PLC Mission Statement

I was just thinking how we should get into a more positive mindset re: all the fighting of the past 20 years with traditional teachers. We have certainly done some major growth in that area this past year, especially, ever since Eric and Robert and others went into the ACTFL Language Educators lair in Oct.Nov. of last year and cleaned house. We learned from that one-sided engagement that that stuff is just over. It occurred to me that if we crafted a kind of generic mission statement for our work with CI people could read it and realize that we are not in conflict with anybody at all, which is really true – we are no more in conflict with traditional teachers than NASA is with the Ford Motor Company of the 1920s.
Just thinking out loud as usual here. Suggestions welcome. I don’t even know where we would use this – maybe on our own school websites. When I read the last paragraph I think of John Bracey:
PLC Mission Statement
Are you ready to re-engage youth in their own foreign language education?
The members of this PLC, all practicing classroom teachers, are at the same time school change consultants. By using comprehensible input in our classrooms and by incorporating students and stories into our curriculum, we change the culture of foreign language departments in this country’s schools into high functioning centers of visible engagement and learning.
Through our unique way of using stories and personalized communication, we authentically engage students in another language. We strive to bring more happiness, and thus learning, into foreign language classrooms by the implementation of engaging practices that foster each students’ unique potential with languages and help young people use their minds well in the process.
The teachers in this learning community work within schools and school districts across the United States and the world by helping those entities create healthy, high-functioning language learning environments with the aim to vastly improve student engagement as well as the happiness of language teachers.
Ed. note: the above text is partially borrowed from this website:

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10 thoughts on “PLC Mission Statement”

  1. Ben, I definitely like the theme of this post.
    My thoughts on it are this PLC to me is a place where I can concentrate my efforts to optimize the experience of my students in the classroom by providing an environment that concentrates the use of the target language.
    I also love the recent talks about what we really do and what we really do is incorporate students and stories into our curriculum for the purpose of language acquisition.
    My personal opinion is that I’m not really trying to change the departments of schools across the United States as much as this this PLC represents a place where I can grow and develop as an educator.
    Definitely like this post, we are definitely in a different place than we were last year. What is obvious to me lately is the lack of engagement of language teachers overall in developing professionally.

    1. ” …what we really do is incorporate students and stories into our curriculum for the purpose of language acquisition.”
      In the Mission statement, I would like to see something like this… Using “language acquisition”.

    1. Then the women of the show, I forget it started with an “A”, mentions “world languages”. California now uses World Languages instead of foreign.

      1. I don’t get that one, either. Someone explain to me what is wrong with calling them foreign languages? Are people being sensitive to the word “foreign”? Is it because of diversity that different languages are less “foreign” to an area now?
        The meaning conveyed in the term is to contrast FL with SL:
        FL – a language NOT spoken in your area, no/little outside of the classroom
        SL – spoken in the area, lot of exposure outside of the classroom

        1. I think it is an attempt at inclusiveness and not just an instance of political correctness. Is Spanish a “foreign” language for a student who hears it at home all the time? Where do we classify ESL? Now that we have Common Core with ELA standards across the curriculum, a particularly small school might put the English and “foreign languages” departments together, or at least the foreign languages and ESL departments. My district has large populations of Hispanics and Vietnamese, and both of those language have large heritage programs but are part of the “Languages Other Than English” department, i.e. World Languages.
          As Eric noted, FL contrasts with SL, but what if you want to create a department, a document, or something else that includes both? Then WL is your term of choice.

        2. Eric,
          When I was on that committee last year for the Arizona standards there was a woman who was representing native Americans on the committee. They don’t find their languages and culture to be foreign. At the same time using world languages includes the classics. However, some of the teachers of classics Latin and ancient Greek have different commutative goals altogether.
          I work with a Latin teacher that says her class is not about communication. Don’t get me started…I tend to agree with you though I have no problem with the words foreign languages as a term to describe the classes in schools.

        3. I’ve thought that “foreign language” as a term was intended to refer to a language that is not native to the learner, therefore foreign, regardless of where the learner might encounter that language (at home, abroad, etc.). Sometimes, “foreign language” is used to clarify if the class is part of an immersion program, or that it is just one class in the student’s schedule with intentional study.
          But I like “world language” a lot & think it works in more situations.

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