On May 24th, our LangChat participants tackled an important topic: What pre-reading/listening strategies help students better comprehend authentic materials? Everyone had a lot to share!

Setting the Stage

Participants shared a variety of tools that they have found helpful in setting the stage for their students before tackling authentic materials. @CoLeeSensei tries to provide context when introducing an authentic material, starting with a discussion explaining where, when, and why the text was produced and used. @msfrenchteach seeks to engage students’ prior knowledge using videos, short target language discussion, and photos. @DiegoOjeda66 reminded us that is important to make sure the students are able to identify any unfamiliar grammar elements they might encounter in their reading.

One of the great challenges of presenting authentic materials to students is preparing them for unfamiliar cultural elements in the text/audio. It is these cultural elements that make authentic materials authentic! Often, understanding these cultural elements is imperative for understanding the text itself, thus preparing for these unfamiliar cultural elements should be factored into pre-reading/listening class time.

Using Visuals

Participants had many creative ideas for using visuals to prepare students for the reading, especially for teaching them new vocabulary ahead of time.

  • @SraSpanglish likes to make a simple powerpoint for new vocabulary, including clipart to illustrate.
  • @dr_dmd recommended showing videos related to the topic, using Pinterest and infographics.
  • @dr_dmd likes making digital stories with relevant pictures from his travels abroad.
  • @dr_dmd and @SraSpanglish have used Wordle to introduce new vocabulary and to help encourage students to start making predictions about what will happen in the story. @SraSpanglish has even given students the Wordle and then had them predict the upcoming article’s title using Wordle words!
  • @mweelin reminded us that in the case of news articles, teachers can use features of the text, like headlines, bylines, graphics to guess about the article’s content ahead of time.
  • @yya2 recommends Wallwisher to create a collaborative glossary of important words; the site is something like an online sticky note board. @SECottrell prefers corkboard.me for the same purpose.
  • @SECottrell reminded us that Google Images can serve as a “visual dictionary” for students if they encounter an unfamiliar word in the text.

By introducing vocabulary and cultural elements before approaching the text/audio, students are able to start making predictions about what will happen. Participants suggested having students share these predictions with the class as a great way to start up a lively discussion in the target language!

Approaching Novels

For longer texts, like novels, participants had more specific advice for how to prepare students to best understand the many plot details and more complex prose that they are about to encounter.

  • @msfrenchteach gives a vocabulary list for each chapter before her students begin reading. She often has her students work in groups to answer comprehension questions as they move through the text.
  • @SECottrell has had her students draw out plot developments, which helped them keep track of the progression of the story.
  • @dwphotoski admits that he sometimes skips over a chapter, summarizing and/or acting it out with his students instead. This keeps up the pace, and avoids any passages that might be excessively difficult or inappropriate.

Embedded Reading

Students are not always ready for a long, complex text, even with preparation. Too many details in a first-read/listen can distract students from the main plot points and the larger significance of the text/audio. To avoid confusion and focus on the basics, @dwphotoski shared his experience using embedded reading. He has students read multiple versions of a text, with each version increasing in difficulty, adding details to the initial “skeleton text.”

Prepping for Authentic Audio

Participants all agreed that one of their students’ greatest challenges was understanding authentic audio materials – even with preparation. The challenges of authentic audio are different from those of authentic text: students have to worry about the speaker’s accent, and the speed at which he or she speaks.

@SraSpanglish offered us some perspective: there will always be words that students miss, and possibly always sentences. @trescolumnae reminded us that it’s important to reassure students that this is okay – sometimes even native speakers have trouble listening in their own language! The key is to teach students strategies to extract meaning from context.

Participants shared a wealth of great ideas for how to make students more comfortable with listening activities and how to better prepare them for authentic audio materials.

  • Some of the activities used to prepare for authentic text can also be used to prepare for authentic audio. Giving students pre-listening background information, vocab lists, and encouraging them to make predictions can help them get a lot more out of their first listen.
  • @jackimorris23 shared that her students do best on listening “lab days” when they are asked to bring headphones from home and listen to audio individually. She finds that this lowers their affective filters.
  • Conversely, @yya2 recommended collaborative listening: having students listen together, with different groups listening for different kinds of information, before getting together to discuss the audio as a whole.
  • @SrtaLisa sometimes posts a transcript of in-class audio on her blog so that if students get upset that they didn’t understand the audio in class, they can read it later.
  • @yya2 recommended the book Teaching and Learning Second Language Listening: Metacognition in Action as good source for listening strategies.
  • @DiegoOjeda66 found and shared some great resources, as well:
    • A slideshow on “Listening, Pre-Listening & Post-Listening” : http://t.co/vR9D59wg
    • An article titled “Listening in Foreign Language Classrooms: A Few Recipes” : http://t.co/WOylHf5I
    • A study that asks “How Does Varying Pre-Listening Activities Affect Second Language Listening Comprehension?” : http://t.co/XtvEo0Ub

While all these pre-reading and pre-listening strategies can build up students’ confidence and enthusiasm prior to tackling authentic materials, @pamwesely wisely cautioned against over-preparation: if too much time is spent working towards a text, students will be bored when the time comes to actually read/listen.

Many thanks to all who participated for sharing their great ideas! And special thanks to our moderators, @dr_dmd and @SECottrell. Join us this coming Thursday, 8pmEST/5pmPST for another exciting LangChat!

#LangChat is an independent group of world-language education professionals who come together every week via Twitter to share ideas and discuss pressing issues in the world of education. Check out the #LangChat wiki for more information about our goals and the team behind it all here. These weekly discussion summaries are sponsored by Calico Spanish as a service to the world-language community.

Welcome back! On May 17th, our participants were asked, “How do we maximize use of the target language in our classes?” Everyone shared a wealth of great ideas for keeping both their students and themselves on task and engaged in the target language.

Target Language from Day 1?

Staying in the target language can be a challenge for both teachers and students in beginning language classes. Our participants weighed in on how they maximize target language input and output, starting on the first day of class:

  • @BridgetCroyle acknowledged that the first day of class is the hardest. She uses English on that first day to explain set-up of class, but Day 2 is “go-time” – all target language!
  • To stay in the target language, @BridgetCroyle suggests using lots of gestures and repetition.
  • Of course, for languages that use a different writing system, total target language immersion from Day 1 is not always possible. For example, @CoLeeSensei shared that because students of Japanese must learn three different writing systems, they are not able to communicate exclusively in the target language until level 3 or 4. In her case, she aims for quality of target language expression, rather than quantity.

Of course, in certain situations, L1 use may be necessary. As @grantboulanger reminded us, some acceptable uses of L1 might me reminding students of class rule and talking about issues of safety. @BridgetCroyle suggested using L1, but only when standing in the hallway, to reinforce the idea that the classroom is a place where only L2 is spoken.

Tools and Tips for Staying in L2, Avoiding L1

To avoid use of L1 as much as possible from the very beginning, participants emphasized the need to use non-verbal forms of communication with their students. Students can better understand directions and stories in the target language when they are accompanied by gestures. Some teachers even incorporate basic sign language into their teaching of L2 so that they can avoid L1. @grantboulanger suggested giving students a signal to use when they don’t understand something – that way they don’t have to use L1 to say so.

Many participants recommended Accelerated Integrated Methodology (AIM), a program based on pared-down language and use of gestures to allow target language use almost 100% of the time. @AudreyMisiano shared this AIM info doc that provides more information: https://t.co/aoa2JhLk

Many participants cited the “90% rule” as a goal for their classrooms. Teachers aim for 90% L2 instruction, reserving 10% of class time for L1 (should they need it). @grantboulanger found that a good way to accomplish this goal was by designating one student as a timekeeper; this student is given a stopwatch to count how long the class as a whole avoids L1 and stays in the target language. He suggested coming up for some sort of reward for the class if the 90% goal is reached.

Participants found that the use of visual aids made it easier to avoid using L1 when teaching. @tiesamgraf uses clip art and photographs, both in hardcopy and digital forms, and tries to have a collection of images ready for each day of class. @dr_dmd uses Pinterest to project a set of images on the wall to help his class practice using L2.

Activities to Encourage L2 Use in the Classroom

Simple in-class activities, like games, can reinforce L2 instruction and help increase student output.

  • @oleen23 suggested a version of the classic game show $50,000 Pyramid to get the entire class talking and involved. Students are paired, with one partner facing the board and describing a vocab word using circumlocution; it’s up to the other partner to guess the word.
  • @sonrisadelcampo seeks out outrageous newspaper articles and tells the story to her class in the target language. Students ask for more details, using the target language She suggests looking for stories on Yahoo, and for Spanish language stories, @ZJonesSpanish suggested http://t.co/Mgokj3yn.

For early creative writing activities in the target language, participants had lots of ideas, too! @dr_dmd suggested dividing the class up into small groups, and having one groups write the beginning of a short story before passing it on to the next, thus building a plot as a class. @ZJonesSpanish and @CoLeeSensei suggested using comic strips and manga as creative writing prompts, or having students fill in blank speech bubbles.

Short videos and clips can serve as springboard to both oral and written target language use.

  • @BridgetCroyle recommends showing students a funny video, discussing it as a class, and then having students write a brief synopsis.
  • @sonrisadelcampo uses short videos – 5 minutes or less – and pauses frequently to discuss and have her students make predictions about what will happen next.
  • @BridgetCroyle recommends short films from Pixar – they never have any dialogue, so there is no concern about bringing L1 into the classroom.

With computers and internet access, participants had even more suggestions for increasing target language use in the classroom. Participants found that using technology was particularly useful in helping shyer students build confidence expressing themselves in the target language until they were ready to speak to the rest of the class.

  • @dr_dmd collects online activities and videos on a wiki page that his students can explore at will with netbooks in class.
  • @dr_dmd also recommended TodaysMeet, a closed room chat that allows students to write tweets to the rest of the class.
  • @tiesamgraf shared this article about other online tools that help foster target language use: http://t.co/uJbg6ybM.
  • To keep students speaking the target language, even after the end of the school day, @profesorM suggests having students use Vocaroo to answer homework questions.

Participants were less enthusiastic about traditional classroom activities, like oral presentations. As @jas347 said, individual presentations don’t really give other students a reason to listen or engage. @CoLeeSensei suggested that presentations in small groups, instead of the whole class, might be more effective in encouraging discussion among students. @cadamsf1 advocated a round table set-up, where students present to the rest of the class in small groups. To further encourage discussion, @sonrisadelcampo suggested moving desks to the perimeter of the classroom, leaving only a circle of chairs in the middle.

Evaluation and Assessment of Target Language Use

Evaluations and assessments play a powerful role in the classroom. Much as we wish it could be different, grades are still a powerful motivator for students, and grading on oral participation can certainly encourage more target language use. That being said, when students feel that every word they speak is being graded, it discourages participation altogether. As @ZJonesSpanish put it, excessive attention to accuracy can hinder target-language production. @tiesamgraf recommends focusing less on errors and more on successful communication of message: the “bigger picture.”

Self-assessment, however, can be an even more powerful tool, getting students more engaged in their own learning process. @SraCasey has developed a form that she has her students use everyday to enter interesting new vocabulary and self-assessments. @CoLeeSensei includes students’ self-assessments in her grading of their oral participation. She reserves the right to dispute the students’ honesty in self-assessments, but she rarely has to.

For more ideas, participants recommended the ACTFL’s eight strategies to help with target language use : http://t.co/MGxgxCPA. Similarly, @tiesamgraf shared some tips from the Massachusetts Foreign Language Association (MaFLA) for avoiding L1 in the classroom: http://t.co/WqB7AV7q.

Thank you to all our participants for another exciting #LangChat! Keep suggesting new topics for future #LangChats, and don’t forget to join us this Thursday 8pmEST/5pmPST for another dynamic discussion!

#LangChat is an independent group of world-language education professionals who come together every week via Twitter to share ideas and discuss pressing issues in the world of education. Check out the #LangChat wiki for more information about our goals and the team behind it all here. These weekly discussion summaries are sponsored by Calico Spanish as a service to the world-language community.

Hello again! As promised, here is the summary of a thought-provoking LangChat that took place back in May.

Our moderators asked, How do you connect your students to target language speakers?

Finding Target Language Speakers at Home

Nothing can totally replace face-to-face human interaction, and participants had lots of great ideas for getting students interacting with target language speakers right in their home towns.

For more widely-spoken languages, like Spanish, native speakers of the target language might be a student, maybe even in the same class.

  • @alenord tried something new this year: she had the native speakers in her class use rubrics to assess the non-natives. At first, the native speakers could be rather harsh, but over time became much more tolerant and willing to help the non-native speakers; the two groups came to understand the difficulties of the language better.
  • @DiegoOjeda664 suggested allowing older native speakers of the target language serve as teachers’ aids in lower level classes.
  • @alenord knows of a teacher that collaborates with another teacher at a local elementary school bilingual program. The young bilingual elementary school students write letters to “Santa,” and it’s up to the older students to answer them in the target language.

Bringing in guest speakers is also a good way to stimulate class discussion. Finding guest speakers in the local community is not always as hard as one would think. A student might have a parent who is a native speaker of the target language, who could be invited to speak in class one day. Participants shared that they have invited their own native speaker friends to join their classes for a Q&A session. @muchachitaMJ hopes to connect with a different native speaker for each unit in the coming school year, and to interview them on unit topics (family, music, favorite activities, etc.)

Local colleges and universities can offer a wealth of native speakers. @placido had a student in one of her classes whose dad is law professor; he helped her get five law students from Hispanic Student Association to come talk to her class in small groups. Additionally, many universities have intensive English programs for their incoming freshmen from around the world; these foreign students could be a great resource for younger students, too.

Inviting a native speaker to class just “to talk” to the students can often seem a bit vague, and students often get too shy to engage in conversation with a stranger, especially in a foreign language. To help break the ice and make the most of native speaker visits, @placido has her students write questions for their guest speakers ahead of time. Although shy at first, they warmed up quickly! She also suggested asking a guest to bring some relevant object(s) or pictures to share to get a conversation going and to help teach about the target language culture.

Teachers living in areas with large immigrant communities might help their students get in touch with immigrants’ rights groups or other social organizations. When field trips are an option, participants have seen positive results when they took their students to ethnic neighborhoods. @SraCasey even took her students on a field trip to a Mexican restaurant for an immersion experience!

Of course, such trips are easiest for widely spoken languages like Spanish, and for those living in urban areas. Nevertheless, @CoLeeSensei has found a way to get her students engaging with Japanese speakers by taking them to areas in her city that are popular with tourists.

Using Technology to Connect Students with Target Language Speakers Abroad

Regardless of how widely the target language is spoken in the participants’ countries, almost everyone has turned to technology to help their students interact with native target language speakers.

Participants were used Skype to connect their students with their own friends and family abroad. However, large time differences often became an issue. To get around scheduling problems, some participants had their contacts record responses to their students’ questions using Google Voice and MailVU.

Many sites offer fantastic ways to seek out contacts around the world.

  • For schools that have advanced videoconferencing equipment, @AudreyMisiano recommended CAPspace, a portal for videoconference projects, as a way for teachers to find other schools around the world to collaborate with on projects.
  • @AudreyMisiano has also found Edmodo to be a great resource for connecting with native speakers.
  • @SECottrell had her students tweet with native speakers by searching interesting key words. She was even able to find two schools abroad to collaborate with using Twitter.
  • Often, schools abroad are looking for ways to help their students practice English. To ensure that his students did not waste all their time speaking English, he asked that the foreign students speak English, and that his students answer back in Spanish.

To increase awareness of foreign social and political issues, @DiegoOjeda66 encouraged his fellow participants to get their classes involved in social projects overseas, and to connect with organizations using Skype or e-mail.

  • @placido has had her students connect with a local immigrants’ rights group. They will be sending letters to children in Guatemala.
  • @alenord recently established contact with a humanitarian group supporting Oaxacan street children.

Something as simple as placing a phone call can build students’ confidence in the target language. Using Skype credit and international phone cards can be the key to connecting students to real-life target language practice. @DiegoOjeda66 has had his students call Uruguay, Bolivia, and Venezuela to inquire about their capital cities’ flag colors. Students might place calls to businesses in foreign countries, asking about movie times or store inventories. @DiegoOjeda66 also recommended listening to authentic radio shows and then calling or writing to journalists.

Quality of Expression and Non-Native Target Language Speakers

@alenord raised the issue of quality when choosing a guest speaker. How important is it to bring in someone who uses perfect grammar and avoids slang and idiomatic expression? @SECottrell acknowledged that this is a “ fuzzy issue,” but agreed with @placido in recognizing that idiomatic expression is reality that students will encounter when they take their learning beyond the classroom.

@SECottrell brought up a good point: are the only target language speakers worth talking to native speakers? What about highly proficient, non-native speakers? @SECottrell shared her belief that any proficient speaker can provide good input for beginning language learners. @placido said she loves to bring in former students who have studied abroad, and @CoLeeSensei shared that she often uses former students to show that study goes beyond high school. Interactions with proficient non-native speakers can provide inspiration to beginning learners, keeping them from getting discouraged by showing them that they, too, can aspire to the same level of proficiency.

Many thanks to all our participants for their engagement and valuable contributions, and a special thanks to our moderators, @placido and @secottrell!

Keep suggesting future LangChat topics, and get excited for our regular LangChat schedule to resume on August 2nd, 8pm EST!

#LangChat is an independent group of world-language education professionals who come together every week via Twitter to share ideas and discuss pressing issues in the world of education. Check out the #LangChat wiki for more information about our goals and the team behind it all here. These weekly discussion summaries are sponsored by Calico Spanish as a service to the world-language community.

As language educators, we know that language and culture are inseparable. During our recent #langchat twitter conversation, we explored what we can do to overcome resistance from students to learning about the culture of target language people groups.

To start off the conversation, we all acknowledged that culture in the world language classroom is important. Next we asked, “Why is culture important?” Our participants responded:

  • @DiegoOjeda66 reminded us that culture intertwined with language. In fact, the two are inseparable, and together they constitute the most important aspects of a society’s identity.
  • @tracy_dinesen stressed the need to remind students that the goal of learning language to communicate with others – and that means knowing how to do so in a culturally acceptable way.
  • But bear in mind that many students don’t see learning culture as such a chore – @Marishawkins points out that teaching culture is one of the easiest ways to engage students. In fact, it is often the motivation that leads many students to choose to study a particular language.
  • @DiegoOjeda66 pointed out that students already live in a multicultural society, and thus need tools and understanding to successfully navigate the world they live in.
  • @dr_dmd added that students need to make connections between their own culture and the cultures they encounter in the rest of the world. Helping them find similarities and differences is critical to understanding and acceptance. Additionally, it is important that students become aware of the fact that they also belong to a distinct culture.
  • Students may arrive in class with a sense that they are “normal” and others are “weird.” We as teachers want to discourage and eliminate this type of thinking. @SECottrell has banned the application of the term “weird” in her classes on the cultural differences. Help students understand that every family or group has its own “weirdness” that may seem “weird” to an outsider, even if it’s perfectly normal to you.
  • Encouragingly, @RonieWebster and @dr_dmd shared their observations that the efforts to promote tolerance and acceptance have helped language students more readily accept cultural differences.
  • All languages and people groups have sub-cultures and variations. @dr_dmd also pointed out that no culture is fixed, static, or set in stone. @trescolumnae continued with this idea, stressing that it is critical to help students understand that languages can have many cultural contexts.

Tools to help students understand culture:

We need to use many kinds of tools to ensure that students aren’t limited to one view of a culture, i.e. only getting their information from Hollywood or an isolated encounter with one subgroup from a culture, as @alenord pointed out. @jjezuit is hopeful that teaching culture well can help break down stereotypes. Some of our participants shared some tools that they use to work towards these goals:

  • @SECottrell and @casamsf1 shared that the Peace Corps workbook titled “Culture Matters” has been very helpful to many teachers. It can be downloaded at: http://t.co/135J5EbY
  • Another fun way to pique students’ interest is through the introduction of candy and foods from a particular culture. Encourage them to take note of the differences in flavors, packaging, availability, advertising, etc.
  • Showing commercials from other countries is another interesting way to expose students to the everyday culture of a people or group, while also providing target language input.
  • Having a class engage in correspondence with someone from your own culture who is currently experiencing the culture of your target language, or who has experienced it in the past. @Marishawkins and her students spent a year corresponding with a Peace Corps volunteer and learned a lot!
  • @jjezuit pointed out that culture can serve as a bridge for making connections to other disciplines, making it easier for students to relate to a foreign culture.
  • @CoLeeSensei suggests pointing out “why we say things that way” as you are teaching the language. This is an indirect way to make students aware of culture in the language. Similarly, idioms and common expressions are great avenues to embrace culture in your language classroom.
  • Present social norms and codes such as traffic signs to help students understand similarities and differences.
  • Photos can be a great source of cultural content for students to reflect and question what they see in a language community. What are people doing, why might they be doing those things, what is similar and different to the student’s life? @alenord offered an example: Show pictures of how mango trees grow in yards instead of apple or pecan.
    @mme_henderson advocated the use of the cultural triangle is a great way to have students to reflect on culture http://t.co/7pSpUcec.
  • @mme_henderson also offered a link to this culture iceberg drawing http://t.co/iM0SUHDY.

Celebrating Diversity

Some of our attendees work in diverse communities and students come to class with a foundational understanding of cultures. @dr_dmd and @cadamsf1 mentioned celebrations in their communities to celebrate the diversity that is present in the local communities. Conversely, other teachers lament the fact that they live in homogenous communities and it is more difficult (though arguably also more important) to help students embrace the fact that we have a multicultural world and gaining the tools to navigate that world is critical.

Teaching Perspectives:

The ACTFL guidelines list culture focus items as: Products, Practices, and Perspectives.
@cadamsf1 describes Perspectives as addressing the “why” of what people do. As @trescolumnae points out, the easiest items to cover are products and practices, while perspectives is more challenging for most students. Here are some thoughts our participants shared on teaching students to approach a culture with a different perspective:

@trescolumnae likes to use passages of text that illustrate distinctly non-American perspectives and then discuss them with students.

Showing students how their perspective changes their understanding can be done with very familiar items, like a tree viewed and described a large distance, versus that same tree viewed and described from up close, when you can touch it, climb it, hear the wind in its leaves, etc.

You can also illustrate this important life lesson by showing a small portion of a painting or photograph and having students give their perspective on what event is taking place; then zoom out and show the full scene so they realize that is just one piece of a larger puzzle. An example of how this can be done is to look at one corner of the painting of the Wedding at Cana http://t.co/G7UaMfvE and have students describe what is happening. Later show them the full picture and ask them to restate their impressions of what is going on in the scene. It is a quick way to show them that perspective matters and changes drastically based on what you see and what remains unseen.

@Marishawkins reminds us that another useful tool for emphasizing the importance of perspective can be the use of news clips from other countries, which often present the same events with a very different perspective from that of the news in North America.

It is also important to find things that are relevant to students’ lives – such as music – so that they are more eager to explore the culture of another people group.

Look for opportunities to teach them manners of other cultures. What is rude behavior? What is polite behavior?
Everyone is familiar with teaching students about foods of a culture, but let’s delve deeper and teach our students why certain foods are important and how they are prepared and eaten. What traditions and celebrations have grown around those foods? Why? We want to go beyond the superficial and develop deeper driving questions to promote inquiry into cultural practices, products and perspectives. @dr_dmd suggests using project-based learning to successfully accomplish these worthy goals.

@CoLeeSensei asks her 4th year students to reflect on what they have learned about the Japanese people by studying their language. She also moves to 100% authentic materials to facilitate students’ engagement with the culture.

Towards the end of our chat, our participants were feeling quite inspired and started sharing very specific ideas for incorporating culture into their classrooms. @DiegoOjeda led the charge with this list of topics to cover:

  • Gestures
  • Personal Space
  • Greetings (He notes that in Columbia you shake hands with male colleagues and kiss female colleagues on the cheek EVERY day.)
  • Daily life.
  • Social behaviors for dating, work, phone conversations, eating, etc.
  • Current events
  • Improvised ideas: Sometimes the best moments to discuss culture are not in our lesson plans.
  • Organize debates on cultural topics

Skype connections with people in your target language culture are always highly recommended by #langchat attendees.

Several teachers discussed the pros and cons of teaching culture when you are a native speaker vs. when you are a non-native speaker. The conclusion is that either way, you need to network with other teachers to ensure you keep an open-minded perspective on your own perceptions of culture.

Thank you!

All of our participants made thoughtful and enlightening contributions to our discussion of the importance of cultural education in the classroom, and the multitude of ways to build language skills by teaching culture. A special thanks to our moderators, @DiegoOjeda66 and @dr_dmd.

To reference the full archived chat, visit our GoogleDocs page. Please join us next Thursday at 8pm EST for our next invigorating discussion. And if you have a particular topic you’d like to suggest for a future #langchat, send us your idea on our suggestion page.

See you next Thursday on #langchat !

#LangChat is an independent group of world-language education professionals who come together every week via Twitter to share ideas and discuss pressing issues in the world of education. Check out the #LangChat wiki for more information about our goals and the team behind it all here. These weekly discussion summaries are sponsored by Calico Spanish as a service to the world-language community.