You know a Jedi’s training is complete when they fashion their own light sabers. Similarly, I must really be a language teacher now, because I have fashioned my own interrogative word signs and laminated them.
Some of them are bilingual Spanish/Chinese. Some of them are Spanish on one side, Chinese on the other side. No English nowhere.
- Classroom Portrait Locker, Bathroom, Drinking fountain, I have a question, One moment, Please repeat
- Classroom signs Landscape No Apostrophe /s/, No gum, Sharpener policy, Pen/pencil, How do you say/What does it mean
- Question words Who, what, when, where, why, how, I don’t know
Update! (August 2015) Ok, a year later, here’s how this went down.
The question word posters were fine, but I didn’t have room to just put them on the wall permanently. I kept them in the podium, which was handy, because I could always pull them out when I needed them. I would have preferred to have them up on a wall, because the reference is handy.
There were three posters by the door: the locker poster, the drinking fountain poster, and the bathroom poster. Those worked great, except for the locker poster; students stopped asking to go to their lockers last year since they were too far away. The drinking fountain poster and bathroom posters were used every day, and I think some students actually learned those phrases.
Finally, the posters with the frequently used questions (i.e., “please repeat, please wait a moment, question please…” I redid these to be two-sided, with a single language on each side. To mount them, I put sticker magnets on the wall, and then sandwiched the posters between two super-strong mini-magnets. The mini-magnets stuck the poster to the wall and the podium, but when it was time to change languages, I could just pull them down and turn them around. Reversible!
Why did I make them single-language? Because the pinyin wasn’t large enough for the Chinese students to see from their seats, which means they didn’t use them. You’d think that these phrases are so important that the students would make it a priority to find out what they were, and learn the phrases, but ho ho ho, that doesn’t happen. Sometimes I think they will do ANYTHING but learning language. In any case, I made the pinyin bigger just so that they’d use the phrases; I don’t even care that they might not have learned the characters. If they want to learn the characters, they can decide to!