Tag Archives: Goals

55: Setting the Tone and Getting to Know Students

After an exciting and productive summer I am back with new episodes of the World Language Classroom podcast.  In this episode We will talk about setting the tone for the school year along with some ideas for getting to know your students and beginning to build a sense of community in the classroom. I also speak about what I have been up to this summer and what you can expect for this school year on the podcast.  I’m so happy to be back with you.

Topics in this episode:

My goals in the language classroom:

  • To use the target language to communicate authentically and with purpose. 
  • To be able to infer (Comprehensible Inout) and use circumlocution. 
  • To use the target language more than learning about it.
  • To know how to learn about cultural aspects and then to use that information to engage respectfully and confidently. 
  • To create an environment that is comfortable and supportive, not fearful. Low affective filter. Take risks and make mistakes!
  • To participate & be part of a community

Ideas for engaging students from day 1 from Leslie Grahn, Elena Spathis, Justin (Spanish Plans), Tim Eagan, Ms Morgan and Adam Giedd,

Work with Joshua either in person or remotely.

Follow wherever you listen to podcasts.

Setting Goals in the Foreign Language Classroom

Update on this Post: I recently wrote a follow up to this goal setting post that focuses on setting proficiency goals using the ACTFL Proficiency Scale and the Can-Do Statements.  You can read it HERE.

Goal Setting in the Foreign (World) Language Classroom. (French, Spanish) wlteacher.wordpress.comAs teachers we all understand the importance of setting goals and having students set goals for themselves.   Since the study of a foreign language (particularly for students beginning a language in middle school, high school or in college) is a new undertaking and and students generally have little or no previous experience, I find it very important to give them clear guidance as they set personal goals for learning a foreign language.  Students may set goals that are clearly too difficult to reach or goals that they will reach in two days.  Clear guidance from the teacher can help students to understand what attainable goals can look like in the world language classroom.  Here is an example of what I ask students to do when they begin setting goals for themselves.  I have them revisit each term and asses where they are in terms of reaching their goals.

  • As you look forward to the year ahead in, what do you hope to accomplish?  What are some areas of language or culture that you want to know more about?  What can you do to make sure that you are able to accomplish these goals?
  • Consider the many aspects of learning a foreign language as you create some goals for yourself this year.  Here are some ideas to consider: Speaking, Pronunciation, Understanding , Writing , Familiarity with Cultures, Vocabulary, Grammar.
  • Consider where your skill/confidence level in these areas is now and where you would like to be at the end of this school year.  Remember this about setting SMART goals.  Goals should be:






  • Take some time to write down what you hope to accomplish this year and how you plan to go about it.

You can download goal setting sheets for foreign language students HERE.