mega888 On their own path (02/04/2017) – Path 2 Proficiency

What a busy week in the blogging world. There were so many great posts from educators that it made it really tough to pick the ones that really made me think, smile, or wonder. Hope you’ll find them helpful in your own journey.

  • Using Proficiency Levels With Students? I NOW Get Why! (Or “You Don’t Play Video Games Just to Play Do You?”)

    Inspired by the work of teachers in both Jefferson County (KY) and Shelby County (TN), I’ve been talking about the importance of getting learners involved in understanding proficiency. Japanese teacher, Colleen Lee-Hayes make a pretty powerful argument for inviting her students onto the Path to Proficiency instead of just “asking them to play the video game over and over but I have failed to validate this but giving them a ‘new level’ to achieve.” Read Colleen’s post –> 

  • Student-Teacher Relationships Are Everything

    We have all taken the class. We have all sat through the professional development and yet it’s easy to forget. Educator, James Ford, provides a very blunt reminder that the “relational part of teaching may very well be its most underrated aspect. It simply does not get the respect it deserves.” And I really really want to create a t-shirt now that says “Maslow comes before Bloom”.  Read James’ post –> 

  • El Camino a la Competencia

    Spanish teacher, Alissa Farias, shares some main takeaways in this summary reflection about her experience at TELL Collab Seattle: Learning Targets, Pathway to Proficiency, Level Up, 90% Target Language.  Read Alissa’s post –> 

  • When homework is not the problem

    A quick read from Spanish teacher, Maris Hawkins, that will leave you thinking about why students make some of the decisions in your classroom when it comes to using translators. “one thing that really stuck out to me was that Alice said essentially that many times we blame homework on why students aren’t doing well, but that is not the reason that they are not doing well.”  Read Maris’ post –> 

  • Task-based White Elephant

    Creating task-based lessons is a big part of being on the path to proficiency. In this post, Latin Teacher, Rachel Ash, outlines and provides access to her work, as she designed a lesson where her students weren’t just learning language or about language, but where “language became a means instead of an end.”  Read Rachel’s post –> 

  • 3 Ways to Encourage Creativity in Your Classroom

    While this is a non-language teacher post, from Educator Steven Anderson, it spoke to me as it served as a reminder for what so many language teachers are trying to do. When are students most creative (aka engaged)? When they have choice, mobility and an audience!  Warning: the post is an advertisement for a product. Just ignore that part, the message still applies.  Read Steven’s post –> 

  • Resolutions 2017: Support the Community 

    Continuing her series of resolution posts, Spanish educator, Sara-Elizabeth Cottrell, reminds us how else we can be respectful and support each other in our work as educators and encourages her readers to take some very specific actions in 2017. Hope you will join me in not just reading the post but taking one or more of those actions.  Read Sara-Elizabeth’ post –> 


Published by Thomas Sauer

Thomas Sauer is the Director of Design and Communication for AdvanceLearning and an independent consultant. He previously held positions as world language specialist in the Fayette County Public Schools and Jefferson County Public Schools for almost ten years and taught German at the University of Kentucky, Georgetown College and Kentucky Educational Television. He has directed a variety of state and federal grants, most recently as program director and consultant for several successful STARTALK programs. Thomas has served as President of the Kentucky World Language Association as well as on the Board of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, the National Association of District Supervisors of Foreign Languages and the Central States Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. Named the 2011 Pearson/NADSFL Supervisor of the Year and a 2010 Global Visionary by the World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana, Thomas is passionate about helping educators making the shift from teaching to learning.