What standards should I set for my language students?

As language teachers begin to consider implementing Standards Based Grading, a question quickly arises: what standards should I be grading? Typically, Standards Based Grading in language classes means basing student grades on their interpretive, presentational, and possibly interpersonal performance on summative assessments. Students complete interpretive reading and listening tasks and presentational writing and/or speaking tasks,…

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Becoming an anti-racist educator: where to begin? (GUEST POST)

This is a guest post authored by Elicia Cárdenas, Director of Training for The Comprehensible Classroom. In response to the many atrocities that our nation has witnessed at the expense of Black people–and other people–, more and more discussions are happening online and in-person about racism and anti-racism. It is wonderful to see educators coming…

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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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Develop assessments that support student success

The outcome of an assessment is never entirely dependent on student competency. There are a bazillion factors that influence student performance on an exam, and truly very few of them give us information about how well the student knows the material. With regard to assessment, it is our responsibility as teachers to limit the influence of those…

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How to grade class participation?

Here in Alaska, we just wrapped up an incredible conference. Bill VanPatten of MSU and Scott Benedict of Teach for June were our Keynote speakers, and they joined with World Language teachers from across the state to inspire and challenge my ideas on language teaching and acquisition. I tweeted like a maniac, so check out #afla15…

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“I can” writing assessment: Choose your target proficiency level

For my student’s writing assessment today, I allowed them to “choose their target”. I gave them the expectation for what Advanced, Proficient, and Developing skill level would look like and let them choose how to proceed. Proficiency-based Performance Assessment All assessments in my classes are Performance assessments that are proficiency-based. Remember that Proficiency is what…

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