Reaching all Learners
Keynote Speech by Ellen Shrager
Ellen Shrager opened her keynote speech with an acrostic reflecting the title of her talk: Reaching All Learners.
Role of children
Looking for real men
Looking out for friends
Looking out for #1
Nourishing the soul
Reacting with indifference
This acrostic emphasized the major societal changes that affect student learning and our jobs as teachers. She explained that this generation of students is a direct product of our society and that with our "electronic culture we are deconstructing childhood." These children are no longer raised by a village inhabited with strong families but rather by "adults afraid to interact with students for fear of being misunderstood." Schools and teachers are being asked to replace the role of neighborhoods. But youngsters today do not trust strangers and in many cases students view teachers as strangers. We teachers need to break this barrier. Shrager explained that youngsters today will not listen unless they are heard and thus recommends that we gear our classes to our students' affective needs.
With all the trivial images they see on TV and in advertisements, adolescents today have difficulty perceiving what a real problem is. They are apt to interrupt the class with personal comments that have nothing at all to do with the lesson at hand. She recommends helping students "label" their emotions to help control them. To do so she devised an adjective pocket chart, whereby students place their name in the appropriate adjective pocket as they enter the room.
A central belief that students have today is that they do not need to study because, somehow, they will be rich when they grow up. Shrager added that "we learn from whom we love" and that many families are giving three dangerous messages to their children: work is drudgery, school is unpleasant and anxiety producing, and good grades, rather than knowledge, are the goal. These messages naturally affect students' attitudes toward school and work, and it is therefore not surprising that 25% of college students think that plagiarism is not cheating.
Shrager made the point that students today lack a moral compass and are drawn to risky behaviors. She explained that adults are vanishing. "This leaves kids with no protection, and adults with no dignity." Therefore it is important to show students examples of exemplary behavior and she keeps a "hero notebook" to which she adds everyday stories about everyday people doing heroic deeds. "Encouraging students to do something for others will help them grow emotionally and help nourish their souls."
FLAME LEADERSHIP AWARD
The Foreign Language Association of Maine (FLAME) conferred its 2004 Leadership Award on Julia Schulz of Rockland, Maine. Schulz is a co-founder and past President of Penobscot School, a nonprofit center for language learning and international cultural exchange based in Rockland. She was recognized for her work in developing innovative immersion learning programs for adults and in helping people reclaim lost heritage languages. "Many people who feel they lost the heritage language of their grandparents or parents, actually still have the language in them," Schulz said. "There's a huge piece of us, of our identity, that is tied into our first language, and when that is suppressed we lose that piece of ourselves. So in reconnecting with the heritage language, we actually grow and find more energy for the things we care most deeply about." The Center also has programs in several New England cities and works with local and state government to advance heritage language as a resource for Maine's creative economy and community economic development based on regional cultural ties.
In conferring the award, the committee recognized that Schulz has developed programs in Maine, New England, Quebec, and the Caribbean for immersion language that make language learning into a cultural adventure that can be fun and personally rewarding. The FLAME advisory board noted the increased importance of bilingualism in a globalizing world and the potential of language for cultural and economic development.
• Submitted by David Clough, CEO of Penobscot School.
STUDENT RECOGNITION AWARD
Sarah Farrington, a junior at Cheverus High School, is the 2004 recipient of the FLAME Student Recognition Award. The criteria for selection are that the nominee must have studied a minimum of 4 years of at least one language. Ms. Farrington has been taking French for six years, is taking French IV Honors, and she is in her second year of Latin. She has also been exposed to Spanish. The nominee must also have a record of outstanding scholarship and of service to his/her school. Ms Farrington is a High-Honor student and a member of the National Honor Society.
When it comes to service Ms Farrington has also been busy. She revived the International Club, co-chaired its Classics division, and is now president of the Spanish Club. This Club recently hosted its first International Heritage Celebration. She hopes to organize a trip to Guatemala City to help underpriviledged children.
She is also a member of the Cheverus High School Math Team, the Key Club, and is a Big Sister with the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program in Portland. She also volunteers as a Junior Counselor at the Maine Audubon Camp for a month in the summer.
Her interest in languages has her curious about international business. This past summer she spent three weeks as an intern at the Maine International Trade Center in Portland. She produced the Trade Center Bulletin, attended presentations hosted by various consulates, researched different industry sectors in Ireland and England for Maine companies, and helped host Senator George Mitchell to promote Governor Baldacci's trade mission to Ireland. She is considering working either for the CIA, the United Nations on the Social Economic council, or the International court of justice. "I am not certain what job I would like to pursue," says Ms Farrington," but I know that I will utilize my proficiency in language."
• C. Hobby-Editor
FLAME Sister Solange Bernier Lifetime Achievement
Claudette Kydd received the 2004 FLAME Lifetime Achievement Award. This award recognizes the career-long accomplishments of a teacher approaching retirement, or one who has recently retired, and who has demonstrated excellence in teaching and leadership throughout his or her career as a teacher of modern and classical languages.
Ms Kydd taught for over thirty years in southern Penobscot County, serving at John Bapst High School, East Corinth Academy, Union Street Junior High, and Garland Street Middle School, renamed William S. Cohen School. She also helped organize fund-raisers for trips to Quebec City for her 8th grade students and for French Clubs. In addition, she participated in the NACEL foreign exchange programs, and taught at Bangor Adult Education. She has been an active member of both FLAME, for which she served as Treasurer, and AATF. She also regularly hosted the Penobscot Collaborative.
Some testimonials might further highlight Ms Kydd's love of teaching. A past student wrote: ""She is the reason I decided to continue with French. She was the most exuberant and exciting teacher I had." A colleague wrote: "She has helped me, supported me, and encouraged me. She has made a huge impact on my teaching, and I am truly grateful to her." An administrator wrote: "Madame was always a bundle of energy who loved to teach. She loved kids and they loved her. She was innovative, enthusiastic, positive, and was a life long learner who experimented with new methodologies until the day she retired. She was a loyal worker and a tremendous ambassador for our school. We miss her."
Claudette Kydd retired in the spring of 2002.
FLAME AWARD for EXCELLENCE in TEACHING
Theresa Finnerty received the 2004 FLAME Teacher of the Year Award. The criteria for nomination are that the nominee must have at least 2 years of FLAME membership and a minimum of 5 years teaching experience. The FLAME Advisory Board considers how the nominee has demonstrated best practice, how he or she has contributed to the teaching and learning of a modern or classical language, and what teaching practices and activities he or she uses to improve students' language proficiency and motivation.
Theresa Finnerty has taught eight years at Brunswick High School and seven years at Cheverus High School. When she arrived at Cheverus she "picked up the pieces of a program utterly lacking in seriousness and academic challenge and brought it to a point today where the Spanish classes are filled to overflowing with satisfied students," explains colleague Mary E. Campbell. Ms Finnerty is described as a "hard working and caring person" who "gives special attention to each of her students in order to make the class easier for every student." She is always available to help students. She attends workshops on a regular basis to keep abreast of new methodologies and has the gift of adapting her instruction to meet the various needs of her students. Moreover, she "keeps her classes fresh" and spices them with music, poetry, and creative projects.
Ms Finnerty is also active in her community and has organized a cultural exchange program and invites students from Chile to spend time at Cheverus High School. This started as an email project and has now grown to include homestays with the families of some of her Spanish students. She has also created a new Spanish Club that hosted its first multi-cultural night this academic year. Ms Campbell summarizes Ms Finnerty's gift of teaching: "For Terry, Spanish is not something that she teaches, but something that she loves, and her goal is to convey this appreciation to her students." • C. Hobby-Editor
NEW CERTIFICATION RULES
On March 15, 2004 the Education Committee approved the changes to certification rules adopted by the State Board of Education in January. Changes to the endorsement requirements for teachers will go into effect August 1, 2005 and will affect all certificates and endorsements issued after that time, including transitional endorsements issued to experienced teachers.
Generally, the specific course requirements for each certificate have been reduced and new content area and pedagogy tests will replace some of the course requirements. The State Board's intention in changing the requirements was to make it easier for prospective teachers to enter the profession. For a copy of the new regulations, see the Department of Education's web site at http://www.state.me.us/education/rulechanges.htm
Here is a summary of changes which can be expected to impact teachers:
Alternate Route Teachers (new category of entrants to the teaching profession)
Those who are currently working under transitional endorsements and conditional and targeted needs certificates (about 1600 teachers in Maine last year) will be able to continue to work towards full certification under the terms spelled out in the letter they received from the Department of Education when they received their transitional endorsement or their certificates.
Teachers who receive new assignments, or apply for new positions, for the school year beginning September, 2005, requiring transitional endorsements or conditional or targeted needs certificates, will have to comply with the new requirements.
1. Those who take on assignments requiring transitional endorsements will have to, before their third year of teaching under the transitional, achieve a passing score on the Praxis II test for their subject area. If the transitional is in a different grade span than their regular certificate, they will have to also pass a pedagogy test for their subject area OR complete an approved alternative professional studies program (none of the tests or alternative studies programs are yet approved). The Transitional will be limited to three years for this group of teachers. Anyone who does not complete the above loses the endorsement and is thus is not considered certified to teach this area. He or she may still be certified to teach in other areas.
2. Those who are newly employed as conditional or targeted needs certified teachers will have to pass Praxis I before the end of the first year of employment, and the Praxis II and pedagogy exams for their subject area during the second year. Conditional and targeted needs certificates will be limited to three years.
A list of the specific Praxis II and pedagogy tests to be required will be published this spring by the Maine Department of Education. Establishment of passing scores for each test will be done with the assistance of content-specific stakeholder groups during the next year.
Traditional Route teachers:
New teachers who enter via the Traditional Route--completion of an approved Teacher Preparation Program or certified teachers transferring from most other states--beginning in September, 2005, will be required to pass the Praxis II and pedagogy tests appropriate to their assignments before receiving their first provisional certificate and beginning practice. The provisional certificate will continue to be a two-year, non-renewable certificate. In order to begin practice for the third year, they will need to obtain a professional certificate by "passing" an induction assessment. This will involve submission of detailed portfolios, observations and evaluations by colleagues, and other activities. This process will be similar to the AARBEC pilot, and will differ from the traditional Teacher Action Plan in that "achievement of passing scores" on various evaluations will replace the current "completion of Teacher Action Plan" activities.
• Submitted by C. Hobby of Lunt School in Falmouth.
I got this is from the listserve FLTeach. Here is the original link.
One activity/game that my students enjoy is called "Dodge Bomb." I got this idea from another teacher. On an overhead you make up a grid of boxes numbered 1-25 (5x5) Across the top you put the five verbs to be practiced, down the side you put the subjects. The students call the coordinate numbers and give the correct answer. For example, #3 may be the coordinate for "hacer" in the yo form. Each box has a symbol (as yet unknown to the students) or is blank. If it is blank, they get one point. If it has a flag, they get two points, and if there's a star, they get three. If, on the other hand there is a cherry bomb, they lose a point, if there are two cherry bombs they lose two and if there is an atomic bomb, they lose all their points. I place the symbols on a photocopy and draw them on the overhead with a marker after the student gets the answer. If the student gives an incorrect answer the coordinate is left open for someone else to pick. It is strictly a game of chance since you can give the correct answer and still lose a point but the classes seem to enjoy the anticipation of finding the bombs. Actually, an atomic bomb can help you if you are in the negatives since it would bring you back to zero. It's also fun if one team is very far ahead, they can lose it all in one fell swoop, giving the other team a chance to catch up.
I have adapted this for my second graders by simply having a picture they need to name instead of verbs. I have also played it more cooperatively by having the whole class try and reach a certain number of points.
For very young learners you could have use only the "add points" options and avoid the bombs altogether.
FAMILY AND ART
Integrating Spanish and Culture through a Colombian's Style of Artwork
• Submitted by Janet Zidle of Lyseth Elementary School in Portland.
After viewing some of Fernando Botero's artwork, I decided to integrate it into my Family Unit in my Elementary School Program. His work is primarily inflated, exaggerated people. After showing my Grade 4 students his style from the pictures I printed from the web, I asked them to draw a "puffy" person who would represent someone in a family (el papá, la mamá, etc.). Next, I had the students write three sentences about their person on a note card. For example:
La mamá se llama Mariá.
La mamá tiene 35 años.
La mamá es alta y inteligente.
This was mounted on a larger piece of construction paper (artwork at the top and the note card at the bottom). My students were familiar with age and adjectives prior to this project. Therefore, this was the final project for my Family Unit.
Target language: Spanish
Level: Grade 4 (Could be adapted to a higher level)
Content Standard: Copies of Fernando Botero's artwork (I printed some off the web), 8 1/2" white oaktag or white construction paper, note cards, crayons or paint, map of SA to show the location of Columbia.
Teacher Preparations: Become familiar with Botero's artwork and have prints from the web available for students to see his style.
Student Preparations: Be familiar with the names of family members, adjectives, and age in Spanish.
Method of Evaluation: I had a four question conversation with each student based on the information they had written about their drawing.
Possible Feedback/follow-up: My students took their artwork with them to Art class where the Art teacher shared more about Botero and his style and asked them to paint their project. Later, we will have an Art and Spanish Show where the students invite family members to school to see their accomplishments.
OÙ SONT VOS CAMARADES DE CLASSE?
An activity to practice the imparfait and the passé composé.
• C. Hobby, Lunt School, Falmouth
1.Make enough cards so that each student has one. (See "cards" for examples.)
2. Place the students in small groups of 4.
3. Give each student one card. (Make sure that each student has a different card from those in his/her group.)
4. Student A, B, C ask questions while student D answers according to his/her card, using the appropriate past tense.
5. Once all the students in the group have asked, in turn, all the questions, then they can guess. If they are incorrect, they might want to ask other questions for more information or student D can offer more information, in the TL of course!
6. Once the students have correctly guessed where student D is located, the whole procedure is repeated until each student has been "located."
Note: I have placed the locations in Francophone spots in the world, but you can tailor your locations to fit the cultural hotspots of your TL!
---Place the following on an overhead:
Chaque étudiant a une carte avec certains renseignements. A vous de deviner où sont vos camarades.
A. Posez les questions suivantes:
détails: il y a de vieilles églises
il y a des champs de lavande
tout le monde parle français
activités: manger une bouillabaisse
jouer à la pétanque
visiter des ruines romanes
Carnaval de Québec
détails: tout le monde parle français
c'est la fête dans les rues
activités: voir des châteaux de glace
dire bonjour à Bonhomme Carnaval
En France, la Fête Nationale
temps: beau/ chaud
détails: tout le monde parle français
il y a des feux d'artifices
activités: chanter la Marseillaise
danser dans les rues
détails: les gens parlent français (et quelquefois flamand)
il y a beaucoup de restaurants et de cafés
activités: visiter la Grand'Place
manger des frites dans la rue
Festival de Joie à Lewiston
quand: fin juillet/ début août
temps: chaud/ beau
détails: les gens parlent anglais et français
il y a de la musique
c'est la fête
activités: aller au concert au Franco-American Heritage Center
voir une parade
manger des haricots
Students at Greater Portland Christian School begin Spanish in eighth grade. They write weekly journals after about three weeks of class, building up to at least ten sentences by October. These level 1 and 2 students chose their favorites to share with you (uncorrected).
Mis Amigos, por Keri Woodbury
Octavo grado, Español 1 Greater Portland Christian School
Yo tengo seis amigos. Ellos nombres tienen Audrey, Lindsay, Kat, Justin, Mallory and Leesa. Audrey es mediana. Ella es muy bonita y simpática. Lindsay es muy fuerte. Kat es no feo. Justin es generoso y guapo. El es catorce años. Mallory es morena y popular. Megan es rubia y modesta. Taylor es delgada, baja y atlética. Mike es muy cómico y romántico. El es muy estudioso. Larry es pelirrojo y interestante. El es fuerte y guapo.
Mi Horario, por Audrey Gervais
Octavo grado, Español 1 Greater Portland Christian School
A escuela yo tengo nueve clases. A las ocho y veinte tengo quimica. A las nueve y cinco tengo matemáticas. A las diez es historia. Once menos veinte es español. A las once y veinticinco tengo inglés. A las doce y media tengo Biblia. A la una y quarto tengo educación física. Doce menos diez tengo estudia. A las dos y media tengo piano.
Tema Libre, por Kara Sarver
Noveno grado, Español 2 Greater Portland Christian School
A las diez, Tanya hace su mochila y su maleta. Entonces, ella embarca el avión. Después de muchas horas, Tanya llega en Mexico. Ella es una estudiante de ruinas. Ella quiere estudiar las ruinas de las Mayans. A su hotel, ella duerme por mucho tiempo. El la mañana, va a las pirámides de las Mayans. Estas pirámides son muy diferentes que las pirámides en Egipto. Ella decide escalar la pirámide grandicima. Cuando Tanya llega a la parte superior, la vista es muy bonita. Ella camina a las afueras, bruscamente las piedras se desmoronan. Ella se cae y se muere.
Mi Día Feriado Favorito, por Emily Keenan
Noveno grado, Español 2 Greater Portland Christian School
Jayne se despertó en el día de St. Patrick y todos los árboles fueron verde. La hierba fue muy verde también porque ella vive en Irlanda. Jayne fue desayunarse con su madre y hermanito. Su hermanito dijo, ¡Estos huevos están verde! ¡Ew! ¡Y el jugo de naranja es verde! Su madre dijo, “Ellos están verde porque hoy es el día de St. Patrick. Y hoy Jayne y tú necesitáis buscar la olla dorada. Entonces ahora coméis tus huevos y bebéis tu jugo.”
Después de desayuno, Jayne y su hermanito fueron a buscar la olla dorada. Si ellos encontran la olla, entonces compran una casa con más cuartos. Ellos seguieron un mapa al borde de Irlanda donde fue un arco iris bonito. El fin del arco iris fue debajo de una catarata agua. Ellos caminaron en el agua y en una caverna. ¡Entonces vieron la olla dorada! El hermanito de Jayne corrió a la olla y ellos la llevaron en la agua y a la hierba verde. Pero cuando vieron el mapa, lo fue blanco y fueron perdido. Entonces los corazones verdades de Jayne y su hermanito mostraron ser voraz. Ellos y su madre se hicieron Lepercons. Ahora en el día de St. Patrick, lo tres Lepercons buscan gentes que buscan la olla dorada.
Language and Culture Camps
French, Spanish, Japanese
A summer day camp program from the Children's Museum of Maine and
the University of Southern Maine for 4th, 5th, and 6th graders.
A Program for Young Language Learners
The Summer Language and Culture Camp program is designed to address the educational needs of rising 4th, 5th and 6th graders' in regard to language instruction and cultural understanding. The goals of the program are to create an awareness of the complexity and the variety of cultures connected to a language and to provide building blocks for future language and cultural education. Students are immersed in the structure and sound of language through the use of phonics, song and writing, as well as upbeat and exciting cultural activities. Staff members include language educators with experience teaching students in this age group and adult counselors with proficiency in a language. In the spirit of summer camp tradition, students will also participate in structured, recreational activities such as trips to parks, beaches, and other area attractions.
Each session is two weeks long. Participants may elect one, two, or three sessions.
Session I - French June 28 - July 9, 2004
Session II - Spanish July 12 - July 23, 2004
Session III - Japanese August 2 - August 13, 2004
The camps will be held at the Children's Museum of Maine on Free Street in Portland, Maine.
Fees and Deposits
Cost for each two-week session is $475. A minimum of a $50.00 non-refundable deposit is required for each session. This program qualifies for the Libra Foundation's Summer Champs voucher.
Call Summer Session for more details at (207) 780-5617.
University of Southern Maine Summer Session
Visit us at our Web site: www.usm.maine.edu/summer, or call us at (207) 780-5617.
PENOBSCOT SCHOOL SUMMER WORKSHOP
A workshop based on CONNECTIVITY: An idea generating process approach to the teaching of foreign languages. (Maureen promises it will include a hundred and one ways to teach a foreign language.)
Special Workshop Features:
Scheduled time each day to share with other workshop participants make and Take: Participants will go home with materials made during the Workshop Access to the instructor’s library of printed articles and books on the Teaching and learning of language.
Topics will include:
How to attain traditional goals through non-traditional means
How to learn a language like Leonardo (da Vinci)
How to improve retention of material taught
How to “come to your senses”
How to evaluate what the student has learned
Maureen Baker, Ph.D. Indiana University, M.A. French Literature SUNY College at Potsdam, is a LaFayette Scholar and Professor emerita from SUNY where she taught French to students ages 5-65 and prepared foreign language teachers for nearly 30 years. A native New Yorker, she has settled in Rockland, Maine where she writes and consults nationally in foreign language teaching.
Tuition: $225, includes all materials, refreshments, and 2.0 C.E.U. credits.
FLAME members: $195
To become a member of FLAME, visit the web site: www.umaine.edu/flame
Dates of workshop: July 26-29, 2004; 8:00-1:00pm daily.
SPRING EVENTS at PENOBSCOT SCHOOL
The school is offering language immersions to give students intensive instruction in several languages. In a language immersion, students have an opportunity to experience a language just as if they were living in a foreign country. Natalia Gomez of Chihuahua, Mexico will lead a Spanish weekend for intermediate to advance students June 4-6. Karine George of Brest, France will lead a French Beginners Immersion day on May 1, and a weekend immersion for intermediate and advanced students June 11-13. Sachiko Clough, originally from Osaka, Japan is offering a one-day beginners immersion in Japanese on May 15. Camden resident, Sally Burtnette-Leser, will lead the Beginner German immersion on June 5. The school is also offering an Italian weekend for intermediate and advanced students May 21-23. One-day immersions are from 10 am to 4pm and include lunch. The weekend immersions are from Friday, 5 pm, to Sunday, 2pm and include five meals which the students help prepare.
On April 17 the school is offering its first Haiku writing workshop with Dr. Bruce Ross. Dr. Ross is a former president of the Haiku Society of America and author of How to Haiku, A Writer's Guide to Haiku and Related Forms. Class size is limited and the school’s director, David Clough, encourages early registration to take advantage of this unique workshop. Other events at the school include an Arabic Day with Mohamed Ferhaoui of Morocco on May 8, and a two-day Italian for Travelers workshop on April 24 and May 1.
Now in its 18th year as a non-profit center for language learning and international cultural exchange, Penobscot School offers weekly classes in eight foreign languages. For more information,
contact Penobscot School at 594-1084,
or visit on the internet at http://www.languagelearning.org