The newest edition of this cornerstone program provides an in-depth exploration of Spanish language and culture while preserving the intensive AP® preparation educators have valued in previous editions.
Watch coauthors Lou Baskinger and Frank Masel talk about what inspired them to create this groundbreaking resource for advanced Spanish learners and what they hope teachers—and students—will get out of it.
During my first year teaching, I remember feeling very alone. My department wasn’t supportive, I didn’t have a mentor, I didn’t have anyone to inspire me. It was exhausting pulling everything out from myself to do my best every day. Alone. That cup empties quickly.
How many of you have felt like an island as you did your planning, grading, and relationship building with your students?
As world language teachers, we all use various aspects of
culture to enrich our curriculum and engage our students. My love of French began in another era in
classrooms where grammar ruled the day.
My true appreciation of languages truly blossomed when I spent time in
France and was immersed in the language and culture. I absorbed language as I grew as a person by
learning about and appreciating the differences between my native culture and
the new, exciting culture of France.
Looking back on a lifetime of teaching, a philosophy that I have come to
embrace is that language teaching without culture is inaccurate and incomplete. The idea of interculturality allows students
to discover language via authentic cultural interactions just as you would in
the target language country.
If you are the teacher who likes to keep up with the latest trends and research in pedagogy and who wants to do what is best for language learning and students, you most likely tried a number of setups in your room. I know, I did!
Our Featured Teacher series introduces world language educators from across the country. Today we are excited to feature Ryan Casey, who teaches Spanish in Lexington, MA, and he is also a former Latin teacher. According to colleagues and students who nominated him, Ryan is a teacher who never stops learning and exploring. Read our Q&A with him below. Do you know a world language educator you would like to see featured on this blog? We’d love to hear from you!
Wayside Publishing: What language do you teach? Do you speak any other languages? Ryan Casey: I teach Spanish, although I taught Latin during my first year. I teach grades 9-12 at Lexington High School, my alma mater, in Lexington, MA. I am in my fifth year of teaching.
By Deborah Espitia @despitia Instructional Strategist
Get your students jazzed about learning languages and motivate them with some rocking strategies by incorporating music into your instruction.
The benefits of using music in language instruction have long been known. From his work beginning in 1982, Principles and practice in second language acquisition, Stephen Krashen addressed the use of background music as a way to lower anxiety associated with learning a second language. Others in the field, such as Annette De Groot, in her 2006 article for Language Learning, “Effects of stimulus characteristics and background music on foreign language vocabulary learning and forgetting,” have addressed the increase in retention of target language vocabulary.
The Challenge: How do I structure practice for intermediate high AP® students in a way that meets their individual needs and interests without boring them and still appease the “Gradebook Beast” (who must be fed a steady diet of numbers at least every two weeks)?
The Answer: I don’t structure it. Or rather, I provide a loose framework and a bank of resources so that students can self-select practice that they find relevant and motivating at the time.
In Part 1 of our series on authentic resources we talked about the basics of authentic resources. Today we are going to take a deeper dive and look at how your students can interact with these great resources to learn vocabulary and grammar in context.
Authentic resources are an excellent way to provide the needed input for learners to begin to acquire new vocabulary or language structures. By showing examples of how the language is actually used, students are not learning the information in isolation, but rather with meaning attached to it, embedded in context and culture. As they interact with the resource, they are seeing how and why it is used in different instances.
In classrooms using a proficiency-driven instructional method, the teacher moves from being the provider of all new knowledge to the co-constructor of that knowledge. Instead of front-loading our learners with all the words or rules they could possibly ever need, I am proposing using authentic resources to show them how the language is used by native-speakers and letting students organize that new knowledge in a way that is meaningful for them.
When it comes to designing and curating interpersonal activities, especially at the novice levels, I used to feel like I was setting students up to hit tennis balls against the garage door: repetitive, not much value, and not particularly similar to an actual game of tennis. When there is a Partner A/Partner B slant, the lack of value is especially evident because the students aren’t really required to think much; they merely parrot or fill in the blank with what they think they’re “supposed to be doing”.