Transitioning to Proficiency Part II: Baby Steps to Comprehensive Input

by Alex Terwelp

I have a two-year-old son, and watching him grow, I have discovered there is nothing more fundamental than the process of a child learning to walk. I see four stages to this process, namely supported standing, cruising, staggering, and finally, walking. We can apply the metaphor of learning to walk to a journey toward Comprehensible Input (CI). I am taking that journey in my Latin Classroom, one step, and one stage, at a time.

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Representing Women in Greek and Latin Classes

By Maureen Lamb
@latintechtools

Many Latin and ancient Greek textbooks, and even the AP® exam, focus largely on the experiences of aristocratic Roman men. But as a high school teacher, I want my students to see that there is more to the language and culture than just the experiences of free, wealthy men. The good news is there are many opportunities to teach texts about and by women in Latin and ancient Greek.

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The Imagination Within Latin

by Alex Terwelp

When I was little, imagination drove my sand empire and my castle in the woods. It brought me playmates made of dancing leaves and shadows in the sunlight. As I grew older, it sparked my curiosity about adulthood, and it led me to a career that fuels others’ imaginations. 

Some believe imagination wanes as we mature, but it only takes looking at ancient Roman culture to know it exists in people of all ages. It led to the naming of the constellations, the building of arches and roadways, and the creation of the Julian calendar. Indeed, imagination drove the Roman Empire. 

Students benefit immensely from using their imagination to make connections with abstractions. You will not find a student in your career who has met an ancient Roman or has visited ancient Rome. Because they cannot immerse themselves in the culture, students must imagine everything. 

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10 tips for providing comprehensible input when teaching remotely

By Helen Small
Curriculum Coordinator

As a former comprehensible input (CI) German teacher, I’ve been thinking lately about how to provide adequate comprehensible input in an online environment. After 18 years of more or less traditional teaching, I switched to CI teaching for my last five years in the classroom before pursuing world language administrative positions. Now, as a curriculum coordinator at Wayside, my goal in working with our French and German authors is to create proficiency-based, CI-friendly resources that promote the use of the target language for teaching and learning. 

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Music: The instrument for language acquisition

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.  

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Acquiring vocabulary part IV: Mental pictures and drawing

By Deborah Espitia
@despitia
Instructional 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 organizers that support vocabulary acquisition.

In Part III, Acquiring vocabulary: 10 ways to get students moving with physical models and kinesthetic activity, we reviewed types of physical models and kinesthetic activities along with ideas for applications that support vocabulary acquisition.

In Part IV, we’ll maximize the adage, “a picture paints a thousand words”.

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Acquiring vocabulary part III: 10 ways to get students moving

By Deborah Espitia
@despitia
Instructional Strategist

In Part I of our series, Acquiring vocabulary: 5 strategies to create meaning in learning vocabulary, we set the scene for a movement in which teachers are shifting from meaningless drill and practice exercises to help students acquire new content, such as vocabulary. 

In Part II, Acquiring vocabulary: 9 strategies for creating graphic organizers , we reviewed types of graphic organizers, and sample activities to go along with them, that support vocabulary acquisition.  

In Part III, let’s get students moving, both in terms of engaging with physical models and engaging in physical activity.

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Acquiring vocabulary part II: 9 strategies for using graphic organizers

By Deborah Espitia
@despitia
Instructional 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 language structures in context.

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

By Deborah Espitia
@despitia
Instructional 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 enough of handing out the vocabulary list, turning on the projector, and hearing that audible, collective sigh that indicates learners have also had enough. 

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