Ray, a high school Chinese teacher, was recently told that his level I, II, and III classes will be combined next year. Having read the original article by Gerry Wass about multi-level classes on this blog, he contacted me asking what I thought Gerry would advise. I forwarded Ray's main question to Gerry: "If a student took his Spanish class four years in a row, would he/she see the same TPRS lessons/vocab/grammar patterns every year but engage at a different level or would there be new material each year that wasn't there before.  In other words, did he cycle new material in [...]

By | 2018-04-01T12:07:58+00:00 March 31st, 2018|Categories: Differentiation, Multi-Level Classes|Tags: |0 Comments


CHARLESTON, WV—Multiple witnesses claim they’ve spotted groups of homeless language learner novels, shivering, hungry and homeless, by a local freeway off-ramp begging for food and money. Several witnesses claim that some of the novels were holding up cardboard signs offering to give compelling input for food. “The poor things look seriously neglected and abused,” one woman said after handing a dollar bill out the window to a particularly scrawny level 2 novel. “It’s so sad that in a country that values education as much as America does, novels are going hungry out in the cold.” One novel in the group [...]

By | 2018-03-23T17:49:13+00:00 March 24th, 2018|Categories: Books, Fake News & Satire, Satire|0 Comments


have been very fortunate to have been visited by two master teachers in the past two weeks, Connie Navarro and Karen Rowan. But here are the observations by a set of fresh eyes. Noah is a second year teacher, full of ideas and hope, that asked to observe my classes. Here are his observations. I had heard about Bryce through some colleagues in the Spanish Teaching world. When I read that this was his final year teaching, I decided I better try to observe him while I still had the opportunity. When I looked up his school, Roosevelt High School in [...]


It’s interview time again. All over the country administrative teams are sitting through tedious interviews with world language teacher candidates, smiling benignly and trying to stay awake. But help is here! This handy Buzzword Bingo card makes interviewing fun again. Simply mark every time one of the dubious, outdated or ineffective teaching practices on the card is mentioned or implied to weed out candidates the fun way. The first interviewer that gets a BINGO and works the word “bingo” into a comment or question wins! Hesitation, blank looks or omissions by the interviewee when answering questions also count, so pay [...]


Connie Navarro visited my classroom on March 8, 2018. Her observations are particularly valuable because she has so much experience observing CI teachers. Connie has been a Peer Observer in the Denver Public Schools for the last five years and is the president of the Colorado Congress of Foreign Language Teachers (CCFLT). She made the trip 50 miles north to observe my classes at the end of the day on the last day of the week (also the end of the quarter). It was such a pleasure discussing her observations afterwards. Since she has observed so many teachers she was [...]


I will be presenting a workshop in Oakland, California on Monday, March 26 at Redwood Day School. The focus of this workshop will be teaching with comprehensible input in a K-8 program. This will be a day of learning engaging, practical techniques to get you revitalized and to get your students understanding and interacting in the target language. It will also be a unique opportunity to network with other like-minded teachers in the East Bay area. You can register for it here. Includes breakfast and lunch.

By | 2018-03-05T19:03:34+00:00 March 5th, 2018|Categories: Workshops|Tags: , |0 Comments