For the past two to three weeks, we have been practicing restaurant vocabulary and expressions. Level two high school students had to write a skit between two customers and a waiter/waitress. They used previously learned words, phrases, and traditional Spanish dishes and customs. In between ordering their drinks, first and second course, and dessert, they made some small talk. They discussed the foods they liked and disliked, an activity they did in their free time, a movie or types of movies they liked, and also mentioned another person they recognized in the restaurant.
As with any project, there were bumps in the road, such as student absences (sometimes those who had the only copy of the script) during group work days. Mainly, it seemed that the largest roadblock for most students was memorization. I wonder…
-What strategies did they use to memorize their part? Reading and re-reading
-In general, what was challenging about working as a group? Absences / Time factor
-Did they work together to memorize their lines? Some groups did.
-What would they do differently if they had to do the project again? One student admitted he would have take it more seriously. Others said they needed more time.
-Did they think the idea of memorization was at all useful? Of students surveyed: 22 said yes, 12 said maybe, and 10 said no.
-Did they feel they were given sufficient verbal and written support? Majority- yes
In hindsight: Have student(s) from each group make a menu for homework. This took up too much class time. Day one: introduce the project. Then, give students the next full 2 days to work ONLY on writing the script and make sure all students in the group (from day one) are writing the script at the same time. This is important because the student with the group script was sometimes absent and the rest of the group did not work on that day. (Have students turn in their script when they are half complete at the end of the first day. ) Full scripts should be due at the end of class on the 2nd day. The third day can be reserved for checking and memorizing the script.