Academic journal article Foreign Language Annals

Fall: A Time for New Ideas, New Research

Academic journal article Foreign Language Annals

Fall: A Time for New Ideas, New Research

Article excerpt

In education we look at the fall as a new beginning. It is a new year and a great time to start fresh. Some teachers use this as a time to make "New Year's" resolutions, to try some of the new ideas they learned over the summer in professional activities or to implement a new strategy. I always caution teachers to start slowly. Start with one class, keep ajournai of students' progress, reflect, and adjust accordingly. I encourage teachers to implement one new strategy each term or semester. Keep track of the students' feedback and reflect on how it went. Make notes for future adjustments. This is good practice and keeps teachers on track. Before you know it, you will have implemented four to six new strategies/techniques/ideas in a year. Remember, it is important to practice regularly so that both you and the students are comfortable in using the new strategy.

A new academic year is also a great time to think about conducting your own classroom research. Do you have a question that you and your students would like to investigate? Take this opportunity to conduct some action research of your own. You can work with one or more classes. Keep it simple, document the steps you take, and keep track of the progress. In the age of No Child Left Behind when foreign language departments are being asked to "Show me the data!" this is the perfect opportunity to document how studying a foreign language benefits students in a variety of ways.

During the Senate testimony in January 2007 (see full text at www. …

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