14 July 2010

Authentic text realities

At least one fear has been laid to rest: authentic texts need not be 200 words in order to be effective.  The roughly 100-word text we used today was probably ideal for a beginner to sink her teeth into (my German is SO rusty!)

Also, the textbook analysis of Realidades helped me come up with more text types to seek out that I had not previously considered, such as schedules, athlete profiles, invitations, ads, and--perhaps coolest of all--personality quizzes from magazines.

Now, I'm not sure where I can find good examples of these that will suit my purposes, but Dra. Moser has pointed me toward a textbook (Esquemas?) that I may or may not be able to get my hands on.

I'm feeling really good about the two texts I already found for the "future me" unit, because they have repetition, and scripts to some extent, especially in the children interviews.  Also, they are in stanzas and chunks that one can skip around in order to build meaning AND confidence!

The Dia de los Muertos unit selections are not as rosy: the Vanidades biography of Michael Jackson that I thought would connect with student interest and prior knowledge was very, but VERY thorough, and overwhelming even for me in its volume.  I did find an article that MIGHT work on the same topic, particularly if we pick it apart like we did the heart attack ad today.  Also, I Remember Abuelito is probably not authentic enough, as there was a separate translator.  (Then again, it is definitely not formulated for a classroom!)  I started perusing obituaries and had to figure out that eulogies are more like elegies in Spanish, so what I wanted was funeral homilies or homages or farewells--haven't found a suitable one yet, though.  Still, that's more of the outside-of-the-box text type that I need to go for more now.

I'm starting to get a grasp on how I can present texts with a bunch of unfamiliar words and constructions, cool ideas for pre-reading (really liked the sentences with bold words matching in the alternative German text today).  The one thing I'm still wary of right now is how it all fits together and how it's assessed.  To that end, I am to check out the learning scenarios in the Standards for Foreign Language Learning in the 21st Century book Dra. Moser lent me to assuage my panic at preparing for the new year.

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