Interculturality: reflection is key

By Deborah Espitia@despitiaInstructional Strategist As language educators, we take pride in integrating culture and language.  We understand the importance of being understood in terms of the words we use in light of the products, practices, and perspectives of the target culture. Too often, culture is seen as an aside in the classroom and not integrated into… Continue Reading →

Accessing Authentic Resources – Beyond Questioning Part 3: After Reading/Listening/Viewing

By Deborah Espitia@despitiaInstructional Strategist World language teachers are the most creative educators. We have a million and one ways to engage learners in speaking and writing in the target language. Engaging students is our passion – well, that and intercultural connections, of course! Unfortunately, though, it is too easy to develop the habit just of asking our students to answer comprehension… Continue Reading →

Accessing Authentic Resources – Beyond Questioning Part 2: While You Are Reading

By Deborah Espitia@despitiaInstructional Strategist Since the time Joaquín was sitting in my Spanish 3 class, student engagement has been a key guidepost for me in lesson design. Joaquín was a bright student with a great sense of humor and a strong creative streak, so, I could have anticipated what he would do, but I did not. That day, the class was ideal; students… Continue Reading →

Accessing Authentic Resources – Beyond Questioning Part 1: Gearing Up

By Deborah Espitia@despitiaInstructional Strategist World language teachers have been incorporating authentic resources – materials made by native speakers for native speakers – into their lessons since forever. How many of you have collected “realia” during your travels? Menus, ticket stubs, magazines, newspapers, posters, and coasters have all found their way into my suitcase and then… Continue Reading →

Music: The instrument for language acquisition

By Deborah Espitia@despitiaInstructional 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… Continue Reading →

Acquiring vocabulary part IV: Mental pictures and drawing

By Deborah Espitia@despitiaInstructional Strategist In Part I of our series, Acquiring vocabulary: 5 strategies to create meaning in learning vocabulary, we noted that teachers are moving towards authentic resources and communicative tasks to teach vocabulary and language structures in context. In Part II, Acquiring vocabulary: 9 strategies for creating graphic organizers, we reviewed a few graphic… Continue Reading →

Acquiring vocabulary part I: 5 strategies for creating meaning in learning vocabulary

By Deborah Espitia@despitiaInstructional Strategist There is an exciting movement underway. Fewer and fewer teachers are exposing students to meaningless drill and practice to help them acquire new content, such as vocabulary. We are moving away from the practice of showing an image with the word, saying the word, and having learners repeat it. We have had… Continue Reading →

ACTFL 2019 Conference Hacks

WE ASKED OUR INSTRUCTIONAL STRATEGISTS AND VETERAN CONFERENCE GOERS TO SHARE THEIR BEST TIPS  Attending a large conference can be overwhelming. So many sessions! So many exhibitors! So many new people to meet! To help you out, we collected some amazing tips from our instructional strategists. Deborah Espitia, Cristin Bleess, Jay Ketner, Jen Carson, Helen Small,… Continue Reading →

Six ways to build community online

By Deborah Espitia@despitiaInstructional Strategist Immersing students in the target language embraces all facets of the classroom environment—physical, social, emotional. This immersion encompasses a variety of tangible elements through which we can purposefully use the target language in our own classrooms: print, audio, and video authentic resources; authentic tasks in the three modes of communication—interpretive, interpersonal,… Continue Reading →

Acquiring vocabulary part II: 9 strategies for using graphic organizers

By Deborah Espitia@despitiaInstructional Strategist In Part I of our Acquiring Vocabulary series, we set the scene for a movement in which fewer and fewer teachers are exposing students to meaningless drill and practice exercises to help them acquire new content. Instead, teachers are moving toward truly authentic resources and communicative tasks to teach vocabulary and… Continue Reading →

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