Most of us teach language within four classroom walls, and yet the physical space of our room neither defines nor constrains us: our language classes are boundless. The connections that we help our students to make span time periods, political borders, races, and interests. If we are lucky, they might even span that uncomfortable space…Read More
Teach language with Yoga Stories!
One of our family’s favorite ways to get the squiggly wiggly’s out is with Cosmic Kids Yoga. In each episode, Jamie tells a story and acts it out with yoga poses and other forms of movement (ex: jumping jacks, running in place, etc.). Our kids love the stories, love Jamie’s accent, and love yoga. Adapting…Read More
Write and Discuss demo for language classes
“Write and Discuss” is one of the core strategies in a comprehension-based teacher’s bag of tricks. It is easy-peasy and adaptable for many uses! In this post, I’m sharing with you a demo of Write and Discuss along with step-by-step instructions so that you can feel confident making this power-packed strategy your own! An abbreviated version…Read More
20+ stations for proficiency oriented language classes
Whether you call them Stations or Centers, you probably love them—and so do your students. Stations give you a laissez-faire teaching day and provide lots of movement and small group interaction for students. Stations do not, however, come without challenges. Stations often take quite a bit of prep work. For the proficiency oriented, comprehension based…Read More
“I don’t understand how to ask a story.”
You’ve got a new comprehension-based curriculum, and you’d be 100% sold if it weren’t for that storyasking part. You’ve got a script, but what the heck do you do with it? Many teachers have asked the same question before. Storyasking is an invented word meant to differentiate creating a story from telling a story. If you’ve…Read More
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…Read More
Is there a magic pill for language learning?
If you’re looking for the magic resource that will make your students learn Spanish, have fun, and love your class–it doesn’t exist. But you know what does exist? YOU! YOU are the magic that will help your students learn Spanish. YOU are the magic that will allow your students to enjoy the journey. YOU can…Read More
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…Read More
Dip your toes in CI: Get moving with TPR
For some of us, change happens fast. We take in information, make a decision, and take action immediately. For others of us, change happens slowly. We take in information, wrestle with it, take an action step, take a step back, take in more information, wrestle some more, take a few action steps, take a step…Read More
10 ways to talk with your students about their weekend
When I first ditched the textbook, Weekend Chats was one of the very first routines that I learned about and started using in class. I was introduced to it by Michele Whaley, and I remember reading about it on Ben Slavic’s blog soon thereafter. I used Ben’s idea of having students illustrate posters of places…Read More