Educator Insights

This category contains 30 posts

Language Learning as Peacebuilding? Not always

At Language for Peace, our work is rooted in the belief that learning language has the potential to be an act of peacebuilding. But is it always? When is it not? The case of indigenous language learning in Canada, a colonial nation with a horrific history of linguicide of indigenous languages, is a complex one. Learning indigenous languages outside … Continue reading

Dealing with Culture Shock

How do you deal with the frustrations and annoyances that come with navigating intercultural contexts? In the article Culture Shock: How to Snap Out of It, Kris Acheson-Clair, who has a PhD in Intercultural Communication and grew up as a “Third Culture Kid” shows that no matter how frequently we move between cultures in our language learning and teaching, we will still experience elements of culture shock. Continue reading

Book Review: Teaching Fairly in an Unfair World

Teaching Fairly in an Unfair World by Kathleen Gould Lundy As a classroom teacher, I was always on the lookout for resources that would help me connect what we were doing in school to students’ lives. One of the most helpful resources was a book called Teaching Fairly in an Unfair World by Canadian author Kathleen … Continue reading

We Learn by Doing

For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them. (Aristotle) Learning by doing is not a new concept. Artisans such as stonemasons, bakers, playwrights, songwriters, blacksmiths and tailors have mentored their apprentices in specialized crafts and in a workshop context for centuries. The items they created had practical … Continue reading

Are We Different People in Different Languages?

I read an article, Are We Different People in Different Languages? a few weeks ago, and it was chock full of interesting ideas. I shared an article a little while ago that has similar themes to this one, but I wanted to share this one as well because along with some fascinating theoretical discussion (and a … Continue reading

Language and Belonging

Last Fall I was invited by the editor of the Brethren in Christ journal for the practice of reconciliation, Shalom!, to write an article on the theme of Belonging. I chose to focus on language, and the following is the article as it appears in the Fall 2015 issue of Shalom!. I loved the opportunity to … Continue reading

Language That Can Change Lives

Just a few days ago I was part of a book club with a group of young teachers. Over the past few years I have worked as a learning support facilitator in their classrooms and developed valuable friendships with them. I admire them for working hard alongside their students in creating safe and inspiring learning environments. Our discussion focused … Continue reading

Classroom Management and Alternative to the Stoplight method

Jen Bradley’s blog beyondthestoplight.com looks at ways to do classroom management and check behavior in the classroom that do not include shaming students into good behavior. The Stoplight method is the one focused on here (the moving of a student’s name from green to yellow to red on a prominently displayed stoplight to indicate their … Continue reading

Making Peace with a Praying Mantis: [Teacher Interview]

As we strive to learn from each other about ways to connect language instruction, peace, and mission, let’s share our personal experiences with one another! Here is an interview with a fellow Messiah College graduate, Kinley Zook, who I reconnected with at Mennonite World Conference this year. She has spent time teaching English in Laos … Continue reading

Honesty, Rigor, Caring: the thesis of 40 years of teaching

  Whether you’ve been teaching for years or are just starting out, I think that one thing that all teachers wonder is this: Am I making a difference? what exactly did my students take away from me?  We all probably have ideas about what we hope our students take away from us, but what actually sticks, what … Continue reading

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