Making Second Languages Accessible: Creating an Inclusive High School Second Language Class with Playful Pedagogy

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  • The purpose of this paper is to consider how teachers can approach the needs of students in an inclusive classroom, acknowledge how playful activities can be used as a helpful approach to dealing with academic diversity in a Spanish as a second language classroom and explore how professional learning communities and social media can be used to develop and create playful activities.  The intent of this research paper, is to depart from the notion that teachers should teach to the middle of the academic spectrum and instead include activities in their lessons that are conducive to all learner profiles in the class, no matter what the academic disparity looks like.  In this project I will be using a narrative inquiry, qualitative methodology to research the question: how can playful activities accommodate and motivate students who are learning Spanish as a second language in an inclusive classroom?  This paper will outline second language pedagogy, describe key ideas such as inclusive education and playful activities, and then through personal reflections and an analytical literature review, it will make connections between engagement, inclusion, and language needs in the high school second language classroom.  The reflections included will revolve around my personal experiences both learning languages and teaching Spanish as a second language.  This paper includes pivotal moments in my teaching career where I realized that I needed to change my teaching approach and moments when I realized that the Spanish as a second language classroom could be a place for any student, no matter their academic challenges, but whose interest in learning another language is evident.  These reflections are weaved together with and supported by academic literature that focuses on language teaching, language learning, playful pedagogy, and inclusion.  Also included in this paper are examples of playful activities and the exploration of how teachers can use professional development to expand their playful activity repertoire.

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    Research Material
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    Public Domain Mark 1.0