Like most teachers, I always try to increase my use of authentic resources in the classroom. One of my favorite ideas I got from the Creative Language Class blog. (www.creativelanguageclass.wordpress.com) I display several articles in the target language throughout the classroom. Students find their vocabulary words and copy down the words in Spanish and English. I feel that this exposure starts to help them tackle harder articles.
I decided to try to add authentic resources to my assessments. On a recent restaurant unit, I added a copy of a menu from Pans and Company to my quiz. Pans and Company was one of my favorite fast food restaurants in Spain. I asked students in Spanish to select an appetizer, entrée, and drink. They had to write how they would order the item and tell me the price of their order. They also had to translate it to show me that they understood what they were ordering. I did not want them to just write down the first thing that they read. I liked this use of authentic materials because it makes my tests more purposeful. It also makes my assessments more interesting. Hopefully, one of my students will get the joy of ordering from Pans and Company like I did when I studied abroad.