Tips for synchronous & asynchronous teaching

By Jennifer Carson
@jncar4
Curriculum Coordinator

During this time of uncertainty and school closures, many teachers have had to jump into teaching remotely without a moment’s notice. I have worked for several years as adjunct faculty at a local university, which has forced me to become familiar with teaching both synchronously online (broadcasting on a platform like WebEx, GoToMeeting, or Zoom to students at a scheduled time) and asynchronously (distributing lessons that are accessed during a range of time much like a webinar).

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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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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!

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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Connecting can-dos to assessments

By Helen Small
Curriculum Coordinator

Most teachers understand the use of Can-Do statements as daily learning targets or for the purpose of student self-assessment as quick exit slips or in connection to the Portfolio. They are written in student-friendly language; represent short-term, achievable goals; and relate to real-world communicative tasks. In this post I’d like to explore the direct connection between Can-Do statements and the formative assessments in our EntreCultures and EntreCulturas French and Spanish series.

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“Inclusion is not just about checking off boxes”

An inside look at creating authentic diversity
in language programs

By Eliz Tchakarian
Editorial Project Manager

As an Editorial Project Manager at Wayside Publishing, one of my most enjoyable responsibilities is to coordinate our diversity and inclusion efforts. As a part of that role, I did a little research into what other educational publishing companies do and found that efforts at diversity that come across as forced or inauthentic are easily spotted and perhaps ridiculed.

Those findings and a couple of anecdotes from my own personal life will shed a bit of light on how I approach the topic of authentic diversity, and illustrate why these efforts and awareness are essential in building respectful relationships between cultures.

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