Friday, August 17, 2012

Les billets / los boletos: your back-to-school gift!



Denise and I are gearing up for another school year, and to celebrate, we thought we would share a very useful tool with you-- billets or boletos are extra credit tickets that work wonders in our classrooms to keep students motivated and speaking in the target language.

The system is simple.  We print off many pages of billets at the beginning of each marking period and cut them out.  Whenever a student answers a question correctly, performs a dialogue in front of the class, or shows particular enthusiasm for learning a new language, we give him a billet.  It is also a great reward for winning a game, practicing a conversation especially well, or singing a song with enthusiasm.  We are extremely generous with our billets, and we find that students will do just about anything to earn one.  Once the student earns his billet, he writes his name on the back right away and stores it in an envelope in his folder.  (Also, to keep students from counterfeiting, we print the billets on the color printer or on colored paper.  Another trick is to photocopy them and stamp them with a rubber stamp.)

Students are responsible to keep track of the billets they earn, and at the end of the marking period, they turn them in.  Each billet is worth one fifth of a point, so they need five billets to earn one extra credit point on their grade.

This is an especially nice system because we also implement a strict "Liste d'anglais" system.  If a student is caught speaking English, his name goes on a list and he loses a point off his grade.  The generosity with which we distribute billets provides grace when we take points away, and students always know they have a chance to earn their points back if they accidentally speak English.

For those of you looking to increase your students' use of the target language or wanting to find a fresh way to motivate your students, please give this system a try!  The billets and boletos we have provided you reinforce the language in Conversation 1g of Real French tout de suite Level II or Real Spanish ahora mismo Level II.

If you would like a free copy of our French "billets," click here to download the file.

If you would like a free copy of our Spanish "boletos," click here to download the file.

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