also get to hear how other students use their language creatively, which gives them ideas they may not have thought of!

Having the regular chance to practice speaking without the fear of grading is what students need most to increase their Spanish speaking proficiency, confidence and creativity!

Of course, this works well for presentational speaking (or writing) mainly, so stay tuned for a post next month about ways to increase their interpersonal proficiency as well!

If you are interested in how to use these task cards to give valuable feedback (without correcting forever!) and/or how to make an entire lesson/class with task cards, be sure to read this post!

And of course, these are so easy to make yourself! But for anyone who has trouble coming up with different scenarios or who just doesn’t have the time, be sure to check out some of my pre-made task cards below!

Resources

Spanish Task Cards The Four Seasons Bundle

Task Cards for Present, Past and Future Spanish Speaking and Writing

Task Cards Spanish Questions

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Spanish Speaking Proficiency
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