My ‘TL’ Story (Part 3): Inspiration To Start Teaching In The Target Language

For the first 8 years of my foreign language teaching career, I used more L1 than L2.  My classroom was entertaining, but students were not able to achieve long term retention of the language.

Things changed after I went to ACTFL’s national convention in 2012.  My new supervisor, Dr. JoAnne Negrín (from Borderless Learning), encouraged her teachers to attend.  It was a wonderful conference that inspired me to rethink my foreign language teaching strategies.  I decided to try reaching for the 90%+ target language use goal.  When I got home from the convention, I sat down to think how I could make this work in my classroom.

I made adjustments to…

  • …my classroom management techniques.
  • …my instructional materials.
  • …and slight adjustments to my assessment methods.

I initially expected…

  • …gradual success.
  • …a long period of adjustment for students.
  • …complaints from students.

The transition to 90+% target language use was a lot easier than I thought!  I was surprised by the successful results!

Are you considering a transition to using more of the target language in your classroom?  How do you imagine your students would respond?  Leave comments below:

Señor Howard – www.SenorHoward.com@HolaSrHoward

My ‘TL’ Story (Part 1): Why I Didn’t Use The Target Language

My ‘TL’ Story (Part 2): Negative Affects Of L1 Use

My ‘TL’ Story (Part 3): Inspiration To Start Teaching In The Target Language

My ‘TL’ Story (Part 4): SUCCESS – Transition To 90+% Was Easier Than I Thought

4 thoughts on “My ‘TL’ Story (Part 3): Inspiration To Start Teaching In The Target Language

  1. Pingback: My ‘TL’ Story (Part 1): Why I Didn’t Use The Target Language | Tuesday's Tips For Staying in The Target Language

  2. Pingback: My ‘TL’ Story (Part 2): Negative Effects of Using L1 | Tuesday's Tips For Staying in The Target Language

  3. Pingback: My ‘TL’ Story (Part 4): SUCCESS – Transition To 90+% Was Easier Than I Thought | Tuesday's Tips For Staying in The Target Language

  4. Dear Sr. Howard,

    Thank you for the shout out! I had no idea that the ACTFL conference was the start of your journey to 90% TL. I’m glad I had the opportunity to make that experience happen for you and your colleagues. I firmly believe that the attendance of our team at ACTFL will provide benefits to our program for years to come, and in many ways revolutionized the way we work as a K-12 department.

    It is always the most sincere compliment when the mentee goes farther than the mentor ever did. I was one of those teachers you describe yourself as having been, the teacher who was afraid to go further with the TL and thus feels like they are primarily an entertainer and a facilitator of memorization. It is extremely gratifying that you found a way to not only improve student learning and attention but also to make the experience of teaching language more fulfilling. I am pleased to learn from you and to help you spread the word about your techniques in any way I can.

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