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?
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?
One change I implemented after the enriching and rejuvenating ACTFL 2016 conference was to eliminate ORAL error correction from my teacher behaviors. Over 12 years ago, I abandoned a grammar-focused, textbook driven French curriculum in favor of one rich in comprehensible input. The evidence documented by rigorous research and first-person testimonies at the time convinced… Read More Does error correction help?
I HATE bombing a class. The cognitive dissonance between reality and how I like to think of myself as a teacher hurts. But once my bruised ego has recovered, a pearl usually emerges. Either a lesson or a new idea. On Fridays I like to plan something a bit lighter for my classes. It’s a pleasant… Read More Best lessons from failures
Vibrant sounds of active kids fill the hallways. A new school year resumes. Year 25 for me! When I began teaching, I didn’t even think about the future. There was no time. Novice and experienced teachers alike have precious few minutes to reflect much beyond the term once they step into the flow of the… Read More Happy to be back in the saddle
When my 6th grade class burst into the room last Monday afternoon, one of the class artists asked if she could draw on the back board. “Have at it,” was my response. And Milvant, the buffalo, appeared. Once I had the class’s attention, I used Milvant’s picture as a spring board for some basic questioning in French.… Read More When students hand you a buffalo named Milvant
When my youngest son came back from Lac du Bois, a French-language summer camp run by Concordia College – French language camp info, I pumped him for information about what they did. As a French teacher, I’m always looking for new activities or insights into how better to hook students and plant the French bug!… Read More Music and Pedagogy