Uncategorized

Field notes: What I’m learning about how to teach listening skills.

In 22 years of teaching a second language, I have learned that all students, now matter how good their academic ability in any other area, struggle with listening. I've asked them how they see listening tasks, and their answers are pretty consistent. They say things like "you either get it or you don't", "sometimes I … Continue reading

Assessment, Differentiation, Growth mentality, Learning Maps, Self-Regulated Learning, Uncategorized

Rethinking learning maps #3: How do I align feedback with big learning goals and with self-regulated learning?

This is the third in a series of blog posts about my inquiry project for my current coursework. The first two can be found here and here. This post represents the second step in what I had outlined as my monitoring process, and it was much bigger than I had anticipated. Here's what I wrote … Continue reading

Communication, Differentiation, Growth mentality, Uncategorized

How do you say that? 13 ways to work on pronunciation in second language classes.

During my years as a second language teacher, I have learned some things about my student's struggles with pronunciation. This scene from My Fair Lady shows poorEliza struggling to master one lesson right after another, using a bewildering and changing array of learning strategies. https://youtu.be/MJr9SSJKkII First, I've learned that despite many teachers' complaints to the … Continue reading

Communication, Critical thinking, Differentiation, Listening, Uncategorized

Three ways to integrate differentiated listening activities in second language classes.

For the past 4 years, I have been part of a committee in my school district looking at a range of programs from publishers, with a goal of finding a new program for our schools to adopt in our French as a Second Language (FSL) classes. One of the biggest objections to the old programs … Continue reading

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

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