Advanced Eavesdropping (Notes from Italy, pt. 2)

If you ask most people whether eavesdropping is something you should do, they’ll answer no. If you ask me, I’ll say yes–if you’re trying to learn a language. Note: This is part 2 of my summer series sharing notes on learning and interacting in another language. The series is inspired by my Italian interactions, but […]

The Human Factor (Notes from Italy, pt. 1)

I arrived in Italy yesterday for a six-week teaching gig, and, yes, I actually took the picture of that door, and, yes, it actually leads to our flat, and, yes, the bike was already parked there. Che bello! As with other times I’ve traveled recently (see here, here, and here), I want to share some language-learning […]

Whiteboard Doublestack

It’s been a while since I shared a low prep/no prep activity, but I was recently reminded of the fun and the mileage of this one, so it’s time to share. Whiteboard Doublestack is a nice consolidation game or middle-of-unit (if you have those) activity, including both input and output, that I saw Nancy Llewellyn do in 2008 and […]

Do I Make Students Do Stuff I Would Never Do?

Here’s a goals-related question I occasionally ask myself: Now, the fact that I would consider something annoying or a waste of time in my own language learning doesn’t automatically mean it’s not worth my students’ while. We shouldn’t assume that our students are versions of ourselves, whether it comes to interests, temperament, neurology, or motivation, though […]

“High-Leverage Practices” from TeachingWorks

This week I go on a tangent from the Goals series to alert you to TeachingWorks, an initiative of the School of Education at the University of Michigan here in Ann Arbor. Its motto–“Great teachers aren’t born. They’re taught.”–represents its conviction that skillful teaching isn’t merely the result of certain personality traits, nor is it something that […]

What Are My Goals? (Learner Edition)

This is the second in a series of posts about goals for language learners and teachers. The first post raised a lot of questions for myself and others, questions I’m eager to explore in the rest of the series. For now, though, because this is a site for learners as well as teachers, I want […]

What Are My Goals? (Teacher Edition)

This post is the first in a series about language learning goals. Stay tuned for a Learner Edition, a Latin Edition, and maybe a Super-Practical Edition.   My goals as a language teacher are simple–at least to state: Help each student grow in proficiency as much as is reasonable, given total time and frequency of interaction. Inspire […]

A new, gentle intro to “non-targeted CI”

Responding to requests from Stephen Krashen and others, I wrote a report last fall on my students’ and my experiences with what he calls “non-targeted comprehensible input,” which I sometimes call “interest-targeting input.” The article, “Non-Targeted Comprehensible Input: How it Works for My Students and Me,” appeared in the latest issue of The International Journal of […]

Neurodiversity in Your Classroom

In reflections published every Monday, colleagues and I at The Inclusive Latin Classroom are exploring ways of ensuring that our classes serve as many students as possible, as well as possible. Though some of our reflections refer to Latin classes in particular, most apply to courses in any language. This is the case for my contribution from […]

Language Quirks and Perks

What are some unique or quirky things about learning or teaching the language you learn or teach? I’m not talking so much about things like “the language has seven conjugations” or “there’s no past tense”–though those things are fun, too–as about extra-linguistic things like “I can’t find many other people learning the language” or “For some reason, […]