mega888 The Learning Experience – Path 2 Proficiency

Fresh Eyes: Seeing Work Through the Lens of Proficiency

Through my posts on this blog, I’m tracking my experiences, as both a novice teacher (in regards to proficiency) and as a more veteran teacher, with ten years of public high school teaching in my past.  This first two months of being back in the classroom, after five years outside of public schools, have been …

Singapore American School Visit Catapults Us On Our Path

University School of Milwaukee World Language Teachers Share Their Notes From Visit to the Singapore American School This past May 2017, my colleagues, Alison Dupee, LS French teacher; Neelie Barthenheier, a MS French teacher and LS and MS World Language Chair; and I returned on fire with inspiration to grow as 21st-century world language educators. …

Learning Language Through Cultural Products and Practices – Part 1: Racing Dragonboats

It’s important to confess right here at the beginning that I am a firm believer in learning and playing being one and the same—specifically every step along the way from Novice Zero to “survival language” Intermediate Mid-ish. So, the lessons, materials and activities I present and discuss here are firmly rooted in the idea that …

Proficiency Has Made Me A Better Teacher

Listen to understand, not to respond. When I heard those words two years ago, they really resonated with me. The context was teaching toward proficiency, but really, I think they’re good advice for life in general. Listen to understand, not to respond. Since 2014, in teaching toward the goal of student proficiency, I have become …

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, …

Peer editing writing stations

One of my biggest challenges as a teacher is to relinquish the floor. I am not proud of it, but being aware of it has helped me find ways to cope with the allure of being the sage on stage. As I work with language learners who are increasingly proficient, I’ve realized they need more …

Stepping Stones to Interpretive Reading

When I started to teach towards proficiency, I knew what the end product was, but I was not always clear how to get there.  What would I do each day in class?  However, once I started asking students more and more proficiency questions on my assessments, I would start to notice the gaps in their …

Technology Doesn’t Create Learning; It Captures It

Ah, yes, technology. Coming fresh out of a fabulous #SCOLT17 in Orlando, there were lots of technology ideas that floated around in sessions and conversations. These are great, because we do, indeed, live in the Information Age, a time where we can find nearly any piece of information at our fingertips. Therefore, we should definitely be …

Clashing the Personalities in the Target Language

Elena Giudice considers herself fortunate to have lived and worked in international schools in France, Puerto Rico, USA, The Bahamas, and Malta. Her studies in Intercultural Communications influenced her personal and professional growth in such positive ways that she strives to reach her students not only in their language growth but in the development of …