Tag Archives: spanish

46: What Will the Podcast Look Like This Summer?

In this episode I want to talk to you about what the podcast will look like over the summer. Like many of you, I will be on my summer break from school in the US.  I don’t want to go away from you for 6-8 weeks, but also understand that you need some time to recharge.

Over the summer I will publish a “Summer Headspace” episode every Monday.

What is Summer Headspace and how what will this look like:

  • Time to reflect without other pressing priorities and issues
  • Clear head
  • Opportunity to revisit themes and episodes with a fresh lens  
  • Maybe something has come up since you first listened
  • You catch something new
  • Finish an episode that you started
  • Listen to an episode for the first time

I will group 2 episodes by theme so that you can listen to them together. Summer Headspace episodes will be 5-7 minute recaps to pull the themes together and links to the episodes will be in the show notes.

There will be 8 Summer Headspace episodes and new regular season episodes will begin on August 22, 2022.

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45: Taking in all the Information

In this episode I talk about how you can take in and use the information that you hear on this podcast without feeling overwhelmed.  So far there have been 30 guests and 15 solo episodes and it can sometimes feel like a lot to digest.

I offer up some ideas to sift through and figure out what will be most useful to you personally and how you can actually do it when you likely have so much else to do.

Topics that I cover:

  • Decision Paralysis: too many choices to choose from
  • How can we choose what to focus on?
  • First, remember that we do not have to do it all and we teach in different situations (levels, languages, interest, demographics).
  • Second, remember that none of this happened in a day. Teachers are regularly working on their teaching effectiveness.
  • Third, think about what is discussed and suggested with this lens:
    • I can likely do this tomorrow.
    • This needs a little prep, so I’ll do it next week.
    • That will be effective in the _____ unit, so I’ll try it when that unit comes up.
    • The concept is a bit of a change in approach for me and I want to sit with it and learn a little more because it is more of a mindset shift for me, so next year I’ll prioritize trying it out.

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44: Starting a Dual Immersion Program with Francesco Fratto

In this episode we talk about dual immersion programs.  You may be wondering what the difference is between immersion and dual immersion? Francesco Fratto joins me today to clarify and talk us through the process he and his district went though to implement their program.  Francesco is the Director of World Languages, Language Immersion & English as a New Language in Herricks Public Schools in New Hyde Park, NY.

Francesco speaks in detail about:

  • what immersion and dual immersion programs are and how they work.
  • the articulation of the Herricks Public Schools’ dual immersion program and the steps they took to implement the program.
  • the goals of the program, how they measured, and entry requirements.
  • the logistics: finding qualified teachers, promoting the program, student retention, parental concerns around things such as L1 literacy development.

Connect with Francesco Fratto:

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43: Student Choice in the Language Classroom with Maureen Lamb

In this episode we talk about the effectiveness of providing students with choice in the language classroom.  Why should we consider this?  What does it look like in practice?  Maureen Lamb, a Latin and Ancient Greek teacher in West Hartford, CT, joins me to talk through the logistics and benefits of student choice in their language learning.

Maureen speaks about:

  • what led her to look into making “choice” a part of her students’ learning experience.
  • the results of implementing (offering) choices to her students.
  • the various ways that she has used to offer choice to students.
  • the student perspective and experience when given choice.
  • assessment and keeping it all manageable.

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French & Spanish Verb Form and Sentence Writing Activity

Let’s see if this rings a bell. Students know the meaning of verbs and often also know the forms. But, they can’t always take that verb and write a detailed sentence. French & Spanish Verb Form and Sentence Writing Activity

This is an activity that gets them there. In the end they will be writing full sentences in French or Spanish that have accurate verb forms and additional details that show that they clearly know the meaning of the verb.

French & Spanish Verb Form and Sentence Writing Activity French & Spanish Verb Form and Sentence Writing Activity

There are three parts to this activity. When done in order they scaffold the writing process and ensure that students know the meanings of the verbs and their accurate forms.

French & Spanish Verb Form and Sentence Writing Activity

Page 1: Students cut out the Spanish and English infinitives, mix them and then match them up.

Page 2: Students cut out the subject/infinitives and verb forms, mix them and then match them up.

Pages 3-5: Students cut out the subjects and verb forms, match them up, and then write a full sentence with the subject and verb. They can also glue the subject and verb forms onto the page.

French & Spanish Verb Form and Sentence Writing Activity

Photocopy the pages and hand them out to students. They take care of the rest. And, when they finish they will have lots of complete, detailed, accurate sentences in French or French.

French & Spanish Verb Form and Sentence Writing Activity French & Spanish Verb Form and Sentence Writing Activity


42: LGBTQ+ Inclusive Classrooms with Joseph Parodi-Brown

In this episode we talk about creating LGBTQ+ inclusive classrooms and curriculum.  While this is certainly beneficial to our students that identify as LGBTQ+, inclusive classrooms and curriculum benefit all students.  Joseph Parodi-Brown, a Spanish teacher in Connecticut, has done extensive research in this area and puts it into practice in his classroom.  He joins us to offer insights and suggestions for ensuring representation in our classrooms so that all of our students are seen, understood and valued.

Joseph speaks specifically about:

  • the benefits of an inclusive classroom and curriculum.
  • his  journey to creating an LGBTQ+ inclusive classroom and curriculum, the challenges and successes.
  • GLSEN and what can we learn from the National School Climate Survey.
  • the challenges with gendered languages.
  • entry points for positive representation in our classrooms.
  • intersectionality; is the LGBTQ+ experience the same in all cultures?
  • common fears that teachers experience when implementing inclusive curriculum and how to proceed.

Connect with Joseph Parodi-Brown:

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41: Practice or Communication?

In this episode I talk about the ideas of practice and communication in the language classroom.  Sometimes what we think is authentic communication in the language is actually just practicing structures and vocabulary.  Is there a place for practice or should it always be focused on communication?  I take on these concepts with suggestions for what this can look like in you classroom.

I speak specifically about:

  • Sandra Savignon’s definition of communication: “The expression, interpretation and very often negotiation of meaning in a given context. Communication has purpose.”
  • Proficiency: what a student can do with language in real-world situations .
  • Distinguishing Practice and Communication and what these look like in our classrooms.
  • Practice, Activity and Task
  • Practice Language and Communication Language

Common Ground: Second Language Acquisition Theory Goes to the Classroom
by Florencia G. Henshaw and Maris D. Hawkins


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40: Microinstruction in the Language Classroom with Lindsay Mitchell

In this episode we talk about the concept of Microinstruction. This approach is being applied in general education contexts, but we we speak about how it can be used specifically in the language classroom.  I’m joined by Lindsay Mitchell, a Spanish teacher in New Hampshire, who talks about her own personal experience and success with Microinstruction.

Lindsay speaks about:

  • the skill set from her previous profession that she brought to her teaching
  • obstacles and challenges that she saw in her classroom that led her to look for other approaches
  • the concept of microinstruction and its benefits
  • what a lesson looks like using the microinstruction approach
  • the levels and content best suited to microinstruction

Connect with Lindsay Mitchell:

French and Spanish Teaching Position at the Brookwood School in Manchester, MA.

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39: Target Language Games with Kevin Quigley

If you listed to episode 19 with Trudy Anderson you heard her talk about using Jessica Haxhi’s acronym M.A.G.I.C. in the language classroom.  This stands for Movement, Authentic Resources, Games, Interaction and Communication. The focus on this episode is games.  I speak with Kevin Quigley, a French and Spanish teacher in Vermont, and he shares several low-prep target languages games that you can use in your classroom tomorrow (or even today).

Kevin speaks about:

  • why games, and student engagement in general, are beneficial
  • misconceptions about games
  • several effective games and activities that you use in the classroom right away
  • how often we should use a particular game 
  • the important of mixing up games

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38: Strategies to Engage Early Language Learners with Carolina Gómez

Even if you are a middle or high school teacher you will surely learn a lot from Carolina Gómez, my guest on this episode.  Carolina is Spanish teacher in Massachusetts and she walks us through planning and procedures that authentically engage learners with compelling, meaningful and comprehensible language.
Carolina speaks about:

  • the benefits of early language learning and any concerns or fears that parents may have.
  • what draws her to teaching early learners.
  • how we can engage early learners and make language comprehensible for them.
  • what lesson planning looks like with early learners.
  • what teachers of all ages can take away from the strategies that she shares with us.

Connect with Carolina Gómez:

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