World Language Educator's Monthly

Seattle Public Schools - January, 2023

Happy New Year & Happy Lunar New Year!

兔年 Year of the Rabbit

The rabbit is the fourth animal in the Chinese zodiac. In the Chinese culture, the rabbit is known to be the luckiest out of all the twelve animals. It symbolizes mercy, elegance, and beauty. People who are born in the year of the rabbit are calm and peaceful. They avoid fighting and arguing at all times, but are artistic and have good taste in life. This is why they pay close attention to small details and make sure everything is done correctly. They are insecure and sensitive people who don’t like to be criticized, which causes them to dislike changes. Rabbits are intelligent, and they will do everything at their best, which makes them good scholars. In the Vietnamese zodiac, a cat is in place of the rabbit.

Source: University of Washington - Read more here:

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Language Learning at Center School

World Language Content Demonstration Teacher Update

In case you missed it, I announced last month that Stephanie Jackson (Whitman Middle School) is the new World Language Content Demonstration Teacher. This role will focus on supporting new world language teachers and also specific world language instructional projects. This role was an open application process to world language teachers that are not currently department chairs. Interested in learning more or working with Stephanie? Reach out to Thad ( or Stephanie (

📚 Article of the Month 📖

I am excited to share this article written by Garfield High School's Olympia Lai. Thanks Olympia for writing this article and sharing it with us!

This article outlines a practical framework and approaches for supporting Asian American students in schools. Also featured is artwork from Filipina American former GHS student, Ria Maisano-Torres.

Considering the continued racism Asian American students face in education (i.e. the model minority myth, the impact of COVID-19 on the Asian American community, the recent racist actions by the chancellor of Purdue University Northwest), I encourage you to read and share among fellow educators as you engage in conversations around student supports that include Asian American students. Click the title below.

World Language Winter / Spring Initiatives and Sub Group Opportunities

As we start off 2023 there will be two world language initiatives that I am excited to announce and that we will be focusing time and energy on with the goals of clearer world language guidance, collaboration and alignment in SPS. I will be facilitating two groups focusing on these two initiatives. Please consider joining if you are interested. You can sign-up below and also read more about each opportunity.

Initiative #1: World Language Level Outcomes & Expectations Guiding Document Sub Group. Each language and level will have a clear guiding document for expected outcomes. We will begin with Spanish 1, 2, and 3 and then move to the other languages and levels. We currently have multiple versions of level outcome documents and different resources. The work of this group will be to look at what has been created and simplify to one document for each language and level. We will meet three times between January and June. Goal is to be completed with this document for Spanish 1, Spanish 2, and Spanish 3 by June 30, 2023. Spanish teachers interested in participating in this group please sign up here. If you teach another language and are interested in this work I still invite you to sign up because we will do this work in all language areas. Meetings will happen after school and you will be compensated for your time.

Initiative #2: Anti-racist practices & Gender Inclusive language approaches in World Language Sub Group. I would like to provide some guiding language and tools to support world language educators in growing as anti-racist and more inclusive educators. Starting with myself, I know we can all grow in this area and the goal of this group is to develop some clear language and a few tools to support this growth and future professional development. We will meet three times between January and June. Goal is to be completed with this document and tools by June 30, 2023. I invite any interested world language educator to sign-up here. Meetings will happen after school and you will be compensated for your time.

In both groups I am looking for diverse representation of regions, schools, and levels across middle and high school. Sign-ups will be open until Friday, January 13th and then work will begin.

Professional Development Spotlight: West Seattle High School

In December, the world languages department at West Seattle High School attended the BER training entitled, "Powerful Strategies for Maximizing Comprehensible Input in the Target Language," by Janice Kittok. There were many "aha" moments and takeaways from the training, including how to scaffold stories to make meaningful language chunks while maximizing exposure to new words. In addition, all teachers came away with many words in Swedish! In the photo, you can see two of the teachers, Bethany Lidgard and Anne Louise Eades, acting out a scene from a classic movie, made into a story in scaffolded Swedish. Moving forward, teachers are collaborating on incorporating more stories, history and culture in the target language at the lower levels to boost engagement and enhance language acquisition.

Thanks for sharing about this Meghan and WSHS!

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SAVE THE DATE! World Language Department Chair Meetings

This year the following dates will be World Language Department Meetings. You should have received an Outlook invite already if a department chair. I look forward to seeing you then.

WL Department Chair Meeting #2 - Wednesday, 2/1 4pm - 5pm

WL Department Chair Meeting #3 - Wednesday, 4/5 4pm - 5pm

World Language Credit Testing Dates & Site-Based Testing for 2022-2023

World Language Credit Testing dates and registration are available here.

Interested in hosting a testing date at your school? Please contact to discuss details and schedule a date for this fall or spring. Last year over 10 schools hosted site-based testing days. Thank you educators for leading this work!

Future Newsletters...please share announcements or topics

Do you have something you would like shared or focused on? Please email and we can work on getting that in future newsletters.

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