What you missed on the path in 2016
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What you missed on the path in 2016

As the calendar turns to a new year, we are of course looking back at 2016 and looking forward to 2017. We added several new authors this year and more are coming on board next year. Since it’s an unspoken rule to share your top posts of the year, we thought we do the same […]

Telling (Childhood) Stories
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Telling (Childhood) Stories

I’ve been struggling hardcore with my one of my classes recently.  They’re an upper-level class, and I feel like we’re doing the same style of thing every day, or most days at least.  Their interest in conversation and authentic resources and real-life issues is not really that high, and I’m at the point where I […]

An ImpACTFL Reunion
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An ImpACTFL Reunion

I was so glad I was able to attend ACTFL this year in Boston! Though it was my first time attending an ACTFL convention, it really felt like a class reunion more than attending a convention because there were so many friends and colleagues I got to catch up with that I had seen at […]

Taking Back Sunday
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Taking Back Sunday

No, Taking Back Sunday isn’t the name of a band, although I think if we strung together a ragtag rock group of tired teachers, perhaps it could be. Here in the throes of DEVOLSON, it could work. Taking Back Sunday is the mindset I adopted exactly five years ago today (thanks, Facebook “On This Day” […]

Perfect is Boring
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Perfect is Boring

Perfect is boring.  No one likes the person who is perfect, or thinks he’s perfect, or strives always to be perfect.  It’s exhausting and thankless work to be perfect, and honestly, it is really annoying to the rest of us.  Because at the end of the day, none of us is perfect and in that […]

High Tide, Low Tide: The Ebb and Flow of Professional Development
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High Tide, Low Tide: The Ebb and Flow of Professional Development

#ACTFL16 was, again, an exciting, worthwhile experience for me. I find it incredibly energizing to be in setting after setting with like-minded language educators, be it a session, a meal, or a champagne toast, with dear friends or new acquaintances. It is important to sustain the energy that a convention activates and to reflect on […]

Continuing Your Conference Path
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Continuing Your Conference Path

Going to a conference, especially one as large as this year’s ACTFL Convention with over 8,500 attendees, can be incredibly invigorating. Meeting so many teachers who seem to understand just how you think, who understand your struggles, and who are trying to figure how to make this “proficiency thing” happen with their students. But even if […]

Beyond Meaning Making – Establishing Language Ownership (Part 1)
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Beyond Meaning Making – Establishing Language Ownership (Part 1)

As our field grapples with the difference between performance and proficiency, translation and meaning making, fluency and errors, grammar and functional language use, I’ve been thinking a lot about my own language learning experiences. Born and raised in Germany, I was fortunate to be exposed a second language in elementary school by learning Russian starting […]

What I Wish I Knew as a New Teacher
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What I Wish I Knew as a New Teacher

When I was observed as a new teacher by administrators and other people, they noted that I had a good rapport with the students, that I knew my content, that I stayed in the target language a good portion of the time, but that I needed to work on my classroom management. Our post-observation conference […]