Salvador Dalí meets Lady Gaga: Art and culture in the language classroom

By Cecilia Herrera

The role of emotion has been referenced in language acquisition theory for decades. One of the most effective ways to elicit emotion-driven learning in language classes is through the universal medium of art. Unfortunately, visual art appears too often as a haphazard add-on or a decorative afterthought to other types of cultural content. If you feel like you lack time or resources to successfully include art in your lessons, keep reading for ideas on types of artwork and artists that will engage your high school students and promote relevant cultural learning.

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Acquiring vocabulary part IV: Mental pictures and drawing

By Deborah Espitia
@despitia
Instructional Strategist

In Part I of our series, Acquiring vocabulary: 5 strategies to create meaning in learning vocabulary, we noted that teachers are moving towards authentic resources and communicative tasks to teach vocabulary and language structures in context.

In Part II, Acquiring vocabulary: 9 strategies for creating graphic organizers, we reviewed a few graphic organizers that support vocabulary acquisition.

In Part III, Acquiring vocabulary: 10 ways to get students moving with physical models and kinesthetic activity, we reviewed types of physical models and kinesthetic activities along with ideas for applications that support vocabulary acquisition.

In Part IV, we’ll maximize the adage, “a picture paints a thousand words”.

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Six ways to build community online

By Deborah Espitia
@despitia
Instructional Strategist

Immersing students in the target language embraces all facets of the classroom environment—physical, social, emotional. This immersion encompasses a variety of tangible elements through which we can purposefully use the target language in our own classrooms: print, audio, and video authentic resources; authentic tasks in the three modes of communication—interpretive, interpersonal, and presentational; formative and summative performance assessment; classroom management; teacher-to-student plus student-to-student informal interactions.

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