Communication, Critical thinking, Cross-curricular, Culture, Lesson ideas, Personal and Social Identity, Personalized Learning, Uncategorized

Cultural celebrations: cheese and chocolate tasting

Full confession - while there is no actual holiday during which everyone gets together and celebrates cheese and chocolate (although... wouldn't that be amazing?), planning a classroom experience like this is an opportunity to showcase certain aspects of French culture that are fun, interesting, easy to compare to others, and very popular with my high … Continue reading

Assessment, Communication, Critical thinking, Curriculum, Growth mentality, Personalized Learning, Resources, writing

What I’ve learned so far about student translator use.

My two teaching areas are English and French. I haven't taught English for some time, but there are some pretty reliable tools available now to catch incidents of plagiarism. Translator use is considered plagiarism in second language classes, and it's no exaggeration to say that plagiarism is rampant in high schools. Simply put, work completed … Continue reading

Communication, Critical thinking, Differentiation, Growth mentality, Personalized Learning

Introducing choice-based writing in second language classes

Last summer, I read a book that was a game changer for me. The book was called Writing Circles, written by James Vopat. Mr. Vopat has developed a system similar to literature circles, using peer-led small groups and micro lessons focused on skills and strategies to do the following: lead students from practice to progress as … Continue reading

collaboration, Communication, Critical thinking, Curriculum, Differentiation, Growth mentality, Lesson ideas, Personalized Learning, Uncategorized

How to design stations for second language classes

My collaboration partner and I have been using stations (sometimes also called centers) in our secondary level French as a second language classes over the past year. When we tell our colleagues what we're doing, reactions vary. If we're talking to secondary teachers, the reaction is somewhere between asking us what we're talking about to … Continue reading

Communication, Critical thinking, Curriculum, Differentiation, Growth mentality, Lesson ideas, Listening, Personalized Learning

Skill-based strategies for listening in second languages

One of the big shifts in education in BC has been the transition from a content-based curriculum to one that is skills-based. There are many subject areas that are heavily driven by content (math and science, for example). Second languages are a relatively easy place to make the transition to skill-based instruction, but it is … Continue reading

Assessment, Communication, Critical thinking, Differentiation, Growth mentality, literacy, Personalized Learning

The Power of 4: Building second language skills with questioning

I wanted to write this blog post to share a strategy that has worked well this year to help my students progress in their speaking skills. The big four language competencies are speaking, listening, reading and writing. Of those, speaking is the one that probably causes the most stress and anxiety for students. They have … Continue reading

Critical thinking, Differentiation, Lesson ideas, Listening, Personal and Social Identity, Teaching ideas

6 Authentic cultural activities for exploring Christmas traditions in second language classes

The week before Christmas holidays is usually a busy one in schools, and often a time when students' attention may wander. There are many Christmas-themed worksheets and quick activities available, but this year my collaboration partner and I have put together a series of stations for our students to explore some cultural aspects of the … Continue reading

Communication, Critical thinking, Differentiation, Lesson ideas, literacy, Personalized Learning, Teaching ideas

Five ways to use stations – adapted for use in second language classes

The more I am working on moving to more skill based instruction, implementing BC's new curriculum redesign, the more I am finding that using stations are a good instructional design to allow students to practice those skills using communicative activities, and receive feedback in class. The more I use them, the more they are becoming … Continue reading