Project Description

Set up a series of learning centers, each of which gives students the opportunity to enact a conversation using a different creative tool.

Project Examples

Susan Roustan's French Podcasts

Project Resources

Staying in the Target Language - Downloadable circumlocution resources designed to support students in staying in the target language

Tools for Talking - A list of strategies and resources designed to foster communication

Project Tools

Audacity – Phenomenal, free software you can download and use just like a tape-recorder. Great for projects that require interviewing or sound files. Students can also use it to edit, layer, or remove background noise from their own audio tracks. Even better, they can save the files as MP3 files and export them to their iPods!

Gabcast - Allows you to record audio greetings, blog postings, and podcasts from your phone or voice over IP, post them online, and share them for free.

Gcast - Create podcasts--all from the convenience of your cell phone and using a "podsafe" free music library. Also lets you mix playlists online.

Resources for Encouraging Students to Talk

Dreke, Michael, & Salgueiro, Sofia. (2002). Español en pareja. NY: Langenscheidt. ISBN 3-468-96704-7. This book contains a host of information gap activities designed to encourage students to use their language skills to communicate about topics commonly covered in a beginning language class.

Kagan, Spencer. (1992). Cooperative learning. San Juan Capistrano, CA: Kagan Cooperative Learning. ISBN 1-879097-10-9. A book filled with strategies and structures that teachers can use to foster communication and cooperative learning among students.

Peterson, Jean Sunde. (1990). Talk with teens about self and stress: 50 guided discussions for school and counseling groups. Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit Publishing. ISBN 0-915793-55-5. This incredibly useful book contains information on conducting group counseling sessions, group formation, a self-assessment for group leaders, guidelines for group leaders, and numerous “lesson plans” and reproducible worksheets that can be used as tools for conducting thought-provoking discussions on issues with which teens are frequently confronted, such as: Personal strengths and limitations, facades, stereotyping, perfectionism, compulsivity, learning styles, test scores, underachievement, names, time and priorities, control, self-esteem, mistakes, heroes/heroines/values, having fun, courage, image, daydreaming, personal values, success and failure, being alone v. being lonely, encouragement v. discouragement, influence, uniqueness, authority, advice, getting our needs met, tolerance and compassion, stress, procrastination, substance abuse, cults, etc.

Rooks, George, Diana Scholberg, Kenneth Scholberg. (1982). Conversar sin parar. Cambridge, MA: Newbury House Publishers. ISBN 0-88377-222-1. This superb book contains a variety of scenarios that dig into various social issues (related to crime and punishment, entertainment, fame, health and fitness, immigration, media and technology, natural resources, politics, school finance, tourism, war and conflict, values, etc.) that require students to use their language skills (and a number of different grammar structures) in order to achieve a consensus. The book includes vocabulary, background information, and worksheets designed to scaffold students' participation in each activity.