Photo by NeONBRAND 

Dear friends, another week has gone by and today I wanted to share some thoughts regarding participation and participation grading in the World Language Classroom. As I say in the video, I know by experience that this is an issue that language teachers struggle with.

As always my recommendation is to try to see beyond the prescriptive, traditional advice. Let’s try to analyze everything “outside of the box” let’s wear a hat like we are still on vacation, but let’s wear it backwards! We are working with kids, with teenagers and as we did when we were that age, we see the world in a very different way. Let’s stop trying to impose our world on them!

As always I welcome questions and/or kind comments. We are teachers, we know what this means and we owe respect and appreciation for eachother.

Here is this week´s “teaching with your hat backwards” video:

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  1. In total agreement!!! If we were just grading proficiency and teaching our students what proficiency is , they would be more willing to participate without this “participation grade”. I started doing this a few years ago and I have seen excellent result in engagement.


  2. Great topic! One I have struggled with for as many years as I’ve been teaching. May I ask what percentage of the grade you have participation? (BTW I changed the title of the grade to “engagement” and I found it changed the understanding of what the expectation was for the kids. They now know it’s not about how many times you raise your hand, but rather how you are actively listening and contributing to your collaborative group work.)


  3. Absolutely NOT for discipline! In fact, I’d say it’s not even engagement in the sense of paying attention, participating, taking notes. “Listen with intent to understand.” Excellent!! That works! Thank you.


  4. Gracias Diego! As soon as I listened to this I immediately deleted my “Class Participation Rubric” from my Drive. You’ve made me realize I was doing a disservice to my students and myself. Mil muchísimas gracias!!!


    1. We never do a disservice to our students as long as we are always reflective and open to ideas that will benefit them. Saludos


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