Sunday, September 12, 2010

Using Cartoons to Teach Greetings

I like to start my year off with a greetings unit. Through this unit, I outline the different ways to say hello and goodbye along with cultural practices that are associated with greetings. While I have my students practice and role play different greetings with each other, I also expose them to media that illustrates the target language in an authentic context. This is where cartoons come into play. With these, I am able to show the language being used as well as create an interactive activity for my students. Here are a couple of my favorite cartoons and exercises for practicing greetings and leave takings.

1.Dokí: La canción de las despedidas

This is one of my students’ favorite activities. I usually show this video and have students individually write the leave takings they hear in the song on their mini-dry erase boards. With beginning learners, I play the song multiple times. Some modifications would be to have students memorize the song and recite it in class or to create a cloze activity where students fill in the blanks with the correct leave taking. Students can also create a Voki or avatar to recite their song.


2.Pocoyo: Hora de Acostarse
My younger learners love Pocoyo! As students view the video, I encourage them to repeat key phrases or words that they know (i.e. hola, buenas noches, adiós). After watching the video clip, I ask students to identify words that they recognized.


Using cartoons is a fun and engaging way for students to see and hear the target language in action. While the exercises I have offered are geared towards young learners, I’m curious to know if and how middle and high school teachers have used cartoons in their language teaching as well as how other elementary language teachers have used them.

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