Blogs on World Languages

Blogs on World LanguagesRSS
Sarah Wike LoyolaMarch 5, 2014

I am embarrassed -- no, actually I would go as far as to say horrified -- that I spent ten years of my career teaching students about the Spanish language. I actually felt proud when they could fill out grammar worksheets with precision. Now, you may be thinking that, as a Spanish teacher, this is my job, but since my enlightenment, I understand that it decidedly is not. I am now certain that teaching them to communicate well in the language is my job. Honestly, who cares whether students can conjugate verbs correctly if they can't tell someone what they need? Getting to this point has required a colossal teaching philosophy transformation, but I've never been more proud of the work that I'm doing.

Read More
Sarah Wike LoyolaFebruary 5, 2014

Feeling outdated, not connected, or even totally lost in the digital age? Well, let me assure you, droning on and on about grammatical structures is a surefire way to quickly lose student interest in the world language classroom. Instead, embrace something which truly interests the millennial student: social media. Utilizing it in the classroom will give your students practical, engaging ways to communicate in the language you teach. The 21st century learner is not wired to memorize; instead, her or she is inclined to create, connect and collaborate. Social media is the perfect medium for us, their teachers, to reach them.

Read More
Anna Adam and Helen MowersOctober 30, 2013

Over the decades, students have been required to take a foreign language in high school for reasons that relate to expanding communication abilities, furthering global awareness, and enhancing perspective-taking. Recently, our home state of Texas passed legislation that enables computer science to fulfill the high school foreign language requirement. Coding (defined by BusinessDictionary.com as "the process of developing and implementing various sets of instructions to enable a computer to do a certain task") is, after all, both a language and a foreign subject to many students -- and much more.

Read More
Don Doehla, MA, NBCTOctober 14, 2013

A couple of weeks ago, Samer Rabadi, Edutopia's Community Manager, started this discussion on the Community Bulletin Board: "What Does It Mean to Be a Connected Educator?" He observed that, for many of us, becoming connected educators has transformed our lives. I would certainly agree with that!

Read More
Monica BurnsOctober 9, 2013

While it's possible to connect with educators around the world, language barriers can often get in the way of effectively communicating ideas.

This past summer, I had the amazing opportunity to meet likeminded teachers from across North America at the Apple Distinguished Educator Institute in Austin, Texas. English, Spanish and French were spoken by the more than 200 tech-savvy attendees.

Read More
Larry FerlazzoMay 16, 2012

Students and teacher need to develop positive and trusting relationships in an effective classroom. It is also critical that all students, especially English-language learners, develop trusting and enriching relationships with each other. There are many activities which can be used for both introductory purposes and throughout the year to build and maintain positive relationships in the classroom. Some activities which work well to introduce students to each other and to the teacher can be used again at later points in the year as students' interests change and as they gain new life experiences. While this is certainly not an exhaustive list, it contains several suggestions we have found successful and which could easily be adapted for use with different levels of students.

Read More
Dr. Richard CurwinApril 4, 2012

I have the greatest respect for coaches; not every coach of course, but those who care more about their players than about winning. I include those who coach drama, choir, band and all those who spend so much of their time and energy on helping children far beyond the confines of the classroom. Good coaches make great teachers.

I have the greatest respect for coaches; not every coach of course, but those who care more about their players than about winning. I include those who coach drama, choir, band and all those who spend so much of their time and energy on helping children far beyond the confines of the classroom. Good coaches make great teachers. Read More

Judy Willis MDMarch 22, 2012

A selective attentive focus and the ability to block out distraction are seminal executive functions that are minimally developed in youngsters. These functions gradually become stronger throughout the years of prefrontal cortex maturation, which last into the twenties. It is with regard to these executive functions that research about the "bilingual brain" is particularly exciting.

A selective attentive focus and the ability to block out distraction are seminal executive functions that are minimally developed in youngsters. These functions gradually become stronger throughout the years of prefrontal cortex maturation, which last into the twenties. It is with regard to these executive functions that research about the "bilingual brain" is particularly exciting. Read More

Larry FerlazzoMarch 12, 2012

The number of English-Language Learners in the United States is growing rapidly, including many states that have not previously had large immigrant populations. As teachers try to respond to the needs of these students, here are a few basic best practices that might help. We have found that consistently using these practices makes our lessons more efficient and effective. We also feel it is important to include a few "worst" practices in the hope that they will not be repeated!

Read More
Terry HeickMarch 12, 2012

Now over a decade into the 21st century, there is tremendous pressure for education to "globalize." What this means exactly isn't universally agreed upon.

In major world markets, the business world globalized decades ago, expanding beyond domestic markets in pursuit of more diverse audiences and stronger profits. And while major players in business continue to experiment and find their way in markets whose culture and buying practices diverge from those domestic, the "field" of education has been slow to follow suit.

Now over a decade into the 21st century, there is tremendous pressure for education to "globalize." What this means exactly isn't universally agreed upon.

In major world markets, the business world globalized decades ago, expanding beyond domestic markets in pursuit of more diverse audiences and stronger profits. And while major players in business continue to experiment and find their way in markets whose culture and buying practices diverge from those domestic, the "field" of education has been slow to follow suit. Read More