My mother always said “Fall in love with a doc” and now I have. A Google-Doc.
One of the advantages of teaching Spanish is the opportunity to expose students to the values and practices of the Hispanic culture. Recognizing that behavior, including our own, has a cultural context helps students progress from an ethnocentric to an ethno-relative point of view. I use Google Survey Forms in my Spanish classes, both small and large, to help me teach this ethno-relative viewpoint.
Here's what I do. When learning about greetings, attitudes toward work, eating habits or any culturally relevant behavior, I want my students to reflect upon their own culture and practices first before talking about what other cultures do. Google has a great, free, survey template that allows students to assess their own attitudes about a given cultural topic and allows me to gather information from my students quickly and creatively.
- Establish/log into your google account.
- Go to Google docs to create a new form. I choose from a selection of six types of questions: multiple choice, short answer, long answer, scale, check form a list, or grid. I can use the same type of question of mix and match.
- Send surveys to students. After I have written my questions, I send the survey directly to my students’ email accounts. When they open the email, they are taken straight to the survey; they can then answer immediately and send the data right away with just a few clicks.
- Present survey data to students. All the data are then tabulated and sent to me in a pie graph or bar chart. I can easily access this information in the classroom (or print in my office and make copies) and show students the results to open discussion. In addition, I get immediate feedback on what students know or what opinions they have about a given topic and can plan my lesson accordingly.
- Assign reading assignment. Typically, I then assign a reading about the same topic in the target culture and we compare and contrast.
Students are willing to take the survey because it does not require more than a few steps and they are curious to see and talk about the results … in Spanish. I can also assess learning, particularly affective. For example, my survey can include pre- and post-questions on where students see their own listening and speaking skills, or cultural knowledge. It is a great way to collect data that I can use to evaluate my own teaching and improve student learning. This Google Doc has added efficiency, variety, and creativity to my Spanish lessons. True love.