My Classroom - Simulated Immersion


During my studies at IUP, I had many opportunities to observe techniques and methodologies being used at various school districts that were considered to be "revolutionizing" in language classrooms.  Throughout my observations, I have adapted a methodology called "Survivor" that was originally created by Kevin Lyons of Greensburg Salem School District. My version of this game was tailored specifically to the needs of students in the Franklin Regional School District.

"Survivor" is a methodology that is used to assist in facilitating a simulated immersion atmosphere.  "Simulated Immersion" is a second language methodology based on Terrell's "Natural Approach" and Krashen's "Input Hypothesis."  Put simply, it tries to reproduce and recreate the natural environment in which we all acquired our first language. This environment avoids translation at all costs, focusing on "Negotiation of Meaning" between teacher and student (or student to student) to foster oral proficiency.

My adapted version of Kevin Lyon's "Survivor" is an incentive-based "game" in which students receive classroom perks for speaking Spanish.  They focus on communicating only in Spanish while getting "paid" with "Panteras" - my self-created currency.  During each class period, they accumulate "Panteras" in order to buy perks from the "Panther Store."  If they use English when not permitted or engage in off-task behavior, they are fined "Panteras" or may be temporarily eliminated from the game.

This game is played throughout the whole school year and increases the students use of the Spanish language by providing them with perks for communicating in Spanish!

  • 1. Click here to access a detailed description of the rules that both students and parents/guardians receive at the beginning of the school year.
  • 2. Click here to access the student and parent/guardian contract that must be acknowledged and signed during the first week of classes.
  • 3. Click here to access an ever-changing version of the "Panther Store" from which students can make "purchases"  by using their earned "Panteras." On the second page of this same document, you will also find the classroom "fines" and the costs of those fines.