On their own path this week (03/12/16)

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After taking some days off for a mini-vacation, I’m back this week with another blog summary.  The extra time allowed me some extra time to filter through more posts and the blogosphere didn’t disappoint. Below are some my favorite reads from the past couple of weeks. Of course, the weekend might also be a good time to review some of the incredible resources shared during the four regional conferences this past month. Pull up a chair, open your favorite note taking app and learn from your couch: #scolt16, #nectfl16, #swcolt16, #csctfl16.

  • Grading: it’s only a matter of time!CLC_grading

    Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you likely have been reading and inhaling every single post that Megan and Kara at the Creative Language Class have shared over the past couple of years. This week’s post really caught my attention because it addresses one my personal interests: Grading and the power it has over teachers. For most teachers it is all-consuming and Megan shares some interesting counterpoints to many of the myths of grading as well as outlines a powerful vision for how teacher could and should spend their time instead of grading.   Read Megan’s post –>

  • Attack of the Translator: What is the debate REALLY about?PBLTL_translating

    As if providing some alternate solutions for grading wasn’t enough, Spanish teacher, Laura Sexton, tackled another one of those hot button issues for many teachers this week: online translators! I can’t imagine a language teacher who hasn’t encountered this issue at some point. It’s been around as long as the Internet and I remember having many of the same feelings of frustration, disappointment and perhaps even helplessness when students did it. But Laura moves beyond the natural anger you might feel, and walks us through some tough questions and even comes to a powerful conclusion. Perhaps the entire debate has nothing to do with online translators.  Read Laura’s post –>

  • From the P2P Blog: Language Advocacy Starts With You

    After weeks of very admirable advocacy efforts in Florida, we got some good news on Friday evening. The coding instead of world language legislation had failed. While this was an impressive rallying of the profession to support our colleagues in the sunshine state, we should also view it as an important reminder that EVERY teacher is an advocate and Alyssa Villarreal’s outlined this notion in her post this week. Not every teacher feels compelled to write a letter to the editor, call a legislator, or testify in front of an education committee. And perhaps the best kind of advocacy actually starts in our classrooms where every teacher decides what future leaders opinions are of world language learning.  Read Alyssa’s post –>

  • From the P2P Blog: Finding the Right Word

    We all know the value of circumlocution, but it’s also one of those skills that’s not that easy to teach. Yet, when mastered opens the doors for our learners to use language and engage in conversations so much more freely. Spanish high school teacher, Jaime Basham, shared (step-by-step) how she tackles this issue even with her first year students.  Read Jaime’s post –>

  • Availability of Foreign Language materials in OER repositories

    Guiding students down the path to proficiency requires many resources. Finding just the right one takes a lot of planning  and sometimes keeps teachers from the path to proficiency, because let’s be honest: who has the time to find all those resources? The Center for Open Educational Resources and Language Learning did a nice round-up of multiple websites that offer FREE materials for language teachers. I know, I frequent many of these sites on a weekly basis. Read COERLL’s post –>

Thomas Sauer is the Director of Design and Communication for AdvanceLearning and an independent consultant. He previously held…

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