A few weeks ago I reentered the twitterverse and discovered a professional learning network (PLN) that I truly believe will revolutionize my growth as a Spanish teacher. #langchat talks every Thursday @8pm, with follow-up discussion on Saturdays @10am.
While I knew that WL-teaching has been becoming more proficiency-based, and I got many ideas at FLANC in October, all of my experiences with the foreign language high school classroom have been traditional. I want to be a proficiency based teacher but it’s hard when no one taught me how or even exposed me to it, except for my amazing student teaching mentor that teaches elementary–which is hard to apply to high school sometimes.
Enter #langchat. It already works from the assumption that we are all teaching for proficiency. On one hand I believe that is a dangerous assumption and it is intimidating to participate at first. However, once I joined the conversation I was welcomed and I appreciate that the chat bucks traditional WL-teaching altogether.
The bottom line is the majority of my district still uses traditional methods of teaching (conjugation charts galore!), and there is no one at the district-level to support WL teachers in content. It is frustrating but thank goodness for the internet! If you have a willingness to improve in teaching, there are resources out there, and I’m finding #langchat to be an awesome one.