As far as homework is concerned, I have been trying something new which has been successful so far. Basically I let my students do what they want as long as it is in Spanish!
At the start of the year I told them that they will acquire the Spanish language, the same as they learned how to speak their mother tongue. They acquired it naturally by listening to other people speak it around them and by reviewing it on a regular basis. Since they don’t spend enough time during the week doing Spanish, it is crucial that they spend time everyday (at least 15 minutes) listening, reading and being in contact with Spanish. It does not have to be related to the topics done in class, it could relate to any hobbies or activities they enjoy doing, like for example watching a football match in Spanish, listening to a song in
Spanish, or reading an article in a Spanish magazine. It should be enjoyable so that this process leads them to acquire Spanish naturally. I then give them a grid for the week with four types of activities: watching, reading, listening and memorizing. They have to fill in a box for each day explaining what they have done. At the start of every lesson, I go around the class and check what they have done. So far all of my students have filled in the grid with interesting activities such as watching Nemo or Harry Potter in Spanish or listening to a Spanish song on Youtube. Some of them have created their own vocabulary cards to memorize new words. Others have borrowed Spanish magazines and books…
I am very pleased with the outcome because homework does not seem like a chore. It also shows to my students that Spanish is “alive”. It is not a school subject as such but a language that real people use!
You can download my homework sheet for 6 weeks here: homework.sheet