Easing Anxiety--Deep Breathing


Learning a foreign language puts students in many anxiety-inducing situations (taking tests, speaking in front of others, listening and having to respond to things that are hard to understand, etc.). Deep breathing is a simple way to calm anxiety. Even just 3-5 slow, deep breaths can have a calming effect. The first video explains deep breathing, and the second is a timer to practice breathing at a good pace (long enough to really relax, too).



Emotional Temperature Chart



This is a tool to help learners be aware of anxiety levels before, during, or after learning activities. Students can compare changes in their emotional temperature by looking at forms they have completed over time. While originally intended for listening activities, the same activity could be adapted for speaking activities, test-taking, or some other component learning.

The idea is that in reflecting on their anxiety level over time, students will become more aware of skills and strategies that help them lower it.

This tool is adapted from Teaching and Learning Second Language Listening: Metacognition in Action by Larry Vandergrift and Christine C. M. Goh, London: Routledge, 2012, p. 135-138.

Listening Guide



This form leads students through several passes of the text and reflection. The exercise comes from
Teaching and Learning Second Language Listening: Metacognition in Action by Larry Vandergrift and Christine C. M. Goh, London: Routledge

Listening Process




This clip and handout are intended to help students begin to think about all the different processes and components involved when they listen to the language they are learning.

Other Resources


Here are some more resources on metacognition:

  • http://metacognitivation.wikispaces.com/
  • Teaching and Learning Second Language Listening: Metacognition in Action by Larry Vandergrift and Christine C. M. Goh, London: Routledge, 2012
  • Teaching Speaking: A Holistic Approach by Christine C. M. Goh and Anne Burns, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012


Presentational Speech Self-Assessment



This document guides students in self-assessing and reflecting on their oral presentations in the target language. It is adapted from Teaching and Learning Second Language Listening: Metacognition in Action by Larry Vandergrift and Christine C. M. Goh, London: Routledge, 2012, p. 251.

Speaking Checklists




These checklists are meant for quick feedback and reflection for speaking exercises done during class. There are two versions of the form: one for the teacher to fill out, and one for the student to fill out. Using the first version, the teacher can circulate, listen in, and rotate giving feedback to different students during different speaking activities. The student version can guide students to reflect on their own performance during speaking tasks.

Speaking Focus Signs





Speaking in a foreign language is a complex task, involving components like pronunciation and working around gaps, not to mention being able to express your ideas. It is difficult for learners to focus on all aspects of speech at the same time.

The idea of these signs is to give students one component of speech to focus on at a time. Displaying one of the signs shows students what you want them to focus on during a speaking activity.

These signs have the following foci: "Use correct grammar," "Use ONLY French--explain the word or use an alternate term," "Where are your gaps? What is hard and where can you improve?" "Pronunciation," "Your ideas--what you say matters," "Quantity of speech (speak tons!)," and "New vocabulary."

Images from http://whereapy.com/downloads


Speaking Strategies


When you don't know a word, what can you do?
This handout explains some strategies:


Illustration of strategy #8: Use gestures

Illustration of strategies #2-4: Refer to something related, describe what it looks like, describe what it does

App: Head's UP

When you are having trouble understanding or being understood in a conversation, what can you do?
This handout explains some strategies:


Thoughts on Metacognition





Visualization


I include this video with AP students in mind, helping them visualize having success in the course and on the exam from the beginning of the year.

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