Julie Frye, Lexington High School French/OFLA Membership Chair

Happy New Year 2019! I am working on a list of “19 for 2019” and wanted to share the inspiration for this idea. It comes from a podcast! I subscribe to a number of podcasts that I listen to during my daily commute, and the idea for “19 for 2019” comes from “HAPPIER, with GRETCHEN RUBIN”.

What I really want to share with you, though, is the plethora of language-related podcasts available. If you have 20-30 minutes a day (my commute is 40 minutes), for example, preparing a meal, washing dishes, walking the dog, working out at the gym, doing chores around the house, etc., and you have a smartphone or other device, I strongly recommend finding a podcast or two you love, and finding daily inspiration there.

One of the first podcasts I found for language teaching is titled “INSPIRED PROFICIENCY”, created & moderated by Spanish teacher, Ashley Uyaguari. Ashley is great at keeping her podcast fresh & interesting. It truly is inspiring! So inspiring, that, while I have not gone completely desk-free in my own classroom, I have condensed my seating from 6 long tables to just 3. It makes rearranging my room for different communicative activities so much easier! There are segments related to Brain Breaks, interviews with many different teachers (age-groups, levels & languages), Comprehensible Input discussions, and so much more. I have recognized the names of many of her program guests.

If you are familiar with the program “Tea with BVP”, Bill VanPatten has a podcast titled “TALKINL2 WITH BVP”. Some recent topics include the following: Does Feedback from Teachers Help Learners Acquire Language?, Is There a Role for Incomprehensible Input in Acquisition?, and Why is Language Teaching so Resistant to Change?

Another podcast related in general to language teaching is …. Drumroll… “We Teach Languages”. A podcast dated 26 OCT 2018 is titled Getting the most out of Conferences. A good way to get motivated for the joint OFLA/CSCTFL conference being hosted in Columbus in March.

Finally, there are also language-specific podcasts that are great for our own (and our students’) listening practice, as well as topic ideas for our lessons. I teach French, and a couple of suggestions I can make are “French Voices”, “French Your Way” and “Talk in French Podcast: French Language/Culture”. There are podcasts that offer grammar drills, stories, word-of-the-day and more.

So, in this new year, you may try making a resolution to use any free time you have in your day or in your week, to keep up with the profession by subscribing to a podcast! My own 40-minute commute is my ideal time to be inspired & prepared for my classroom.

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