Quirky Scripts: An Easy Way to Teach “Hard” Language

Quirky Scripts is a lesson requiring almost no prep that can be used repeatedly all year, at every level. It’s also a way for students to acquire “advanced” language really early on with minimal effort. Skim the how-to or scroll down for a dozen reasons these Quirky Scripts are so useful. Here are the steps: Step 1: Give […]

Using Stock Photo Sites To Generate Language

Consider this picture. Think you could come up with something to say about it in your students’ target language? Think you could ask questions about it that your students could answer? I know you can. A quirky picture is just the thing for getting a lot of bang for your buck when you want students to […]

Indwelling Language at MIWLA 2015 (session descriptions)

Happy 1st of October, the month of the Michigan World Language Association‘s (MIWLA) annual conference! I’m excited to meet colleagues there and honored to present three sessions, all of which I’ve presented before in some form or another, but never in Michigan. In case you’re interested, the titles and official descriptions are below. Feel free to follow up if you’d […]

Justin’s Lesson Plans from NTPRS 2015, Buy-In Guaranteed

NOTE: This post is a feature-fest based on a jam-packed conference presentation. Please feel free to skip around! To me, the perfect lesson plan is one that guarantees buy-in by students, requires little to no preparation, is enjoyable for students and teacher, is flexible and repeatable with the same group of students and across levels, […]

Indwelling Language and Stephen Krashen at NTPRS 2015

The first day at NTPRS 2015 (this year’s national conference for the system called Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling) has been exhilarating: I’ve enjoyed conversations with teachers and presenters that I had known only through the internet or by fame and had been eager to meet in person, and have been pleasantly surprised to hear that I have been […]

Riddle Me This!

What’s bright orange, red, and yellow, full of marshmallows on sticks, and freezing to the touch? If you’ve read much of this blog, you know I like to use and share simple activities or classroom features that (a) are a source of high-interest, level-appropriate content in the target language and (b) easily engender conversation in the target […]

Making the Most of Mystery

Last year, with input from students, I wrote a mystery one of whose central features is a small, sealed box that the protagonist finds and seeks to open. The desire to know what’s in the box plays a key role in propelling the reader through the story. Last night, I came across a brilliantly simple suggestion from Adam Beck (@BeckMonkeys) for making […]

How To Use Your Windows

I’m taking a sick day from skiing in Sun Valley. The upside is that I can finally write about windows, as promised in the last post, which dreamt of the ideal classroom. Through the window I can see one of my Happy Places–a snowy peak with a ski lift–from another: a quiet lodge with an oversize […]