Quia

Quia is a website that allows you to create several different types of educational games and activities. There is a free version, where you can access activities that have been created by others, but to get full functionality it requires a subscription ($49 per year). One way to use this site is to create listening activities that students can listen to outside of class. Record yourself (or a native speaker) telling a story using a program like Audacity or Garageband. The story can be a version of a story done in class, a new story using the same structures you’ve been working on, or a story that a student has written. Once the story has been recorded, you can upload the listening file to Quia and insert the file into a quiz. You can also add a visual to go along with it so students can hear the story and see the corresponding picture. You can also write comprehension questions to go along with the story which students answer online. The wonderful thing about Quia is that you can build a collection of CI-based stories that students can access outside of class time.

Source: Jane Vanderbeek, moreTPRS

Photovisi

Photovisi is a free and easy to use online photo collage maker. You can select one of the many designs, add your photos and then customize by dragging items around. After the collage is finished, it’s available to download and print. These collages can be used in many different ways that are CI and TPRS friendly. You can use it as a storystrip to create a story or as the basis for a retell. It can also be used to assess how well students have acquired certain structures by asking them to point at or write down the number of the corresponding frame after you say a sentence from the story.

Source: Photovisi.com

CLEAR

CLEAR is a website designed by the Center for Language Education And Research at Michigan State University and it can be very useful for second language teachers. It has several Rich Internet Applications for Language Learning which are described below:

  • Audio Dropboxes: Put a dropbox in any web page. Students’ recordings are deposited into your dropbox automatically.
  • Broadcasts: A podcasting program for language learning.
  • Conversations: Record questions for your students to answer asynchronously.
  • Mashups: Combine video, audio, text and interactive exercises.
  • Quiz Break: A highly flexible program that allows teachers to create fun, Jeopardy©-like games for the language classroom.
  • Revisions: Process writing environment for the 21st century!
  • Scribbles: Handwriting practice online!
  • SMILE: Create your own interactive language-practice exercises.
  • Video Dropboxes: Put a dropbox in any web page. Students’ recordings are deposited into your dropbox automatically.
  • Viewpoint: Surpassing the functionality of YouTube, Viewpoint lets you upload videos, record live video, and add subtitles.
  • Worksheets: Interactive worksheets to use with your textbook.

You do have to register for an account, but it is free and very worthwhile!

Mi Vida Loca

Mi Vida Loca is an interactive video series developed by the BBC. While it was not designed with TPRS or comprehensible-input methods in mind, it is a nice break from stories for both the teacher and the student and it could easily be integrated into a TPRS curriculum. For example, students could watch the episodes and then you could ask stories based on the content in order to reinforce the desired structures. Due to the cultural focus of the video series, it would be easy to work some Spanish culture into the stories as well.

This series has been designed with beginner Spanish students in mind. There is audio as well as subtitles in both English and Spanish that can be turned on or off, so students can listen individually with headphones or it can be played on a SmartBoard for the whole class. Each episode takes about 20-30 minutes and after that students can replay the whole video or choose to skip around and only re-watch certain parts. Students seem to really enjoy the videos, and they get a chance to participate in them by doing such things as choosing which way to go on a street, paying the taxi driver in Euros, etc.

The series starts out with the student as the main character arriving in Madrid, where they meet a new friend. A mystery develops over the course of the series and situations arise throughout which help students to learn and practice the following:

  • essentials
  • ordering at a café
  • basic directions
  • meet and greet
  • ordering at a bar
  • buying a gift
  • times and days
  • buying travel tickets
  • booking a room
  • introductions
  • the formal ‘you’
  • shopping for food and basic items
  • ordering a meal
  • saying ‘I like’
  • months
  • checking in at a hotel
  • buying clothes and shoes
  • hiring a car
  • asking about property
  • taking about being sick
  • taking about the weather

See here for a more descriptive syllabus and to find out which aspects of grammar are covered in each episode. Full transcripts of each episode are also available on each episode’s individual page.

I have developed questions in English for each episode as well as the answer key. Please feel free to use them with your students!