Transitioning from a Traditional PK-12 World Language Program to an Oral Proficiency-based  Program
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Transitioning from a Traditional PK-12 World Language Program to an Oral Proficiency-based Program

Are you considering transitioning your world language program from a traditional one to an oral-proficiency based one? In this blog post, I will share the basic steps that we, the University School of Milwaukee in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, have taken to make such a shift in the last few years in our PK-12 World Language department. […]

Understanding Interpersonal Mode at the Intermediate Level
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Understanding Interpersonal Mode at the Intermediate Level

I think the biggest benefit of blogging for teachers is that it increases their ability to be reflective and articulate about their practice.  Stray thoughts and half-awarenesses get fleshed out into full-fledged epiphanies as teachers figure out how to talk with their colleagues about what they do in the classroom.  Back in April, I ended […]

Creating Order Out of Chaos: Crafting Appropriate Lessons Within a Thematic Unit
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Creating Order Out of Chaos: Crafting Appropriate Lessons Within a Thematic Unit

What can the biblical creation story teach us about unit and lesson planning? A lot! The Book of Genesis explains that God began with “tohu va’vohu” (sometimes translated from the Hebrew as “unformed and void”) and then differentiated the world into heaven and earth. From there, the Divine went on to separate light from darkness, […]

Proficiency and Parents
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Proficiency and Parents

We’re all about the proficiency path at our school. I’ve got the levels posted in my classroom: the ice cream cone graphic in elementary and signs with level descriptors in middle school. We’re using can-do statements in every unit, assessing with IPAs, learning language in context.  My alumni students leave with a language immersion trip […]

Let your students lead the way
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Let your students lead the way

At this point of the year, I am able to let students take even more control in level 2.  They are starting to become more confident in their abilities, and they know what I expect of them when we complete activities.  Now, it is time for them to take the reins!  Some of my favorite […]

The Power of Pause
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The Power of Pause

Three seconds. Research has shown that giving students at least three seconds of think time after asking a question increases results in a number of ways. Yet, with time constraints and our students’ waning attention spans, we are continually pressured to crank out questions and answers, call on a variety of students, make sure everyone feels good, […]

My Path to Proficiency: A Travel Journal
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My Path to Proficiency: A Travel Journal

The thing about embarking down the Path to Proficiency is that there isn’t just one single path you have to take.  When I first began my journey towards proficiency, I found myself often looking to others further along the trek than me and asking them for directions. I knew that I couldn’t implement everything I […]