Monday, September 9, 2013

Greetings and Introductions

I'm not sure if anyone else has this problem, but I've noticed that year after year my German 1 students don't do a great job with our first unit - Greetings and Introductions.  They do alright, but they struggle with the spelling, the endings, what the words mean, basically the whole thing.

Part of it is probably that students are dealing with their first real exposure to German.  They're getting used to the sounds and words, and some of them may even be knew to language learning in general.  I see this as an adjustment unit where students need time to get used to me and the class.  There's usually a huge jump not only in students scores, but also in comfort level after the first unit.

Even so, every year I try to add more and different kinds of practice to help students get through this little adjustment period.  Last year I made dialogue cards to help students get some more structured practice.  I can't always be there to give feedback when we're doing in class practice, so I thought these would be helpful.  They work with a partner, and the partner has the correct phrases in front of them to help make changes if they say something wrong.
Sample dialogue card
This year I came up with another activity to help students build up from the point where they sort of know the phrases to being able to use the dialogue cards above.  I had them make a foldable in class.  They have all of the main questions on the outside, then lift up and check how to answer the questions on the inside.  Hopefully this is something they can refer to and that they can use to practice at home.

I had them practice with their group members, just introducing themselves.  I then came up with these identity cards so they could get more practice.

After doing this activity today, the kids did seem more comfortable with the phrases.  Unfortunately I won't see them again until Wednesday, but I'm hopeful they'll be a little stronger with them.  And when Quiz time comes next Monday, I hope they'll do well :)

If you're interested in this activity and cards, they're available together on my TpT account - click here for just the activity above, and click here if you're interested in my entire Greetings and Introductions Bundle (includes this activity and the dialogue cards mentioned above).

If you have any activities you like to use during this unit that you think are really helpful, let me know!  I'm always looking for more ways to help students practice :)

- Frau Leonard

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