Special Person Interviews

This is a guest post from Christy of Christy’s Classroom who tells how she incorporates the Special Person Interviews in her Spanish class.

This quarter in my middle school classes I have been incorporating special person interviews. This is a great way to get to know your students, build relationships and establish a positive class culture.

I am using the interviews and information from the interviews in a variety of ways to maximize input. Some ways I’m maximizing input beyond the interview are:


Write and discuss – After the interview we will write about the star of the day. Sometimes we will write in third person and sometimes we will write in first person. I usually write  this on the board with students watching and giving me the information to write. I ask guiding questions in Spanish to get my students to give me information if necessary. I learned about this from Tina Hargaden and Mike Peto.

Horizontal conjugation – I type up information about the student based on the interview. (I have a note taker during the interview and also sent out these questions on a google form so I have the information.) The students read the narrative in third person and change it to first person perspective. I learned about this activity from Martina Bex.

Quiz, quiz, trade – I type the questions on one side and answer stems on the other. Each student gets a question with its answer stem. (Ex: ¿Cómo te llamas? … Me llamo ___. ) They find a partner using stand up, hands up, pair up and quiz each other by asking the question to their partner. They have the answer stem if their partner needs coaching. Then they trade questions and find a new partner. Continue until the teacher calls students back to seats. I learned about this activity from Martina Bex.

Group/partner practice – Sometimes I just give partners or small groups the questions from the quiz, quiz, trade activity to practice in a small group setting. This low anxiety activity is in place to help prepare them for a required assessment. I usually walk around with a stack of the questions and ask each student a random question as I’m walking around listening and managing the class.

The question/answer game – this is a game/assessment rubric by Tina Hargaden on the CI Liftoff group. Students sit with a partner and have the rubric. The rubric gets them points based on how they answered the question. For example they get a point for understanding the question and answering with one word but more points for answering in a sentence and even more for adding a question. I am the one asking the questions. Partners score each other using the rubric.

Online games – I have used gimkit with generic questions and answers. Students have to match the sentence that would correctly answer the question. (For example ¿Cómo te llamas? – Tengo 12 años. -Tengo un perro. -Me llamo Sam. -Me gusta el helado.) You can also use quizlet and Kahoot with actual student information.

In class games – you can use student information to play the marker game, the unfair game, grudgeball, lo siento and more. I learned about the marker game from Cynthia Hitz. I learned about the unfair game and grudgeball from Martina Bex. I learned about the lo siento game from Claudia Nole.

Reading – I am just now creating these readings to put in my class library. I’m hoping that students will be interested in reading about their peers and will enjoy seeing our library personalized. This is a great way to get the students more input. You can still keep the language varied enough that they don’t get bored.

For the slides that I use to conduct the interview, check them out here.

This is one way I “teach outside the [text] book”!

Let me know what you think and if you do something similar in your classes!

About SpanishPlans

Spanish Educator, with focus on acquisition Educator Enthusiast I love learning about and sharing culture.
This entry was posted in TPRS and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Share your ideas!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.