Unpacking Common Ground by Hawkins & Henshaw

Pre-ordered copies of the anticipated text Common Ground: Second Language Acquisition Theory Goes to the Classroom by Florencia G. Henshaw and Maris D. Hawkins arrived in mailboxes around North America this past week. Both authors have been active contributors to the community of language educators through online and real-world forums, and so it is no…

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Should language teachers teach vocabulary?

Many of us learned language through an explicit instructional model, in which words and concepts were taught, practiced, and memorized. When I began teaching, I started out with that same explicit model of instruction: working from a textbook curriculum that laid out thematic vocabulary to memorize and grammar concepts to practice and master in each chapter.…

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4 steps to shift toward Acquisition Driven Instruction

If you are ready to move away from Explicit Language Instruction toward a more Implicit, Acquisition-Driven model, you’ve come to the right place. Making this change is a complete paradigm shift, but it can be done in pieces. If you are ready to focus on helping your students to acquire language, as opposed to helping…

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Translating second language acquisition research into motivational practice

Over the last decade, I have come to realize that I entered the profession of language education with a lot of beliefs about language and language teaching, but those beliefs were based on impressions that I had from my own personal experience, not on facts. I began learning about language when I began learning about…

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What is Proficiency Oriented Language Instruction?

As language teachers, our goal for our students is to be more proficient in the target language when they complete our course than when they began. We probably have other goals for our students (being more kind, more empathetic, more responsible, more culturally aware), but all of these objectives fit into the overarching mission of…

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How to teach such that they understand

If we want language to come OUT of our students’ mouths, we must get language IN to their heads. They need INput so that they can produce OUTput. » Input is reading and listening » Output is speaking and writing This is common sense. A learner cannot utter an expression in a new language if…

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