Ten Things I Learned About Language Acquisition in China

China was an incredible experience. It was my first trip to Asia and our kids’ first trip abroad. Our host families were extraordinarily warm and generous, and I was excited to see Chinese culture first hand. But as a self-proclaimed professional language-learner, I have to admit that the biggest thrill was the chance to use the Chinese skills I’d been working on for the past two months or so. And as a language teacher, I firmly believe some of our best professional development comes from the act of continually learning unfamiliar language and culture. There’s no better way to understand students’ minds than to put ourselves in their shoes.Read More »

我学习中文: Why I’m Appreciating CI More Than Ever

I always wanted to learn Chinese. It’s such an interesting language, and the characters are so beautiful. When I was a teenager, I’d go to the new Chinese restaurant in town and ask the owner to teach me Chinese words and characters. He always obliged. I picked up all sorts of books. I studied and studied. And unlike any other language I had ever attempted to learn, I could never remember a single bit of it. I could never keep the characters straight. I could never get the tones right. I could never retain enough in my memory to produce a single meaningful phrase. Worst of all, I never really had anyone to use the language with. Eventually I let go of that dream.Read More »

France 2018

This spring break was an exciting point in my career: my first time ever taking a group of students to France! This was no tourists’ walkthrough of the country, though. We worked hard to organize the trip in such a way that students would be using French as much as possible and experience what it really means to live à la française.Read More »