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Language Proficiency: Envisioning the Win in the High School Spanish Classroom

ABSTRACT: This current study suggests that future secondary Spanish language teachers must be more like athletic coaches to ensure student success and score a so-called win in the classroom. Teachers must retool and redesign outdated and ineffectual curricula and instructional strategies to improve student performance. Focusing on language proficiency, measurable performance, and the development of life skills, as ACTFL’s Teacher of the Year in 2014, the author reflects on myriad changes in the educational landscape such as dual language immersion programs and the adoption of the State Seal of Biliteracy. Pressures to produce a multilingual workforce are causing secondary teachers to rethink their traditional classroom practices to motivate students to perform. The abandonment of the verb charts and stale grammar lessons for the inclusion of real-world tasks and intercultural experiences in and beyond the classroom produces a win for teachers and students.

CLICK HERE to read the entire article with responses from Mary E. Risner (University of Florida) and Gregg Roberts (American Councils for International Education) / Jamie Leite (Utah State Board of Education) / Ofelia Wade (Utah State Board of Education).

Comment below to join the global conversation on each batch of essays published in the Hispania Centenary Issue. You are invited to visit the site regularly, as new topics will posted each week.

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Centenary Issue