April 19, 2020

Agent Rebecca Blouwolff (Teaching Language Authentically)

Your lesson, should you choose to accept it, is to teach students how to use a foreign language using authentic resources and relevant units, with the goal of making proficient speakers. The special agent assigned to help you with this task is Rebecca Blouwolff of Wellesley Middle School in Wellesley, Massachusetts.


Rebecca and I share a similar background: we both started our careers intending to teach Social Studies, and we both found ourselves teaching French instead! To make a long story short: in my second year of teaching I was given a contract that included teaching French because I was the most qualified of the unqualified, and then I fell in love with it. (If you’re interested in the much longer version of this story, I spoke about my journey to becoming a language teacher on Kris Broholm’s Actual Fluency podcast.) Along with going back to school to become qualified for real, I was able to become better by finding role models online who represented the kind of language teacher that I aspired to be, and Rebecca Blouwolff is definitely one of them. And I’m not the only one who thinks she is amazing; the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (or ACTFL) named her the 2020 National Language Teacher of the Year!


In this episode we discuss:


Lesson: Impossible’s Website: www.lessonimpossible.com

Lesson: Impossible’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/avivalevin

If you have suggestions for a teacher who would make an inspiring Lesson: Impossible guest, please email me at aviva.levin@gmail.com

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