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"Can we listen to our music?" How many times have we all heard this request after giving students a task to complete independently? How many times must I tell them “No” for them to believe me? Apparently they have not heard it enough; my “No” is always followed up with ,“But Mr. ________ lets us or Ms. ___________ always says it is okay.” This request has only increased as BYOD has taken over our school, and students have their devices in hand as they enter and exit the classroom or walk down the hall. How many times have I walked down a high school hallway and noticed multiple students working independently in different classrooms, all with ear buds firmly in place? Is it that all these students are slackers? Are all the teachers allowing them to listen to music too lazy or ineffective to get them to focus? I consider myself a professional with some knowledge about how children learn. Have I been letting my own generational bias affect how I think students learn best? Thinking through some of these questions, I decided to generate some data in my Spanish 3 classes. As we began a new unit on food and cooking, I divided the targeted vocabulary into three lists, seven words each. I expected to prove that student performance decreased when they were allowed to choose the music they heard while studying. Instead, I was surprised to discover that student choice did not impair learning at all, and might have helped their memory later.

Leadership Positions Dr. Laura Franklin (NOVA) continues to serve as NECTFL representative to the ACTFL Board. Isi Kessel (TNCC) serves as chair of the 2014 FLAVA Conference and chair of the VCCS Tidewater Regional Center for Excellence. Two VCCS faculty members are currently serving in leadership positions in...

American Association of Teachers of French of Virginia AATFBoardReport2014 (1) Read the AATF's March 1, 2014 report...

A Chantilly High student who attended the Governor’s German Academy was the subject of an article in the Website The Connection to Your Community. Click here for the full article from October 24, 2014....

Dear FLAVA members, If you’ve been to a FLAVA conference lately you know us as a terrific place to meet hundreds of creative and friendly colleagues. But where can you have those conversations during the rest of the year? The answer is at one of FLAVA’s...

[caption id="attachment_2577" align="alignleft" width="150"]Gimara Richards & Inmar Romero Gimara Richards & Inmar Romero[/caption] School is a place to learn, and making mistakes is part of the learning process, because we all learn from mistakes.  The way we point out these mistakes to students could either make them or break them. In 2012, we started a teacher research project to improve student achievement by providing descriptive feedback. Descriptive feedback measures students’ progress toward specific, realistic goals – better known to teachers as S.M.A.R.T goals. While teachers in Virginia use S.M.A.R.T goals to capture their own progress, we use the process directly with our students. They are the first step toward helping students make measurable improvement in their language skills. We are passionate about student achievement, so we wanted to make sure our feedback was truly helping students achieve their goals.
Colleagues, an update on the progress of Seal of Biliteracy legislation in Virginia: Seal of Biliteracy bills passed easily in both the House of Delegates (HB1351) and Senate (SB916). The key difference is what criteria would be considered for awarding the Seal to a student.

Dear Colleagues, Please read below about an exciting opportunity: the Mead fellowships by NECTFL. What an exciting way to receive funding for a special project that would benefit all language teachers! FLAVA must receive your application by Monday, November 16th! Please follow the directions below and send completed...

Proposals are now being accepted for the 2016 FLAVA Annual Conference: Globally Mine! The conference will be held October 6-8, 2016 in Williamsburg. To submit a proposal, please go to the following link: http://flavaweb.org/conference/2016-call-for-proposals/ ...

Download the PDF for the latest news and announcements from VDOE's Lisa Harris. 2016-June-VDOE Newsletter    ...