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Practicing Adjectives While the Class is Directed in

the Target Language

EDT 635
Instructional Systems Design
Dr. Andrew Topper
Grand Valley State University
Fall 2017
Teaching a foreign language poses many challenges from the teaching
perspective. Many teachers are aware that the best way for students to learn a second
language is to expose the students to it as much as possible. Many teachers fear that if
they teach primarily in the target language their students will become overwhelmed and
shut down, rather than process the language. Provided is a sample of one lesson that
is divided into two days due to the short class times. This lesson has been prepared for
7th and 8th graders who are taking first year high school Spanish. The students in this
lesson are learning and practicing adjective usage. The goal is for the two-day lesson to
be conducted in 80% of the target language.


1. Students will be able to describe an individual based on personality and physical

2. Students will be able to describe individuals based on their attire.
3. Students can comprehend a dialogue of native speakers describing individuals.
4. Students will utilize Blackboard to access practice activities.
5. Students will understand the main concepts and activities described by the
teacher in the target language.
6. Students will collaborate and communicate with one another to help comprehend
the lessons that are directed in Spanish.

Content Standards :
Foreign language standards are based on the 5-Cs; Communication, Culture,
Connection, Comparison and Community.
● Standard
 conversations, provide 

 information, express 
● Standard 
 and interpret

 on a
● Standard 
 information, concepts,

 of listeners 
● Standard
 understanding of

 comparisons of

● Standard
 understanding of

 comparisons of 


● Objectives 1 & 2: Students will be encouraged to develop their writing and
speaking skills by applying the current vocabulary of adjectives and clothing
articles to previously learned nouns and use of the verb ser. Students will have
had an introduction to the vocabulary as well as the grammar rules of describing
individuals. In these two classes, students are asked to apply the learned
grammar rules and vocabulary orally and written while describing themselves
and others.
● Objective 3: Students will be developing their listening skills while listening to
two different video clips of native speakers describing themselves and others.
Students will be asked to complete comprehension questions while the video
clips are playing. Students will have the opportunity to listen to the video clip
more than once. It is important that students be aware that not all Spanish
speakers speak the same, and that there are many accents and different
vocabulary students need to be aware of. To a language learner, it always feels
as though a native speaker speaks fast, these activities help build students
listening skills so they are prepared for conversations with native speakers.
● Objective 4: Blackboard is the LMS that I use for this Spanish class. Students
will find the Emaze presentation and listening activities within Blackboard when
they are given time to collaborate with peers and work independently. Students
are already familiar with how to navigate through Blackboard and find the
necessary assignments. This is the “main hub” for the class when they can
access the vocabulary lists, class activities, homework, and additional practice if
● Objective 5 & 6: In addition to being able to apply the vocabulary of the current
unit, it is important for students to be immersed in the target language as much
as possible to enhance their learning experience. This lesson has been planned
and organized in a manner that can be taught with 80% being spoken in Spanish.
Students are given the opportunity to ask questions anytime (in English) if they
do not understand the main idea of what is being explained by myself. I will
answer the question in Spanish, but will respond in English if students are unable
to comprehend. Periodically throughout the class, students are asked to repeat
what I have said with one another in English at their table partner to verify that all
students are clear on what is being said. This also helps any of the shy students
who are uncomfortable asking questions in front of the class an opportunity to
ask their peers for guidance.
● Standard 1.1: Standard 1.1 in the communication category supports the idea
that students will be able to express themselves in the target language. In this

case students will be asked to describe themselves as well as others based on
personality, physical attributes, and attire. Students will be playing a round of
“Guess Who” in Spanish to practice their conversational Spanish.
● Standard 1.2: Students will be asked during the two classes to interpret much of
the information from the target language into English. Even though students
won’t understand everything I say, they will be able to get the main idea, and
help make sure their peers understand it is as well.
● Standard 1.3: Students will be sharing their work frequently throughout the
lesson. Warm-up activities are always shared out with the entire class which is
an opportunity for students to present their work. There is also an opportunity
during guided practice and when they work with their partners to present their
work. This is also an opportunity to obtain feedback from the teacher and their
● Standard 4.1: Describing oneself or an individual is a challenge in the Spanish
language because the word order is different than how we would normally
express it in English. Students spend time comparing the differences in the two
language and practice explaining why the word order is different and how that
helps with the composition of complete sentences.
● Standard
 4.2: Various listening activities allow students to hear how individuals
may speak in one country compared to another. We often compare different
accents in Spanish speaking countries, just like we compare accents in the
United States.

Sequencing and Structure:

1. Day 1:
a. Complete a warm-up activity answering questions about individuals
b. Play the game ¿Quién es…? (Guess Who?) in Spanish
c. Complete a listening activity by watching a video clip of native speakers
d. Begin working through an Emaze Presentation to practice and further
apply the vocabulary for the unit. As students click through the Emaze
Presentation on laptops there is a written packet to complete.
2. Day 2:
a. Complete a warm-up activity describing a classmate’s outfit
b. Complete online Emaze Presentation with a partner, this is available on
c. Complete a second listening activity to further develop listening skills and
submit online quiz via Blackboard.

This lesson has been divided into two days to give students a sufficient amount
of time to practice their vocabulary and grammar while developing their writing,
speaking, and listening skills in Spanish. This lesson is also divided into two parts to
allow the teacher a substantial amount of time for repetition and explaining the same
concept in a variety of different ways as it will be directed primarily in Spanish. The
teacher will only use English if the students become overwhelmed or are having
difficulty with understanding the content.
Every day in Spanish students are asked to complete a warm-up activity; there is
a different warm-up planned for each of the days. This is an opportunity for students to
accomplish a variety things as class begins. First, and the most important part is getting
students to think in the target language. This class is the last hour of the day and
students have spent their school day entirely in English. The warm-up is created for
students to have a few minutes to switch gears and start thinking and processing
information in Spanish. Secondly, warm-up activities are created for students to review
yesterday’s material and begin to apply it once again as a refresher before adding on
something new. Typically, this warm-up is a nice transition into the activities that the
students will be asked to complete. The warm-up activity for day one asks students to
describe different individuals, such as themselves, their mom, Mr. Gort (a well-liked
Math teacher in the building that many students know) and J.K. Rowling. These are all
individuals that students know and can easily list a few adjectives to describe each of
them. The second day’s warm-up is applicable to the students in the room. This is one
I model and then allow students time to complete the task. Students choose an
individual in the room without them knowing it and writes as detailed description as
possible on that student. Volunteers then read their description aloud, and the rest of
the class uses that description to figure out who that individual is describing. This is a
fun, interactive, and engaging activity because students want to be the first to guess the
student that is being described.
The game ¿Quién es…? (Guess Who?) in Spanish is another fun way to get
students speaking in the language. The directions are easy to explain in Spanish
because many of the students are already familiar with the game rules. This is a quick
and easy way to have students review their physical descriptions of individuals. Often
students play many rounds of this game because it is fun for them to challenge their
Listening activities are important to incorporate into lessons because I am not a
native speaker. Students quickly build their confidence in my class with their abilities to
understand Spanish, but I frequently remind them that I speak Spanish at a much
slower pace and do my best to pronounce words as clearly as possible so that they can
understand as much as possible. I incorporate 2-5-minute video clips of native

speakers in conversation using the current vocabulary so that students can prepare
themselves as much as possible if they were to engage in a conversation with a native
speaker. The video clips are engaging and an opportunity to compare one culture to
The Emaze Presentation is similar to a PowerPoint or Google Slides
presentation. Within the presentation there are a variety of activities for students to
practice the material from the current unit. The first few slides are used as guided
practice while projected on the screen for students to fill in their packet. The visual cues
in this activity are helpful to students as they are asked different questions. Students
can follow along with the pictures as they are listening to the teacher direct the class in
Spanish. After students see what is expected of them, they can collaborate and
practice with a partner. This is an opportunity for students to work at their own pace
and ask questions as they are working with a classmate. Many of the individual
characters included in the Presentation are well known figures in society that students
can quickly relate to. There are actors and actresses, athletes, comedians, and famous
musicians, so that students are interested in the different slides.

Instructional Strategies:

1. Presentation:
a. Both the warm-up activities are formatted in a presentational manner.
Students are answering questions and sharing their answers. The
teachers ask guiding questions to review material and keep the students
engaged while reviewing the material.
b. The listening activity for day 1 is presented to the class. Students answer
questions based on what they hear and are discussed at the end of the
activity as a class.
c. The first few sections of the Emaze Presentation are designed to be
teacher-led so students can practice their vocabulary and fill in their
packet. Answers are discussed as a class until students are confident in
what is being asked of them.
2. Student Centered:
a. Students are asked to complete a listening activity on day 2 and submit an
online quiz based on what they learned from the video clip
3. Collaborative:
a. Students are playing the game Guess Who? doing the best they can to
pick unique individuals that are difficult to pick out from the group of 20
images. They are discussing in Spanish by using “yes” or “no” questions.
b. Students are given time on day 2 to work though the Emaze Presentation
with a classmate. This is an opportunity for students to discuss their

answers with one another and support or refute their opinion utilizing the
information they know.
4. Teacher:
a. The teacher is providing ongoing support during the two days of activities.
When students are working, the teacher is walking throughout the
classroom and asking students questions to help them discover the
correct answer.

This lesson has a balance and wide variety of activities for students to practice
their Spanish and the vocabulary for the unit overall. Students are guided when
necessary to make sure that they can accomplish the task using their best grammar
possible and then given time to practice and apply what they have learned.
The lesson is also appropriate to be led in the target language as they students
are not being asked to do anything “new.” The content is new, but students complete a
warm-up daily, have completed several listening activities, as well as worked through an
Emaze presentation previously as a class combined with a written activity. The Guess
Who? game is new, but many students are familiar with the English version that it is
easy to transition into the Spanish version.

Instructional Media and Materials:

Media & Materials Explanation & Rational

PowerPoint with As students walk into the classroom, the warm-up is projected
warm-up directions so that when the bell rings students can begin to think about
how they may respond to the different questions. This is time
for students to get into “Spanish mode.”

Listening Activities Two video clips need to be prepared with native speakers
video clips presenting on the topic of descriptions of individuals. One
video clip will be presented as a class, the second students
will access on Blackboard independently.

Emaze Presentation A presentation prepared with a variety of different activities for

students to practice and apply the content from the current
unit. Some activities need to be prepared for whole group
activities, while others need to be prepared for students to
work with a peer.

Blackboard Students have their own accounts in Blackboard, this is where

they will access the Emaze Presentation when working with a
peer. They will also complete an online listening activity and
quiz independently via Blackboard.

Teacher computer The teacher station with projection is necessary for the warm-
station & projector up activities, the video clips, as well as the first few activities
on Emaze.

Student computers Students will need access to laptops on day 2 to work through
with internet the Emaze Presentation as well as complete the online
connection listening activity and quiz. Links to these assignments can be
found on Blackboard which students will need internet to

Special Needs:
Due to the level of the class, there are not any students with special needs in this
section this year. Here are a couple of resources that can be implemented if necessary.

1. Visually Impaired: Students who are visually impaired may obtain copies of any
documents projected in front of the class such as the warm-up activities or the
first few slides of the Emaze Presentation when utilized as a whole group. These
can be further enlarged by use of a copy machine if necessary.
2. Hearing Impaired: A microphone is to be worn at all times by the teacher while
guiding the class in whole group discussions so that all students can hear the
dialogue at all times. If necessary, scripts of the listening activities can be
provided to the individual student.
3. Preferential Seating: Students may request to sit in a particular spot in the room
if it helps with learning such as near the front or back of the room, in a quiet
corner, or by a window.
4. Movement: Any student who struggles to sit still is invited to stand in the back of
the classroom at any time. Fidgets are permitted as long as they are not a
distraction to themselves or their peers. All students will be getting up out of their
seats both days to obtain materials and find a workspace with their partner.
5. Extended Time-Any student who needs extended time to complete an
assignment and expresses the need will be given additional time to complete the
assignment if necessary. The teacher also reserves the right to cut back the
assignment to help the student meet the turn in date.

Assessment Plan:
Students will be assessed throughout the 2-day lesson in the following ways:

1. Formative
a. The teacher does walk around the room and offer suggestions individually
to students as they are working on their warm-up activities.
b. The teacher is also informally assessing the students as they share their
responses out loud from their daily warm-up
c. As students are playing Guess Who? the teacher is circling throughout the
room to listen to students asking their questions in Spanish, and offer any
guidance when necessary
d. If the same students are participating throughout the hour, the teacher
may utilize popsicle sticks to call on students who are not raising their
hands. This is random and an opportunity to hear from all the students in
the classroom.
e. Students will also turn in their packet from the Emaze Presentation, the
teacher will have an opportunity to check for errors in students’ written
2. Summative
a. Even though students aren’t ready for a unit test, students will be tested
on their abilities to comprehend the listening activity by answering
questions based on the dialogue in a quiz on Blackboard.