I'm starting a new series where I quickly talk about my go-to, comprehensible input techniques so I can more easily share a 'how to' with people asking for more in-depth explanations then what I provide over on Instagram or Twitter-- make sure you're following me for ideas like this one! (@profe.sierra)
This week we'll be looking at Weekend Talk. I was introduced to this technique by Allison (Mis Clases Locas) when I was student teaching with her. She also has a blog full of ideas here . I've also read about it from Ben Slavic and Martina Bex, so I am by no means the founder or creator of this ingenious idea. It's been around in the 'Comprehensible Input Toolbox' for a lot longer then I've been using it.
At its core Weekend Talk or, Weekend Chats as it is sometimes referred, is a more thematic form of Personalized Question and Answer. It's your chance to talk to your students about their lives and what happened over the weekend. I love it for Spanish II and III, because it's a very organic way to get in reps of the past tense, but more then that I love that it is a chance for connection to happen during curriculum and that it requires little to no-prep on my part. I do this most Mondays in my classroom, but I especially love it when there has been a long weekend, an event (like homecoming, prom, etc.) or a holiday.
Lowest Prep Versions
1) The OG Way
To keep this super simple and the lowest-prep possible you can simply ask students questions: What did you do this weekend? Where did you go? Did you... (go to a football game, play a video games, go out to eat?) ? And anything else that is comprehensible and relevant to ask your students. I like to go in with like 5-7 questions and a list of my students names. I check them off to make sure everyone has shared and then we move on to our normal "as scheduled" activities.
2) Yes or No
Give students a list of typed out options for activities they may have completed over the weekend. Have them check yes or no if they did those. Collect them and simply call our info "_____ and _____ went to the football game." , "_____ visited family.", etc.
3) 2 truths and 1 lie -- here's my FREE template I use.
Have students write two true statements about their weekend and one lie. They read it out loud and their peers try to guess the lie.
4) Timed Free Write
Set a timer. Supply some sentence starters and frames and have students write to you about their weekend.
These kinds of comprehensible input techniques are essential, because I think they are the closest many of our students get to organic and natural use of the target language in the sheltered space of a language classroom.
Here are some other options for 'shaking up' Weekend Talks from other Spanish teachers, because I strongly believe in not recreating the wheel!
Find Someone Who Version
Question Cards - for conversation practice OR my FAVORITE post them on the board and have students write initials under what they did and discuss the results as a class.
Should I post a blog about having my Spanish 3 students do visual blogs for Weekend Talk? Let me know if you'd want to hear about that, too!