Learning by Teaching: Student autonomy in the Spanish classroom

Activity: Talk or presentationPresentation


For the last three years, I have incorporated Jean-Pol Martin’s “Learning by Teaching” (Lernen durch Lehren) method in the Introductory Spanish classroom. Commonly known in Germany yet rarely discussed in Anglophone countries, the technique proposes to let students teach one another. But rather than focusing on the material taught, students are encouraged to centre on their methods to learn a language. This means that students perceive themselves both as learners and teachers, promoting autonomy and self-esteem in regard to the language, aspects often linked to success in language learning.
During the first two iterations of the project, students were asked to present a “creative teaching video” interacting with a grammatical skill or vocabulary set already discussed in class. In contrast, the third iteration required them to teach material never seen by their peers. All iterations assessed originality, comprehension of material taught, accuracy, and other students’ likelihood to use their video to learn and/or review aspects explained. The presentation will look at differences in the learning methods presented depending on whether demonstrations involve new or already-known skills. When given the opportunity to teach previously learnt material, originality was not often prioritized, giving prevalence to reviewing grammatical rules. It is expected that, lacking neither references to previous ways of studying certain grammatical aspects nor the pressure over future assessments on the topics, students will engage in more creative ways to teach a new set of skills to their peers.
Period24 Nov 202126 Nov 2021
Event titleLanguages and Cultures Network for Australian Universities, Sixth Biennial Colloquium: Decentring and diversifying languages and cultures
Event typeConference
LocationAustralia, QueenslandShow on map
Degree of RecognitionNational