Friday, April 29, 2016

What are your goals?

I think this is where we should all start as foreign language teachers, teachers, etc.

In my current job, I got myself into trouble
when I started. I think my department and I have come a long way since then and I should have started the tough conversations we had with the first question:
a meme I designed for a recent contest #BVPmemes

"What are your goals?"

Bill VanPatten has asked teachers this question on his program TeaWithBVP recently and I just thought it was genius.  It makes complete sense.

So if you are a foreign language teacher, what are your goals?

1. to prepare students for college Spanish?
2. to push students toward intermediate proficiency by 4 years in your program?
3. to only teach to the students who are good at school?
4. to help the students understand English grammar better through Spanish grammar?
5. to build a rapport with students?
6. to get a paycheck?
7. to get the students excited about the language as much as possible?
8. to push the kids toward bi-literacy?
9. to help develop a love for reading?
10. to help students learn to express themselves, their ideas in TL?
11. to play a lot of games with students to practice vocab and grammar?
12. to get through the textbook?

Obviously some might stand out to you more than others. In fact, yours might be more specific. Mine don't necessarily fit on that list. But if you're reading this, let me know what some of your goals are for your classroom!

I think this question is also a great way to find out where other educators are coming from when they talk to us about activities that they use in their classrooms that we might not agree with.

In the foreign language classroom there are currently two divergent paths with very different goals. And asking this question would help us realize, neither side is a failure provided that they are meeting their goals (within reason).

Is your goal:
1. To focus on the form of the language and help kids understand the ins and outs of the grammatical system


2. To focus on the meaning of the language and push kids to understand written and spoken language with plethoras of input

Is there another overarching goal I am missing the the FL classroom? Or do you disagree?  Let me know below!

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