Tag Archives: teacher

21: Unpack the 5 C’s with Catherine Ritz


In this episode we unpack the 5 C’: Communication, Cultures, Connections, Comparisons, and Communities,  I am joined by Dr. Catherine Ritz who walks us through what exactly the 5 C’s are and the benefits of using them in our language classrooms.

Catherine speaks about:

  • the World Readiness Standards and their relationship to the 5 C’s
  • what the 5 C’s are with an example of what each might look like in a unit or lesson
  • whether the 5 C’s should be used independently or interwoven
  • addressing all of the 5 C’s in the target language, beginning at the novice level
  • examples of units that include the 5 C’s

Connect with Catherine Ritz:

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20: Rubrics for Assessment and Learning with Becky Bray Rankin


In this episode we talk about rubrics, not just as an assessment tool, but also as a way to help students grow in proficiency.

I’m joined by Beckie Bray Rankin, a high school French Teacher in Massachusetts, who has presented widely on the topic of rubrics…or, as she refers to them, the “thingamabob that does the job.”

Beckie talks about:

  • what pre-rubric teaching was like
  • how she discovered rubrics (or rediscovered)
  • the benefits of rubrics for students and teachers
  • rubrics and IPA’s
  • the Learn -Practice -Assess -Reflect cycle
  • how a rubric is never really “done” and what she continues to work on

Connect with Becky on Twitter (@BBRlaprof)

Work with Joshua either in person or remotely.

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19: Centers and Stations in the Language Classroom with Trudy Anderson


In this episode we are talking about using centers (or stations) in the language classroom.  I am joined by Trudy Anderson, a teacher with considerable experience with designing and implementing centers.

Trudy guides us in understanding…

  • if centers are for useful for all levels and students
  • why we should consider stations
  • how to  set up centers
  • types of stations
  • materials and where to get them
  • logistics of setting up centers…how long, how many, when, assessment?
  • the benefits of adding MAGIC to lessons (Movement, Authentic Resources, Games, Interaction, Challenge)

Connect with Trudy at trudycamand@gmail.com.

Work with Joshua either in person or remotely.

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18: Make Your Can Do Statements Communicative


In this episode we are talking about Can Do Statements.  Are yours truly communicative and proficiency-based, allowing students to show what they can do with the language?

We discuss:

  • what the ACTFL Can Do Statements are and why they were created
  • the Intercultural Can Do Statements
  • how to write an effective Can Do Statement that is rooted in the proficiency level of your class
  • what makes a Can Do Statement communicative
  • examples for modifying Can Do Statements to make them more communicative

Links mentioned in this episode:

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17: Increasing Student Motivation with Tracy E. Rucker


In this episode we are talking all about student motivation in the language classroom.  Where does it come from?  How can we motivate students?

I’m joined by Tracy E. Rucker, a widely respected and insightful French teacher, who walks us through his personal experience with student motivation and offers some actionable advice for all language teachers.

Tracy talks about:

  • what we need to understand about motivation
  • how we know when a student is motivated to complete a task, and not just complying
  • actionable ways that teachers can motivate students
  • obstacles to motivating students that teachers can plan for proactively

Connect with Tracy E. Rucker on Twitter.

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16: How Useful is Research for the Classroom Teacher?


In this episode we are talking about the relationship between those who do the research on teaching and learning language and those who teach in the classroom.  [sign up for Talking Points]

  • What can teachers take from research findings and use in their classroom?
  • What if the students in front of us are different (almost always the case) from those used in the study?
  • What can researchers do to make their findings and recommendations useful for classroom teachers?

There are some ways to connect the dots and there are certainly some things that we can all agree on.  We’ll discuss what these agreements are and how we can make the teacher-researcher relationship useful for all involved.

Links references in this episode:

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15: Stories as Windows and Mirrors with Jennifer Degenhardt


In this episode we talk about stories in the language classroom.  Stories provide opportunities to see and interpret words and structures in context.  There are numerous opportunities to engage with the text in all of the communication modes.  Additionally, students learn about different cultures and can also see themselves reflected in the story.  This form of representation is incredibly valuable for students on their language learning journey.

I am joined by Jennifer Degenhardt, a language teacher and author of CI (Comprehensible Input) novels for novice and intermediate students.

Jennifer offers her thoughts and insights on…

  • the value in representation
  • how she finds her characters and their stories
  • the research that goes into a book
  • how she writes an “authentic” personal experience
  • what she hears from students and teachers who read her books

Connect with Jennifer Degenhardt:

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14: What About the Textbook with Timothy Chávez


In this episode we are talking about textbooks.  Some of us use them, some of us don’t.  Maybe you are required to use one and maybe it’s a choice.  Wherever you are with textbooks there’s a place for you in this conversation.

I am joined by Timothy Chavez, a Millennial Teacher, who, as you will hear, is part of a generation of students that were “brought up on proficiency in the classroom”…. proficiency natives if you will.  And these proficiency natives are teaching the way the they learned.  How exciting.

Timothy speaks about…

  • his experience as a student with textbooks in the classroom
  • how textbooks were traditionally designed and what might be missing
  • whether or not we need to  ditch the textbook all-together or if there are ways to use them effectively
  • how to integrate a textbook (when required) with proficiency-based approaches to teaching
  • the possibility of teaching without a textbook
  • how teachers advocate to administration if they want to move away from a textbook-based curriculum

Connect with Timothy Chávez:

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13: Diving into Comprehensible Input with John Bracey

In this episode we talk all about comprehensible input (CI), which you will see is a useful approach in teaching and learning any language.

I am joined by John Bracey, a Latin teacher who uses CI very effectively with his students.  He also makes a strong case for all teachers to try out CI, including Latin teachers.

John speaks about…

  • his journey with CI and how he discovered it.
  • the linguistic benefits of CI. 
  • using CI to personalize language and connect with and validate students’ lived experiences.
  • what CI looks like in his classroom.
  • why Latin teachers should use CI.

Connect with John Bracey:

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10: Equity in the Language Classroom with A.C. Quintero

In this episode we talk about equity in the in language classroom, but it’s really about equity in any classroom.  [sign up for Talking Points]

I am joined by A.C. Quintero who helps us to understand the importance of creating a classroom and student experience that moves beyond equality and focuses on an authentic equity.

A.C. speaks about…

  • what students “bring” to the classroom that language teachers need to be aware of.
  • how we can assess in ways that are equitable and recognize students’ skills in different areas.
  • culturally responsive teaching and how this benefits student.
  • teaching equitably in intentional ways.
  • biases and our responsibility as teachers to recognize them.

Connect with A.C. Quintero:

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