When teaching an L2/F2 in the US, we have learnt that our instruction must be guided by the “The 5 Cs”, i.e., Communication, Culture, Connections, Comparisons, and Communities, which form the ACTFL’s Standards for Foreign Language Education. In this blog (300-350 words approx.) I would like you to reflect on how the 5 Cs were incorporated into the activity that your group designed and presented in class. To that end, not only are you expected to identify and describe each of the 5Cs integrated into your activity, but you should also consider how your activity could have be adapted in order to have covered all of the 5Cs in case some of them had not been included. 

Bear in mind that, in order to earn full credit for this blog, you must also leave at least two comments (50-100 words each) on your peers’ posts. Please take the time to read what they wrote – you’ll find that you often have similar reactions to the teaching experience, and can help one another a great deal through this first semester!

Deadlines:

For personal blog: Sunday, March 8, 2015

For two comments: Tuesday, March 10, 2015 

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            Incorporating the 5C’s which are Communication, Culture, Connections, Comparisons and Communities into a lesson can be very challenging but not impossible. I believe that in our activity we incorporated communication by allowing the students to ask their classmates questions in Spanish using the verb “ir” which means to go. Culture was integrated in this lesson as well through the use of pictures that we used on the smart board. On one of the photos such as “el bus” we could have clarified more thoroughly the different ways other Hispanics would refer to the bus. I think that the photos that we showed on the smart board were coming from diverse communities. The vocabulary words as well as the pictures that we had provided for them all dealt within the community. Such as places to visit and forms of transportation. As for connections being included in our activity we tried to connect everything we taught so that they can reach the common goal which was creating a sentence with the different types of vocabulary words that we provided for them. Comparison was not seen as much in this activity as we would have wanted it to be seen. As for transportation we did show the different types transportation one can take to get to place. However, we should have emphasize more on comparing two different types of transportation and focusing thoroughly on the idea of comparison.

            Most of the 5Cs were implemented in the lesson. However, there are a few of them that we should have focus thoroughly on. According to the feedback that we had received we now know that we shouldn’t emphasize on translation. Instead of translating the information to the students we can focus more on using other techniques to help the student understand the instructions being said. Using translation doesn’t allow the student to evolve their way of thinking. Therefore, we will try as much to edit that part of the lesson for the future teaching slices. 

Hello, Sindy, as you may have heard already from our discussions in class, transferring information from a source language (SL) to a target language (TL) should be avoided as much as possible. This can lead the classroom to be (communication wise) unbalanced, thus allowing students to interchange languages in meaningful ways. An example of this would be teachers using students’ first language (L1) to clarify instructions, critical deadlines, and/or important matters. Students may diminish the degree of relevance, therefore not using the context clues of the second language (L2) utterance, in order to determine the extent to which it is essential. 

Coming up with a plan to bring students to a clear understanding of new material isn't as easy as it may seem. It takes some planning to fully bring some understanding to students. My group member James and I were assigned to complete an activity with the ultimate goal of finding a way for students to understand and learn something new. We chose the "estar and location" activity to help students identify where things were and where they belonged. Being that we were in a classroom, we asked the students to identify where specific classroom materials were located. For example, as a teacher we asked: ¿Donde esta el libro? And the student would respond by saying: El libro esta encima de la mesa. We provided a list of words to facilitate their ability to determine where certain items were located in the class. These words also gave them the flexibility to express themselves differently about not only objects and materials but about other classmates as well.

Incorporating the 5C's which are: communication, culture, connections, comparisons, and communities, can be a bit of a challenge depending on the class. Not every classroom is easy to adjust and to assimilate to the way that you may want it to be. Having a designated plan will facilitate incorporating the 5C's to be successful. Throughout our presentation we strived to fulfil the criteria of each of the C's. I must say, it was quite a challenge to involve all of them together but in due time with further practice, it's a fast that we can fully achieve. In my opinion we were able to include communication very well because not only are we very vocal, but we are able to transmit out message throughout the class allowing them to fully understand what we're trying to bring across. Students are supposed to communicate in oral and written form and we succeeded in this matter by providing the class with a mini assignment and engaging the students by asking them questions to participate. In order to successfully communicate with the class, there must be control and a level of trust to be able to have the class focused and engaged. In terms of connection, we were able to fulfil this task by using the students as live examples to locate themselves and distinguish their positioning in the class based on where they were sitting and so forth. We had two students come up to the front of the class to show and ask the class to identify their location based on the vocabulary that we provided. We also connected with the students by speaking Spanish to allow them to become familiar with the words. We accomplished comparison by not only utilising objects from the class but using the students as well. However, we could've focused on this aspect a bit more by having the students compare and contrast the ways one can express themselves in a language. (Spanish and English) communities is one of the five C's that I believe we didn't establish because we would've needed more time with the students to show them how else we can incorporate location in our surroundings and the many other things and places that we could describe using estar and location. Culture includes the experiencing other cultures to better understand other peoples points of views and different life styles. This is the Last C and I believe that we didn't really use culture. After reviewing the Five C's I have a much better idea of how and what to incorporate for culture and comparisons. Realistically a teacher may not be able to fly off to a foreign country with her class, but there are other ways to teach students culture and allow them to appreciate the roots of other parts of the world.

My group and I as future teachers, try to guide our instructions by the “ 5 Cs” which forms the ACTFL Standards for foreign language Education, to helps us teach the colors and shapes to the students. My group was successful in integrating two of the 5 Cs, culture and connections. We integrate culture by telling the L2 that colors’ names sometimes vary depending of the country. For example, we told L2 that orange have two names depends the target community. The standard name is “naranja” and the Caribbean countries may sometimes call “mamey”. We use connection by showing pictures of shapes and colors so that students can connect what they already know to the new and unknown.

My group lacks three of the “5 Cs “, comparison, communication and communities in the activity. Communication was one of the big things we misted. We didn’t really teach L2 why, how, and when we use the colors. I think one way to input the communication will had been showing two objects that have the same name but mean something different. For example pink color which could be a flower or a color in Hispanic culture. This could have challenged the students to think on how the language works when there is a word with two meanings. At the same time by using objects with the same name we could have encourage comparison because it allows the L2 to discover the way language works and also will learn to interpreted the language and culture. The last thing that my group lack was Communities, we didn’t help L2 to use the input they obtained. One way we could include communities could have been by asking the L2 to write a sentence about the color in Spanish. This   activity will help students use the language for personal enjoyment and enrichment, because the sentence they will write is what they what to express about the color and by this the students express their ideas as themselves.

Hello Janet I did like your activity, it was good to make the students to participate in the classroom. In order to learn the "5Cs", in this level of class, one part of this activity is connections between students, communities, and culture. Once we understand and learn how to use these tools, learning a language is easy. Students have fun by connecting the subject, verb and predicate. Learning the variation of the language from different communities gives to students the capacity to make a connection between communities. Over all was excellent, but an extension of the words in the vocabulary could increase the language understanding

Our mini lesson was to teach the students Estar plus a location. Our primary goal was to grasp the students’ attention, the secret behind this was that; even though some students may know the answer they are not confident enough to say it (communication failure) but if they are able to see it, they may be able say the answer because we as teachers implicitly reassure their answer (successful communication) thus extracting out the answer from the student. Communication is something that we all agree to be important. This helps the teacher see how well the student pays attention and how he produces his/her words. If communication is well in class these students can practice their verbal skills outside of the classroom environment (communication) giving them the opportunity to feel more confident and using the language in their life. We compared the words over from under with Joe’s help so that the students will have an enhanced understanding (visualization) it was essential to do this, because you always have to bear in mind that different students have different methods of learning. A student had told us if encima (synonym) would be the same as sobre and we said yes. A better way to have answered and should have been included was to introduce some culture, and give them an explanation on how the language works around the world. Spanish is not just a solid language but has varieties, depending on where you are in the world, these word are synonyms to one another because they mean the same thing just said differently (Language influences). Also we could have played audio to help them hear the different accents and the proper way of pronouncing the word, maybe a geography map to expand their geographical mind and pinpoint some locations from the top of their heads. To include the student more we can ask each one if there is a different way that their culture or the communities they live in say the word and if so to share it with their classmates. Also to let them know that a community can be a different case because they may have their own dialect of the language, if these people are far from the city their language won’t be as adequate or academic as those who have more exposure to the city. Therefore, not allowing any student to be left out and receiving some type of feedback from the students. This will help you manage your class, improve, create activities, and view your students’ progress, allowing you to help those in need. 

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