The today in history activity is a great way to engage students with a critical thinking activity in the target language - originally shared by Justin Slocum Bailey of Indwelling Language

Today in history: engage students with a simple critical thinking activity in the target language

I first heard the idea for “Today in History”; or rather, “NOT Today in History" by reading a blog post from Justin Slocum Bailey on the Indwelling Language blog back in 2014. Click here to read the first post: and here to read the second. Recently, I have been looking for new kinds of ‘puzzles’ that … Continue reading Today in history: engage students with a simple critical thinking activity in the target language

Reading Action Chain provides comprehensible input & opportunity for critical thinking

This past weekend, I had the great pleasure of attending TCI Maine, New England, and Beyond in Lewiston, Maine. This conference is one of the longest-standing conferences that provides training for comprehension based methods: it is organized by Skip & Beth Crosby and has been described as New England’s ‘best kept secret’. Contacting Skip about … Continue reading Reading Action Chain provides comprehensible input & opportunity for critical thinking

Assess proficiency with word-level analysis questions

I enjoy coming up with (or discovering) different kinds of questions to ask my students. It must be some sort of a sick teacher thing, because I can’t think of any reason that my students would be excited that a new question type popped up on their most recent assessment. I guess I like finding … Continue reading Assess proficiency with word-level analysis questions

Comprehensify your textbook readings!

As an Alaskan, PNCFL is my ‘home’ region, but with Minneapolis just a six-hour direct flight from Anchorage, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to attend this year’s CSCTFL conference. Paired with a day spent observing Susan Block Johnson and an afternoon QAR session, it was the perfect way to spend this past week. I … Continue reading Comprehensify your textbook readings!

QAR en français!

Thanks to Samantha Uebel, who sent me French translations for my QAR materials, all of you French teachers out there can rest easy knowing that you can pop into class tomorrow and try out QAR without having to do the grunt work of translating everything for yourselves!! Yippee! Click here to download the materials in French, … Continue reading QAR en français!

QAR Strategies for Differentiating Questions

If you attended my workshop on QAR Strategies for Differentiating Questions at iFLT this past summer or its condensed counterpart at AFLA just a few weekends ago, you will be happy to see this post! If you didn't, I hope that you will be happy to have found it once you've read through it. QAR (Question-Answer Relationships) … Continue reading QAR Strategies for Differentiating Questions

There is/There are

Hay--the word for "there is" or "there are" in Spanish--is one of the highest frequency structures in any language. However...it's not one of the easiest to teach because it is difficult for students to form a mental picture with which to associate it. As with any new structure, give your students the translation (ideally, in written … Continue reading There is/There are

Cada oveja con su pareja

It's a matching activity in disguise! Well, not so much in disguise as pretending to be cool. 'Cada oveja con su pareja' is the Spanish equivalent of 'Birds of a feather flock together'. I'd love to hear if there is a similar expression in other languages (post them in comments, if so!). Matching activities are … Continue reading Cada oveja con su pareja