The Power of Music and Cinema
Basic repetition, lectures and quizzes can get boring and rather discouraging after awhile. I've learned as a foriegn language student as well as an amatuer teacher that if you throw in something to break up the monotony, you'll get overall better performance from the students, especially if they are junior high or high school age. Buy or rent a fairly recent movie (maybe sci-fi or comedy, not the usual history flicks made 30 years before the students were born; save those for another time) or CD, in the language you are teaching , preferably without subtitles. Have the students get out a piece of paper and pen, and write down every word or phrase they recognize. Give points for however many words they get, along with bonus points for dificult phrases, or words above their level(like a beginner picking out an advanced irregular verb form). They have to know the meaning of everything they write down, not just write what seems familiar and guess. Maybe give extra credit or raise a test grade for the student who has the highest score. It will get them to focus and hear the language how it is really spoken, by several types of people in several diferent situations. Besides, it's a heck of alot of fun.
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