06 March 2011

Entry vs Entry

I have recorded and scrapped at least 5 lessons since finding out in November that I failed National Boards. I had gotten halfway through writing up at least 2 of them before deciding they sucked. And now? I'm halfway through two more, and it occurs to me that I'd probably be better off switching the Entries I've been writing them up for.

Trying for National Board Certification in WLOE, I think, is harder than any other subject area. I came in with a handicap, having trained as an English teacher instead of a Spanish teacher and having obtained minimal exposure to things like ACTFL and Krashen before diving in. Not only do we have standards that other applicants would not even dream of (don't believe advocating for their subject is required in any other certificaiton area), but have you ever MET an NBCT in Spanish? I've met one. Only online. Through #langchat on Twitter. 16 months after I started.

I know at least 3 NBCT English teachers personally, certified in the last year alone.

And so, I  pause now to break down Entry 2 vs Entry 3, as I wish it had been done for me 2 years ago.
I will refer to the portfolio instructions for  World Languages Other than English--Early Adolescent and Young Adult as well as Emporia State University's Working Wisdom: A Guide to Accomplished Teaching for WLOE.


Entry 2
Both
Entry 3
Emphasis on realia, authentic materials

"open-ended personal expression"

culture affects communication

"broaden experience," "encourage insight"

Standards to demonstrate:
VII. Articulation of curriculum & instruction
X. Assessment

Emporia U.'s suggestions:
"Ideally, the goal is for students to have an "aha" moment where they realize, 'In the [target] culture, they do/make this because____. Cool!'"

This entry is completely unique to WLOTE.

5 C's

Identify modes of communication (interpersonal, interpretive, and/or presentaitonal)

Tell how this sequence of instruction allows students to experience or expand their awareness of the products, practices, and perspectives in the target culture.

[Culture is] the norms, the actions, the unexplainable rules within a society. Those actions, norms, rules become evident through art, through food, through gestures, through the media, through daily life, etc.

A wisely selected video segment will show your interaction with the students in the target language. It should not focus entirely on you but should allow the assessor to see how comfortable you are at using the target language with your students on a regular basis.

You must be convincing that you can use and adapt a "variety of authentic materials." To me, that implies "use at least two or more." 

You need to be convincing that your students are being exposed to multiple aspects of language and culture.
Gotta have communication

Gotta have culture

"Culturally appropriate real-world tasks"

Communication depends on context

>1 authentic material

Standards to demonstrate:
I. Knowledge of students
II. Fairness
III. Knowledge of language
IV. Knowledge of culture
V. Knowledge of language acquisition
VIII. Learning environment
IX. Instructional resources
XI. Reflection as professional growth 

Emporia U.'s suggestions:
you do not need to show the students using the authentic materials in the selected section of videotape. but the authentic materials must be clearly referenced in your written commentary.

One of the goals for this entry should reflect a cultural element. A second goal should relate to communication. And, most importantly, the two must tie together in some way.

Use target language for questioning, instructions, feedback, and paraphrasing
"Meaningful, interactive...tasks"

whole, class, group, individual activities

"MOSAIC of authentic materials"

"negotiate meaning with the teacher, one another, and with texts" 

active/interactive participation

Standards to demonstrate: 
VI. Multiple paths to learning

Emporia U.'s suggestions:
"Emphasis is on demonstrating your skill at using multiple paths to developing communicative competence, of which one or more of those paths is/are supplemented w/ authentic materials."

Lesson=variety of learning strategies + constructive communication + multiple authentic resources

Accept that this exact sequence may not already exist in your repertoire.

Identify an over-riding goal for the lesson. Then determine how you can use a variety of methodologies to engage all learners and move them towards that goal.  At least one of those methodologies should include authentic materials or realia. It sounds so simple...

A wisely selected video segment will show your students actively engaged in a constructive, communicative lesson. It should also show some form of student grouping BESIDES straight teacher-to-student interaction.

Show that you can actively engage all students. If one student is off-task in one activity, show or tell how he was more engaged in another. Tell why his/her behavior was not surprising.

This entry specifically asks you reflect on the value of your selected resources. Pay close attention to the effectiveness of each activity/resource.


I hope this helps some other WLOE teachers out there and encourages some of you to increase our representation among the National Board Certified.

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