Kevin's Question

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16 thoughts on “Kevin's Question”

  1. No. Just Carol and Bryce is all I know. Maybe a few others. Does anyone know? Look, I live down the street and I’m not going. There is nothing there for me. Just a bunch of time machines that all lead back into the last century. Been there done that. Literally.

    1. Isn’t it the ACTFL the ones that put together the proficiency guidelines that at least seem (correct me if I’m wrong) pointing language teachers in the direction of proficiency development versus vocab./grammar knowledge? And what about the 90% usage in the classroom idea? in what light whould we really see ACTFL?
      And regarding the whole elephant thing – isn’t it mostly true that (and this is a very large stab here…coming from a passionate language teacher nonetheless…) that the US essentially does not care about leaving its island of monolingualism? In Orlando where I am, intererst is high amongst the already Spanish-speaking population here to see the schools – I believe – help them preserve their linguistic heritage here in the states, but amongst English speaking monolinguals there just is no deep current of desire to even care about taking language learning seriously.
      Are we kidding ourselves? The U.S. eventually finding itself into learning the rest of the world’s languages – at the level of a tipping point? Perhaps, eventually. Maybe for economic motivations, we’ll learn Chinese – but I do not believe that is strong enough of a motivation any time soon. It’s a matter of geographical isolation (unlike language-rich Europe) and already being speakers of the world’s lingua franca.
      Way too many generalities in my string of ideas there…just some thinking out loud.

  2. ACTFL is our national parent organization but the individuals who go to the conference pay little attention to the (90% in L2) position statement or to anything else in there really, unless it fits their agenda. They get real excited about computer driven language instruction and activities that don’t work. If you dare ask them to consider the chasm between them and ACTFL’s umbrella ideas, they scoff at you, calling you radical in your alignment with those ideas.

    1. “…the individuals who go to the conference pay little attention to the (90% in L2) position statement…” My district colleagues all swear they speak 90% in the language. As my son can attest, his Spanish 3 teacher spoke nothing but Spanish in class, but he seldom understood what she said. These teachers don’t seem to understand that if the input is not comprehensible it is gibberish to our students. But it really is easier to blame the kids, as being too dumb and lazy to get it.

      1. …it really is easier to blame the kids, as being too dumb and lazy to get it….
        And, Clarice, these are children. Are they not safe in our care? Is speaking to them in a way that they cannot understand and then judging them on that failure not a form of mental abuse? I think it is. And I don’t use that term lightly.

  3. I went to ACTFL in Boston last year. Though I was largely disappointed I did find some CI stuff. Mira is going and her workshop was really great.
    I do not think I would go again though, especially if it weren’t close to home.

  4. In my small corner of the world, hosting an adult Spanish class, once a week, has done well for the TCI message. Many of my students have kids or grandkids in the traditional FL classrooms, and that usually means they see a difference of reaction (them and their kids/grandkids) to language instruction. Also, my brief explanation of why I teach how I do at the beginning of each “term” gets my point across. It’s only been one year that I’ve been doing this, but I have a strong feeling it is doing something for the movement, perhaps more than when I’m in my high school classroom. (but that time with the young ones is also important, because it is doubtful they will put up with crap FL teaching when their kids are in school.)

  5. I am registered to go. Just seemed like it was in my backyard, so it was worth a shot. I do have a list of about 7 presenters (including Carol and Bryce) that are at least TPRS/CI based. If anyone else is planning to go and wants the list, I can email you the names and times. Hopefully I will learn something worthwhile!

  6. I just went to a regional conference this weekend – how thoroughly disappointing and frustrating. As expected, there were no workshops even remotely dealing with CI. One particular presenter was talking about using UbD to teach culture to 7th grade (1st year) French students. The whole project was in English and when I asked her if this was solely for our benefit as there were teachers of other languages attending her session, she seemed baffled and said that at that level you HAVE to do all that in English as they wouldn’t understand anything yet. What is the point????? Then don’t do something like that if you think the kids don’t have enough language to complete this kind of assignment. What a complete waste of class time.
    A lot of the other workshops were highly technology driven and presented by business people (not of the language teaching profession) who were not able to connect the various applications to classroom use.
    What a let-down! Hopefully, there will be something resembling CI/TPRS in upcoming conferences in the NY area sometime soon. Our district had to tighten the belt considerably (just like the rest of the country, I suppose) and they started by cutting professional development opportunities. So, traveling across the country for a conference (no matter how beneficial) is just not in the picture right now.

  7. Here is the info I have:
    Dale Crum: Classroom Management Strategies for New Teachers
    (Friday 1:15-2:15pm)
    Leslie Davison: Six to Sixteen-All are Preschoolers in a Second Language
    (Sunday: 8-9am)
    Kristy Placido: Bridging the Path to Authentic Texts
    (Saturday: 10-11am)
    Mira Canion: 7 Irresistible Activities that Connect Teens with Reading
    (Saturday: 11:15-12:15)
    Noah Geisel: 21st Century Toolbox for Personalizing Language Instruction
    (Thursday: 9-12pm)
    Carol Gaab: “P” Stands for Powerful- 7 P’s for Success in the Language Classroom
    (Friday: 10-10:50am)
    Bryce Hedstrom: Stories Worth Retelling- How to teach with Legends
    (Friday: 3:45-4:45pm)
    Dr. Frederique Grim: ACTFL Research
    (Saturday: 3-4pm)

  8. I know. Bryce suggested these 8 presenters as he believed that the individuals are at least supportive of a CI approach. The titles of the classes don’t necessarily seem to have much to do with it, but I am still anxious to see what they have to offer. I’ll let you know if I hear anything worthwhile.

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