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
Pop psychologist Malcolm Gladwell popularized the ‘10,000 hour rule’ for building competency and skill in a chosen activity when he wrote his popular book, Outliers. Recently at the American Council of Teaching Foreign Languages (ACTFL)‘s 2016 annual conference in Boston, I crystallized my sense of how second-language classes in schools should operate. Often these foreign language classes are… Read More What IS the skill involved in 2nd language 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?
Before our December holiday break, I created my first student task based on Comprehensible Input (a method of second language acquisition). Tasks, a new (to me!) vehicle for language acquisition came out of the workshops I attended at ACTFL in Boston last November. (See previous post about putting 2016 ACTFL resolutions to good use). The… Read More Who knew that 4 of their teachers spoke French!
Smiles today from a normally blasé group of 8th graders. Thank you Dr. Bill VanPatten! Recently at the ACTFL 2016 conference in Boston, I made a beeline for all the sessions focused on proficiency via comprehensible input. Many peer-reviewed studies in SLA (second language acquisition) over the past 30 years have shown that explicit language (grammar)… Read More Putting 2016 ACTFL sessions to good use
Having attended the recent annual conference of foreign language practitioners and researchers, And having been rejuvenated through workshops and conversations with colleagues and presenters, And having been given a charter to work with middle school students this current year I pledge the following: To honor my students by maximizing our time together with the goal… Read More ACTFL 2016-inspired resolutions
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