01 December 2014

End of Year Clearance: 2013 Flashback

December's here, and we're about done with 2014. Me, I've come to look forward to retrospectives like Lee Sensei's and Musicuentos'. I even did my own Top 13 of 2013 last year:

See last year's top 13 posts
Now I'm working on a top 14 of 2014, but a few posts from later in 2013 didn't really gain steam until 2014. So in keeping with end-of-year reflection, here's a few hits from yesteryear. Literally. Last year, about this time:
Google Translate Addiction: Genius Hour experiment, part 6
This is sort of the beginning of my attempt to make peace with Google Translate (I was going to call my blog "Can Your Translator Do This?" at one point). Honestly, it's got a lot of useful features now--INCLUDING a dictionary that lets you decide which is the best meaning of the word. The pronunciation, the Phrasebook...ah, Google Translate, run away with me! And really, as I have been putting myself in my students' position, becoming a novice myself, I find I want to have those tools available to me. My Translate Commandments are due for a tweaking, mind you, but with them we have a sort of star-crossed ceasefire going on for the moment at least.

Skype in the Target Language: Setup
I've been pretty slack with my Skype buddies this semester (HINT: do not propose multiple presentations to multiple conventions), but hopefully we will be able to do some fun stuff next semester with local amiguitos at least. Still, the playbook setup is useful for structuring practice conversations, inauthentic though they be. It gets kids into circumlocution mode and provides a perch for my little parrots.

15 Driving Questions for Novice Spanish
I have a confession. I have tried none of these driving questions. I honestly might not try any of them, though I could see a couple connecting with the crowd I've got coming next semester (man, I love a small school where everybody knows everybody!) I could see them getting into "Is ethnically based bias or prejudice sometimes warranted?" or maybe "To what extent does modern media like MTV, Tr3s, and Latina, magazine accurately reflect Latino culture?" but on the whole, I'd say this group is a lot more scientifically minded than socially minded. But it's nice to have options, because every group is different.

So You Want to Be a WLOE NBCT (Honeybadger)
Finally, if I can save a single soul from the torment and self-doubt that the National Boards process put me through, I am THERE. I am so excited for amigas Courtney and Stephanie and just pretend that through them, I too, got certified the first time 'round...instead of the third. Check this post for pitfalls I fell for so you can avoid them and my twice-cursed fate.

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