Mindfulness exercises in the target language

By Elena Spathis
@ElenaSpathis

Teachers and students are finding their formerly jam-packed, planned schedules on a sudden hiatus. Schools have emptied out, as have nearly all public places. Life as we knew it has abruptly changed.

These unimaginable circumstances have not only ignited a sense of uneasiness in teachers, but also in students. As teachers across the world have scrambled to digitalize their lessons or devise quick plans of action to teach remotely, students have also had to rapidly adjust to these changes. This has not only filled students with stress and worry, but also with disappointment and sadness. The adolescent and teenage years provoke enough stress as it is; the current state of the world adds another layer of anxiety.

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Online learning: The new normal

By Diego Ojeda
www.srojeda.com
@DiegoOjeda66

Just a little over a week ago I was saying goodbye to my students without knowing when I would see them again. This was a rather strange, and above all, sad experience, as I described it in a blog post.

By now I have already met a couple of times online with each one of my classes and to be honest, it has been one of the longest weeks of my life. In addition to the idea of having to be confined at home, the pressure of preparing classes in a format that we are not used to can be a very big challenge.

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4 Learning Site tools for remote teaching

By Elena Giudice 
@SraGiudice

With all of us inevitably turning over to online teaching, EntreCulturas offers an array of diverse activities. Now is the time to further explore the Learning Site and all of its capabilities. Since I enjoy writing my own assessments and communicative tasks, I had forgotten about some of the resources available. I was recently reminded by my colleague about the Recursos and Sólo para profesores folders which provide some awesome resources. Below, I’ll take you through the top four features that I intend to use in the upcoming weeks.

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Teaching in extraordinary times

By Michelle Olah
Instructional Strategist

I would not say I am an expert by any means, but I find myself in the unusual circumstance of being able to empathize with many different people during these strange COVID-19 days. I was a “brick and mortar” Spanish teacher for 8 years before making a transition to teaching virtual school. (Did you know that is what online teachers called you before last week?) 

I am a mom whose son is currently taking all online classes this year and have seen remote teaching and learning from a family perspective. I am a Floridian who has experienced (more than once!) the stress and anxiety that comes with a developing emergency situation: The stress of preparing for the unknown, the anxiety of constant news and social media coverage, the disruption to schedules and daily routines, and the obsession with finding scarce resources. 

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Tips & tools for teaching and learning remotely

We know that school closures are inevitable. As a way to support our teachers and students, we have created a tip sheet that describes how the Learning Site will aid in teaching and learning remotely.

The Learning Site provides the pathway to all of our performance-based digital resources so that you can continue teaching and learning without interruption. Set clear objectives and learning goals, explore all of the differentiated activities for students and give timely and effective feedback online.

Before you get started, remember that changing learning environments can present some challenges. Keep the following in mind:

  • Ensure that lessons are equitable, flexible, and accessible to all.
  • Practice new changes in procedures including how to log in to the Learning Site in advance.
  • Review digital etiquette.

Download our tip sheet below and visit our website for more information!

Classroom activities to showcase your students’ growth

By Elena Giudice 
@SraGiudice

This month, as our language warriors are out there fighting for legislation that affects all teachers, it is also our role as classroom teachers to advocate for languages within our communities and classrooms. 

We are all advocates for our students’ interest in the pursuit of “curing monolingualism.” Although there is a focus on language advocacy this month, this important work is year-round and often begins in our classrooms.  

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What do you give the student who wants to say everything?

By Erin Gibbons
@eeg_il

Teaching intermediate language learners is hard. For a long time, intermediate level was where all of my precious proficiency beliefs went off the rails. Instructionally, my novice classes were straightforward: play games, sing songs, tell stories. Once my high school students reached levels III, IV, V—that was where I was most tempted to bust out ye olde grammar hammer and provide lists of humdrum nouns that served little to no communicative purpose. After a great deal of reading, workshops, and trial-and-error, I realized that the answer was obvious, but, as Glinda told Dorothy, I had to find it out for myself.

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Language Advocacy Day 2020

We are excited to once again sponsor Language Advocacy Day 2020. Organized by the Joint National Committee for Languages (JNCL), Language Advocacy Day (LAD) is part “lobby-day” and part full-day policy forum that brings together national representatives concerned about the state of language learning in the U.S.

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