Category Archives: Classroom Procedures

67: Checking for Understanding


In this episode I’m taking the idea of input a little further.  Most of us are on board and understand the importance of making input comprehensible for students.  But, how can we check that the language is actually being understood by students? Because if they’re not understanding they’re not acquiring. I’ll share tips for checking for understanding and what to do with the info we get.

Topics covered in this episode:

  • The quick rundown on input and why it’s beneficial
  • The role of comprehensible input
  • How to make input comprehensible
  • Why check for understanding
  • Why the checks are useful and what to do with what we learn
  • How to check for understanding
  • Strategies for checking for understanding

Podcast episodes referenced in this episode:

Work with Joshua either in person or remotely.

Follow wherever you listen to podcasts.

Teachers want to hear from you and what you are proud of in your classroom.
Join me on the podcast.
We record conversations remotely, so you can be anywhere.

66: (2) Finding a Common Ground with Florencia Henshaw and Maris Hawkins


This is part 2 of my conversion with Florencia Henshaw and Maris Hawkins, the authors of Common Ground: Second Language Acquisition Theory Goes to the Classroom by. We had so much to cover that I had to break it down into 2 episodes. Today, Florencia, Maris and I discuss engaging the communication modes at different developmental levels, moving from input to output, particularly when working with learners progressing from novice to intermediate, collaborating with colleagues and understanding what “progress” looks like in a proficiency-based classroom.  We also have a rather amusing “this or that” conversation.

Connect with Florencia Henshaw:

Connect with Maris Hawkins Henshaw:

Get your own copy of Common Ground.  Hackett Publishing is generously offering a 25% discount when you use the code WLC2022.  [Available through December 31, 2022].

**The 25% off discount code can be used for any book through the end of December, 2022.  Hackett publishes several intermediate language-learning textbooks in Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Latin, and Classical Greek. New releases include Cinema for French Conversation, Cinema for Spanish Conversation, and Les Français.

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Work with Joshua either in person or remotely.

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Teachers want to hear from you and what you are proud of in your classroom. Join me on the podcast.  We record conversations remotely, so you can be anywhere.

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Follow wherever you listen to podcasts.

65: (1) Finding a Common Ground with Florencia Henshaw and Maris Hawkins


These are the episodes that we have been waiting for. The  first of a 2-part conversion with Florencia Henshaw and Maris Hawkins, the authors of Common Ground: Second Language Acquisition Theory Goes to the Classroom. We had so much to cover that I had to break it down into 2 episodes.  This is the first part and next Monday (episode 66) you will hear part 2. Today, Florencia, Maris and I discuss what prompted the writing of the book, their collaboration, what they hope teachers get out of Common Ground, how and why their approach is effective, and the all important topic of input.

Connect with Florencia Henshaw:

Connect with Maris Hawkins Henshaw:

Get your own copy of Common Ground.  Hackett Publishing is generously offering a 25% discount when you use the code WLC2022.  [Available through December 31, 2022].

**The 25% off discount code can be used for any book through the end of December, 2022.  Hackett publishes several intermediate language-learning textbooks in Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Latin, and Classical Greek. New releases include Cinema for French Conversation, Cinema for Spanish Conversation, and Les Français.

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Work with Joshua either in person or remotely.

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Teachers want to hear from you and what you are proud of in your classroom. Join me on the podcast.  We record conversations remotely, so you can be anywhere.

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Follow wherever you listen to podcasts.

64: Spark Enthusiasm in Your Students with Amy Haney & Katie Acosta


In this episode, we’re talking about inspiring and sparking enthusiasm in our students.  Katie Acosta and Amy Haney, Spanish teachers in Ohio,  join me today to explore this topic.  Their blog, sparkenthusiasm.com, is dedicated to building student excitement and genuine interest in the language classroom.

Topics include:

  • the benefits of positive energy in the classroom, both from a student and teacher perspective.
  • what enthusiastic students look like and how we know it’s authentic.
  • ways  teachers can initiate (spark if you will) enthusiasm in students.
  • how teachers can continue to foster enthusiasm.
  • concrete ideas for inspiring student interest;  class activities, compelling inout and output.
  • how teachers can keep their own spark and flame going.

Connect with Amy and Katie:

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Work with Joshua either in person or remotely.

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Teachers want to hear from you and what you are proud of in your classroom. Join me on the podcast.  We record conversations remotely, so you can be anywhere.

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Follow wherever you listen to podcasts.

 

63: Input and Output


In this episode we look at input and output. These two simple words can appear simple, but there is a lot to explore when it comes to what they actually look like in the classroom. This is the fourth of 5 episodes dedicated to the book Common Ground: Second Language Acquisition Theory Goes to the Classroom by Florencia Henshaw and Maris Hawkins. In two weeks you will hear the final episode of the series that will be a conversation with the authors.  For now, we’ll spend some time with input and output guided by Henshaw and Hawkins in Common Ground..so, let’s jump in.

Topics in the episode:

  • Recap of Guiding Principles: Acquisition and Communication
  • The Role of Input
  • What effective input is and is not
  • Comprehensible Input and Krashen’s Monitor Model
  • Authentic Resources
  • The Role of Output
  • Swain’s Output Hypothesis
  • Input or Output?  What builds the linguistic system?
  • Making the discussion interactive on Twitter with Joshua (@wlcalssoom), Florencia Henshaw (@Prof_F_Henshaw) and Maris Hawkins (@Marishawkins).

Other Podcast episodes referenced in this episode:

Get your own copy of Common Ground.  Hackett Publishing is generously offering a 25% discount when you use the code WLC2022.  [Available through December 31, 2022].

**The 25% off discount code can be used for any book through the end of December, 2022.  Hackett publishes several intermediate language-learning textbooks in Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Latin, and Classical Greek. New releases include Cinema for French Conversation, Cinema for Spanish Conversation, and Les Français.

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Work with Joshua either in person or remotely.

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Teachers want to hear from you and what you are proud of in your classroom. Join me on the podcast.  We record conversations remotely, so you can be anywhere.

——————————————————————————————-

Follow wherever you listen to podcasts.

Path to Proficiency Wall for Language Classroom

I’m a big proponent of students taking an active role in their language learning journey.  This means that they need to have a solid understanding of the ACTFL Proficiency Levels or Performance Descriptors.  They can then track their progress and set concrete goals.

Path to Proficiency Wall for Language Classroom (French, Spanish)

The Proficiency Levels can be little challenging to understand, but when broken down they are quite accessible for students.  I created a Path to Proficiency Wall that lays out the text type (language input and output) at each each level and sub-level from Novice Low to Intermediate High.

Students can easily understand the level and use the Proficiency Wall as a reference along their language learning journey.  The text types for each level are displayed along with the specific language functions associated with each individual proficiency level. It has also been helpful in conversations with colleagues and it helps families to grasp the concept of proficiency and  acquisition-focused language instruction.

Path to Proficiency Wall for Language Classroom (French, Spanish)

I put this picture on social media to inspire teachers.  I received many requests for the documents so that teachers could create something similar to use with their students. I put all of the documents together in one PDF that you can download, print and post in your classroom.

Path to Proficiency Wall for Language Classroom (French, Spanish)

62: Class Pacing and Brain Breaks with Fadi Aboughoush


In this episode, we talk about pacing in our language classrooms.  How do we determine the amount of time that students should spend on particular activities? Part of this involves when and how to use Brain Breaks.  Fadi Aboughoush, an Arabic teacher in Chicago, has a wealth of information and ideas on this topic.

Topics include:

  • class structure and pacing and why it is important to plan in advance, rather than just seeing where things go.
  • how long we should spend on activities in the various modes and signs of it being time to move on or take a break.
  • the purpose of brain breaks.
  • do we need to change activities after a Brain Break, or can we return to the previous activity?
  • what makes a brain break effective.
  • useful brain breaks that we can try right away.
  • Wheel Decide

Connect with Fadi Aboughoush:

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Work with Joshua either in person or remotely.

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Teachers want to hear from you and what you are proud of in your classroom. Join me on the podcast.  We record conversations remotely, so you can be anywhere.

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Follow wherever you listen to podcasts.

61: Goals and Assessment in the Language Classroom


In this episode we look at goals, and assessment of those goals, in teaching and learning language.  This is the third of 5 episodes dedicated to the book Common Ground: Second Language Acquisition Theory Goes to the Classroom by Florencia Henshaw and Maris Hawkins. Actionable insights and takeaways that you can use right away as you set goals for your students and create the assessments that support students moving toward them.  

Topics in the episode:

  • ACTFL Proficiency Levels
  • Setting Proficiency-Based Goals
  • Performance and Proficiency
  • Assessment; Integrated Performance Assessments and Rubrics
  • Intercultural Communication Goals
  • Making the discussion interactive on Twitter with Joshua (@wlcalssoom), Florencia Henshaw (@Prof_F_Henshaw) and Maris Hawkins (@Marishawkins).

Blog posts referenced in this episode:

Get your own copy of Common Ground.  Hackett Publishing is generously offering a 25% discount when you use the code WLC2022.  [Available through December 31, 2022].

**The 25% off discount code can be used for any book through the end of December, 2022.  Hackett publishes several intermediate language-learning textbooks in Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Latin, and Classical Greek. New releases include Cinema for French Conversation, Cinema for Spanish Conversation, and Les Français.

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Work with Joshua either in person or remotely.

——————————————————————————————-

Teachers want to hear from you and what you are proud of in your classroom. Join me on the podcast.  We record conversations remotely, so you can be anywhere.

——————————————————————————————-

Follow wherever you listen to podcasts.

59: Guiding Principles of Second Language Acquisition


In this episode we look at the guiding principles and fundamentals of language acquisition and how they should influence our teaching.  This is the second episode dedicated to the book Common Ground: Second Language Acquisition Theory Goes to the Classroom by Florencia Henshaw and Maris Hawkins.  They are very effective at laying out the fundamentals of SLA, and it is essential that we understand these foundations before taking on topics such as goals, assessment, input and output, which will be the focus of the next 2 episodes. 

Topics in the episode:

  • what it means to acquire language
  • when and how acquisition happens
  • what communication is and is not
  • the importance of communication in acquiring language
  • the teacher’s role (hint: it’s not to explain grammar)
  • Making the discussion interactive on Twitter with Joshua (@wlcalssoom), Florencia Henshaw (@Prof_F_Henshaw) and Maris Hawkins (@Marishawkins).

Get your own copy of Common Ground.  Hackett Publishing is generously offering a 25% discount when you use the code WLC2022. [Available through December 31, 2022].

**The 25% off discount code can be used for any book through the end of December, 2022.  Hackett publishes several intermediate language-learning textbooks in Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Latin, and Classical Greek. New releases include Cinema for French Conversation, Cinema for Spanish Conversation, and Les Français.

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Work with Joshua either in person or remotely.

——————————————————————————————-

Teachers want to hear from you and what you are proud of in your classroom. Join me on the podcast.  We record conversations remotely, so you can be anywhere.

——————————————————————————————-

Follow wherever you listen to podcasts.

58: Equitable Feedback Practices with Ben Tinsley


This episode was recored live during the National Foreign Language Center’s Virtual Summit.  Ben Tinsley, a French teacher in Pennsylvania, joins me to talk about equitable feedback in the language classroom.  We all know how essential feedback is for students in their language learning process, but does feedback look the same for all students.  Ben Tinsley provides insights along with actionable suggestions.

Video of live recording during the NFLC Virtual Summit.

Topics in this episode:

  •  Culturally Responsive Teaching and how it benefits students.
  • Important terminology:
    -Equity vs. Equality
    -Inclusive Teaching vs. Anti-Racist Teaching
  • Common inequitable ways of grading/assessment and providing feedback and what we teachers can do so that we are being more equitable.
  • How we can be more intentionally equitable.

Connect with Ben Tinsley:

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Work with Joshua either in person or remotely.

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Teachers want to hear from you and what you are proud of in your classroom. Join me on the podcast.  We record conversations remotely, so you can be anywhere.

——————————————————————————————-

Follow wherever you listen to podcasts.