Task or Text: which is best?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about curriculum. Six years ago, I started posting the curriculum units that I had created for my own, personal classroom use so that other teachers could use them, too. At first, I was just posting isolated activities and lesson plan outlines, and I eventually started formatting them and explaining activities … Continue reading Task or Text: which is best?

Class library suggestions

So you want to build a class library, eh? Where to begin?? Beyond leveled readers and children's books, what are other teachers filling their class libraries with? This question keeps popping up in various online forums, and so I think it is high time that we put together a collaborative database that teachers can reference … Continue reading Class library suggestions

What is a target structure?

The second to last session that I attended at ACTFL 2015 was with Amy Lenord. Amy has written fairly extensively on her blog about why and how she has moved away from giving traditional vocabulary lists to her students. As I was busy covering the session on Twitter (search Twitter for #unlistvocab #actfl15 for my … Continue reading What is a target structure?

I teach grammar.

Grammar. You just cringed; didn’t you?! I knew it. Golly there seems to be a lot of discord in the virtual realm lately—lots of professional disagreement about many different aspects of language teaching; but nothing that seems to bring out the war cries like a good old-fashioned mention of grammar. As Justo Lamas croons in … Continue reading I teach grammar.

Help! My students don’t get [x]!

We've all said it at some point: "HELP! My students don't get [when to use ser or estar][how to form the subjunctive][the difference between "I have" and "you have" in Spanish]! What should I do???" We run to our fellow department members (if we are fortunate enough to have any) or turn to our PLC for … Continue reading Help! My students don’t get [x]!

What to do when they miss class?

Because we know that students acquire language through comprehensible input, finding make-up work for students that miss class that actually helps them to make up what was missed is a HUGE challenge. I'm going to share some things that I have done, and I ask that you would add what you've done in the comments!! The most important … Continue reading What to do when they miss class?

First we learn to listen

I just read Sandy Cutshall's article "Groundbreaking Study from ACTFL Measures Listening and Reading--Expands Understanding of Interpretive Skills" from the most recent issue of The Language Educator. Yes, I know...it's been out for awhile. It takes a minute to get here to Alaska and then there's the fact that I never check my mail...so yes, just reading it … Continue reading First we learn to listen