On their own path (04/23/16)
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On their own path (04/23/16)

It was a busy week on the Path to Proficiency blog that took a very reflective turn. Four new posts, including a new author, that shared some vulnerabilities and reminded me of the human side of teachers. I’ve been saying for years, I often know how effective a teacher is by their reflections. Many of […]

The Struggle of Teaching Level 1
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The Struggle of Teaching Level 1

Disclaimer: I’m going to share a very vulnerable confession, which as a teacher is extremely dangerous because it puts me in a perceived “weak” position.  Although I confess that I struggle teaching Spanish 1, I choose to view it as a strength because it helps me evaluate what I’m doing, how I’m doing it, and […]

Spark Forgiveness
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Spark Forgiveness

I am so excited I attended the TELL Collab Nashville, held at Lipscomb University’s Spark Center! It was an energizing way to connect with passionate language teachers, to enjoy some of Nashville’s great local music, and to reflect on my own teaching over this school year. We’ve come a long way. In the midst of […]

Why not now?
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Why not now?

I could wait another day to write this. It’s an incredibly beautiful day outside, a truly beautiful spring day in Montana. I could wait until I’ve read those essays, typed up that report, found those fantastic resources for my unit that have until now been evading my most clever googling. After I’ve accomplished all that […]

Oh the Places They Will Go…..
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Oh the Places They Will Go…..

Sometimes I feel like a broken record but I will keep saying clear targets that guide instruction are key to success. The World Readiness Standards for Learning Languages outline what we should teach. And the first standard is communication. If you agree that the reason to teach students a language is so they can communicate, then the […]

On their own path this week (04/16/16)
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On their own path this week (04/16/16)

It’s been a busy couple of weeks of learning with teachers around the country, including the yet again amazing TELL Collab in Nashville last weekend (see the Google Drive notes). While I haven’t had a chance to share my weekly blog summary, all the travel hasn’t kept me from keeping up with language teacher blogs […]

On their own path this week (03/26/16)
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On their own path this week (03/26/16)

While many teachers appear to be on spring break around the country, many of them are also taking the opportunity to reflect on their practices. Let’s face it, a teacher’s job is never done and it is hard for us to turn off our brains thinking about improving that lesson, finding that resource, and developing […]

Finding Resources Is the Hardest Thing
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Finding Resources Is the Hardest Thing

“Effective language learning experiences are facilitated by the use of strategically selected resources designed to support course, unit and lesson performance objectives” the Teacher Effectiveness for Language Learning (TELL) Framework tells us. I was sitting in a meeting the other day listening to one of the publishers of new textbooks for the state of Texas, when […]

Another take on the G word …
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Another take on the G word …

Many teachers I meet who are interested in making the shift to a performance driven instructional repertoire have this idea of a false dichotomy. The all or nothing approach – either we teach grammar or we teach toward performance and proficiency.  I can say there are few things in life are that clear-cut. Teaching toward […]