This is year 26 teaching French for me and I continue to grow in my understanding of how we acquire language. At the start of this academic year, I changed how I plan, how I spend time with my students and how I assess. I’ve been pondering the assessment piece for several years now. My method in… Read More How do I assess?
My 26th year practicing the art of helping students acquire French débuted 2 weeks ago! Actually, that is not entirely accurate. The first 12 years I didn’t focus on language acquisition. Instead, I taught students ABOUT the French language. I instructed them: how to conjugate verbs how to spell words how to figure out adjectival… Read More A new year and a resolution
It was the last day of this current school year with students. Mid-morning, I scanned final grades to insure that there would be no surprises for parents or students. One of my sweet 6th-grade boys’ over all semester percentage showed him to be one point under a B. Completing our last marking period with a… Read More Last Day Reflections – what I learned
Our school year draws to a close. Lesson planning ceases. Time opens up for self-reflection. What have I learned this year about teaching L2 (second language)? Much! It’s been a painful year. But growth is like that when pruning takes place. Year 25 teaching French kicked off in August. A new season to teach the way I believe… Read More End of the year reflections + next year’s goals
Listening to Professor Bill Van Patten’s weekly podcast on L2 (2nd language acquisition) really helps me think correctly about how I plan and conduct my middle school French classes. Van Patten explains that through comprehensible input a mental representation of the target language begins to form in the mind. What qualifies as ‘comprehensible input’? It is language (in my… Read More Kids’ L2 speaking and how it emerges
I used my iPhone’s voice memo app and taped class today, 18 April 2017. It’s a challenging class because the 10 students tend to want to chat off-topic ‘EN ANGLAIS’ all the time. What I have learned in the almost 3 years with them is to accept what I can’t change and simply to translate their… Read More Reflection having recorded French 8 class
A more amplified and significant question is this: Why include output if research shows it doesn’t aid much in acquisition? What? Aren’t students supposed to produce the language? Isn’t that why they are in our classes, to learn to speak and write French, Spanish, German or Chinese? Yes and no. There is a place and… Read More Does output lead to acquisition?