Philosophy & Foreign Language

DUE TO LACK OF POLLUTION, MOUNTAIN OF EVIDENCE SUPPORTING C.I. IS NOW VISIBLE IN MUCH OF THE U.S.

LOS ANGELES, CA—One silver lining to the limited auto traffic due to the corona virus quarantine is that skies are clearing and the mountain of evidence for teaching with comprehensible input is now clearly visible. Reduced emissions have revealed the overwhelming piles of research indicating that people acquire language by comprehensible input (C.I.). The giant stack of studies has been there and has been growing for more than 40 years, but it was not clear to all before now. In the past, some world language publishers, university professors and classroom teachers imagined that the enormous stack of evidence for C.I. [...]

SOCRATIC QUESTIONING & LANGUAGE TEACHING

The main thing that some students learn in a foreign language class is that learning another language is just way too hard for them. They mainly learn that they stink at it. They think that becoming fluent is beyond them and that they will never get it. But they are wrong. All students can learn another language. They can learn if their teachers will skillfully ask series of questions that lead them to fluency. We need to believe in this goal and believe that there are good reasons for it and that there is a process to achieve it. It [...]

THE ART OF PEACE

I have written about using ideas from Sun Tzu's "The Art of War" in classroom management before ( read about it here ) so I hope you do think of me as inconsistent or even hypocritical for now promoting "The Art of Peace" by Morihei Ueshiba. The overall message in this slim book is one I sense we need in the World Language community and there are also many gems that can guide our daily practice in the classroom as well. I re-read it often with an eye to improving relations in World Language and also to help me to become [...]

By |2017-10-11T13:22:13-06:00February 29th, 2016|Categories: Change, Philosophy & Foreign Language|Tags: |0 Comments

AN ANTI-PHILOSOPHY OF TEACHING

This is a unique take on developing a philosophy of teaching. My student teacher had a bad experience at another school in the area before courageously asking to be reassigned. She contrasts what she saw and experienced there with what she has seen and done in this classroom in the last few weeks. I cringe thinking of what it must have been like, but I am glad that she is seeing a difference—she is being trained to do the opposite now. Here is her creative list of What NOT to Do: Don’t learn all of your students’ names, but bonus [...]

PHILOSOPHY IN THE WORLD LANGUAGE CLASSROOM

PHILOSOPHY IN THE WORLD LANGUAGE CLASSROOM I love to teach rejoinders. These short sayings flow naturally and keep conversations going. Students can say them to react naturally in class and to participate in situations in the real world. But I made a mistake with one rejoinder. That mistake was teaching students to say "¡Buena suerte!" (Good luck!). It was not a language mistake but a philosophical mistake because luck is not in our power. Wishing someone good luck may feel good enough, but it gives them nothing but a warm feeling. It imbues no power in the hearer. So I [...]

By |2015-10-19T10:13:04-06:00October 17th, 2015|Categories: Philosophy & Foreign Language|0 Comments

SOCRATIC QUESTIONING AND TPRS

The main thing that some students learn in a foreign language class is that learning another language is just way too hard for them.  They mainly learn that they stink at it.  They think that becoming fluent is beyond them and that they will never get it.  But they are wrong.  All students can learn another language.  They can learn if their teachers will skillfully ask series of questions that lead them to fluency. We need to believe in this goal and believe that there are good reasons for it and that there is a process to achieve it. It [...]