Every year, I ask my students for feedback at various times and in a variety of ways, and the resounding response is always... that a better grasp (or retention) of vocabulary would have been the greatest help along the way. In a World Language class, memorization of vocabulary is a key factor for success, so their responses resonated. If you cannot understand the meaning of what you read and hear, no other learning or concept- grammatical, thematic, etc.- can be possible either.
I adjust how and what I teach, based on my thoughts and reflections from what I see in class and from student results on quizzes/tests, feedback from my students, and feedback from my colleague who teaches them in the next level. It always stems from an effort to improve efficacy and learning as well as to help students get better results and to be prepared to succeed in the next stage of their academic careers. As a result of this, I carved out time for students to explore a variety of study methods and memorization techniques that I required for a grade and assigned in-class and as homework. I created google forms for collecting individual feedback, and I also had students share their feedback with a partner, in small groups, and with the whole class about what they tried, what they thought about it, if they thought it might be a useful method/tool, and whether they would use it again.
Here are some of the methods/tools students favored:
- Student-created quizlet lists for digital flashcards
- Quizlet games, such as matching, gravity, & live
- Quizlet Learn and/or Write
- Handwriting forms & meaning 5 times
- Writing paper flashcards for use target-to-English and English-to-target
- Flashcard memory sorting/shuffle game (I knew it, I kind knew it, I didn’t know it)
- Read aloud forms & meanings 10 times individually
- Quiz a partner, in turns, in class
- Give your list to a parent/sibling/sitter to Quiz you orally
- Ask a parent or friend to pick a word in English & try to write all of its Latin forms from memory
- “Try a new method” - could be from the above OR something else
“As the material became more complex, grades stayed relatively high and several students saw improvement, plus- what is even better than grades- students felt better prepared and felt like they were really helping themselves learn better.”
“They got excited when we talked about the universal applicability of these skills for other classes and other things they will have to learn throughout their lives… it gave students a well-deserved sense of accomplishment and a set of tools to fall back upon when the going gets tough and they need another strategy to reach their goals.”
Stay Healthy and Wise, Chaps!