Saturday, October 12, 2013

Periodic Repetition in Foreign Language Teaching

Repetition is an important tool

This is part 2 of three in a series on using repetition to teach Spanish (or other languages).  This article was written by Brooks Lindner from Sonrisas Spanish for use here on Teaching Español.  Part one focused on daily repetition.  You can find that post here.


Periodic Repetition

"Periodic repetition refers to learned content that you return to periodically throughout the year. Perhaps there is a song or game that your students have learned really well and that you sing/play for a couple of months but then drop as newer material is learned. 

You can return to that song or game at some later point in the school year and do it for however long you feel is appropriate. Students will welcome the opportunity to return to something they know well, and they will benefit from the renewed repetition. 

I like to cycle the songs in my lessons in this way. I also like to periodically have “review” days where I don’t really teach a lesson, but rather we do all the songs and games that my students know really well for the whole class period. Students benefit from the confidence they feel when they repeat material that they know well."


Brooks has it right.  When I was teaching high school Spanish repetition was probably the most important tool that I used and I always got great results with it.  
Now when teaching my young class of pre-k through second graders I observe great results when we repeat an activity over the course of classes.  My students love when we revisit an activity or song that we haven't done in a while or even when I re-read them a book.  I'll  sometimes change it up a little or sometimes keep it exactly the same.  Your pattern should be something like this: new material, repeat, repeat, new material, repeat repeat, new material...

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