I love it when language learning takes place and all you have to do is watch it unfold around you. No longer are language teachers the "sage on the stage", but facilitators of the students' learning.
This is a perfect example of a practical "real-world" life skill. SHOPPING!!!!!!
I've been dying to use the inside/outside circle method with this activity. I finally put it all together. Please take/modify/use whatever you like! If there's any errors, please let me know...I did this in a hurry!
Ir de Compras: Inside/Outside Activity
For a class of 30, arrange 15 desks in a circle. Outside circle (15 students) will sit in the desks. They will be the sales persons (cajero/a). The 15 students chosen to be the inside circle will stand in front of one of the outer circle desks. The students have their question/answer sheets. Outside circle will be selling the clothing item that I placed on their desk. They will answer questions about the clothing article (size, material, type, color, etc.). The inner circle will be trying to "purchase" the item by asking all the questions about the clothing article and recording the outer circle partners' answers.
I let the students "purchase" one item and then I had them switch roles.
Then I had the students switch roles again...This time they had to pick a different desk to sit in with a different clothing item. Inner circle students had to talk to a different partner this time. I made them purchase three more items this round.
They switched again and this group did the same thing and purchased three more items.
I continued switching them until the end of the period.
My students stayed in the target language for 40 min!!!! Of course there are the few students who Spanglished something, but I would say that 80% of my students stayed in Spanish the entire time!!! The "chaos" of moving around the inner circle and attempting to sell their items kept their attention the whole 50 min. period! SUCCESS!
Here's what I did/learned in the process:
1. Have your desks arranged before class starts and let them come in and choose their seats. (Both inside circle and outside circle require speaking so it doesn't matter where they are.)
2.Have your clothing items already on the desks when students arrive. Don't worry if they trade. It's all the same. Lol.
3. Tape the (Vendedor/a) half sheets/responses to the outer circle desks.
4. Print the Cliente questions on the back of the Cliente chart for ease of access.
5. I put directions (explanations of the roles) on the Smartboard so that students could reference that at any time.
6. I used a timer to time the buying/selling. I gave them 5 min. on the first round and then I got it down to 3 min after students got the hang of it.
7. After the first round, you may need to give students (clients) a minute or two to finish filling in the first row of their chart. They will get faster as the activity progresses.
8. I also gave the students a speaking rubric strip as part of my informal assessment. I've attached that here. If I heard a student speaking in English, I would snip off the last number on the strip leaving them with a 9/10 for speaking. If I heard them again in English, I would snip off the 9. This left them with an 8/10 for speaking, etc. Great idea I got from my wonderful colleagues!
9. Encourage students to really "sell" their items, saying phrases like "Liqidación", "Ganga", etc. Encourage them to haggle with the clientes on the price. Tell them to be creative and use their Spanish!
10. Monitor constantly...walk around (with your scissors in hand prepared to snip rubric)...assist with the language, answer questions, etc.
The magic of this lesson will unfold before you! The students leave so excited that they stayed in Spanish the whole time, that "Johnny" wore Mrs.____________ pink shirt, and that they didn't have to sit still all period. They will remember this for a lifetime!