The Language Connection

Resources and Strategies for World Language Teachers

Reflection

As we head into Spring, we begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Now is the time to do that hard work of reflection and ask ourselves the following questions.

* Can my students use the target language in familiar and unfamiliar situations?

* Can my students listen to authentic language (not a textbook recording) and react to it based on their proficiency level?

* Can my students sustain a conversation on a topic without preparing a written version?

* Can my students write for authentic purposes? (not a list of 10 sentences)

* Are my students aware of their own culture and the cultures of others?


Make sure that the time you spend in the coming months prepares students to use language for REAL purposes. Make every minute focused on language production. Put away worksheets and workbooks. Keep it real!

The Essence of World Language Teaching

If there was ever a short article that sums up the art and science of language teaching, that captures the focus on communicative methods, this is it! This has been posted on many professional sites. Don't miss this!


http://www.edutopia.org/blog/communication-rules-world-language-classroom-sarah-wike-loyola?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=post&utm_campaign=blog-communication-rules-world-language-list

Tips and Strategies

Take a look at some of the lessons at the link below. They include reflections and questions to discuss when viewing them. Consider doing this as a departmental activity. They lack technology, but as you will see, it could be easily integrated.

http://www.learner.org/resources/series185.html


Take a look at the suggestions for warm-up activities.

http://blog.calicospanish.com/2011/09/09/quick-motivators-and-warm-ups-for-world-language-classes.html

Share and share alike

Do you have something that you have done in class recently that really hit the mark? That great activity/project/assessment that really captures authentic use of the language in context? Purposeful use of the language? Have you created a listening activity that requires students to listen and react to an authentic video or audio file? Have you developed a wonderful lesson that teachers grammar/vocabulary in context? If so, please share it by putting it in the appropriate folder at the link below. Once the activities have been reviewed, they will be shared with everyone.

Go to the link, login and drop your very best.

https://www.dropbox.com/login


User name - vpgooss@henrico.k12.va.us

Password - wlshare

Update Around the State

At a meeting of the state foreign language supervisors, a number of hot topics were discussed.

- Supervisors discussed the ongoing need to remind teachers of best practices in teaching world languages using the communicative method, the use of the target language, and the avoidance of translation. There are still teachers that teach using grammar translation, translation of lists of sentences, and teaching grammar in English.

-The Virginia Department of Education is working to transition to the use of World Languages in its documents rather than Foreign Languages. Many states have already made the move. This will not be an immediate changes as there are many documents that take time and long processes. This is exciting news.

-The proposed revisions to the Foreign Language Standards of Learning will be posted and open to public comment on March 14. I will share the link as soon as I get it. They can be viewed now through the agenda documents on the board of education's agenda items. You can view them now there and make comments once the window opens for comments. I am particularly excited by the integration of the terms for the 3 modes of communication (interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational), the integration of the term "world languages" and the focus on the use of the target language. VDOE plans to create a companion document that correlates to proficiency levels.

http://www.doe.virginia.gov/boe/meetings/2014/02_feb/agenda_items/item_k.pdf

Technology Tips

  • Tired of grading quizzes yourself? Want a quick and easy, free way to grade and complete an item analysis? Then you need Flubaroo!! This instructional video will give you all you need to know. You will be on your way in a matter of minutes, guaranteed.

http://www.flubaroo.com/instructional-videos


  • If you are looking for something to use instead of World, consider Tagxedo. It is similar to Worldle in creating word art. http://www.tagxedo.com/

Teacher Feature

FLAVA

The FLAVA conference is moving! They have a new date and a new location. Visit their site for more details. http://flavaweb.org/

Session proposals will be accepted through April 18. We have amazing people who are doing amazing things. Consider presenting at FLAVA. Some staff did wonderful presentations at our October staff development. Those would be great to share too.