A Propos - May 2020

French Newsletter
05-12-2020  A Propos - French Newsletter, Teacher Resources, Comprehensible Input
Free lesson plans for French learners, instructional videos, and join our Proficiency Talks LIVE Facebook group. Subscribe to a Wayside newsletter

A propos

Bold ideas and practical resources for your French classroom

Hi educators,

Welcome to the spring edition of A propos, your go-to source for everything you need to continue to support your students in their remote learning. In this issue:

  • New lesson plans for your French learners, modified for remote teaching
  • 10 tips for providing comprehensible input when teaching remotely
  • Instructional videos for getting the most out of our French series
  • Join our Proficiency Talks LIVE Facebook events
What other remote teaching supports would you find helpful? We would love to hear from you.

Bon cours,

Free lesson plans for your French learners 

We just created two new lesson plans in French, focused on high-interest topics for units that you might be tackling this time of the year in French 1 and French 2. Download them both now as free PDFs! 

EntreCultures 1, Unit 5: Le temps libre

EntreCultures 2, Unit 5: Des conseils pour une vie saine

10 tips for providing comprehensible input 

CI classrooms are active and highly interactive spaces, with students acting or drawing as they hear or read narratives, responding to Personalized Questions and Answers (PQA), responding to input with rejoinders, showing thumbs up/down to indicate comprehension, etc., as teachers present language in context. But how can you do these things and “teach to the eyes” if you are teaching asynchronously or only see tiny images of students for short times via Zoom?  

We have collected 10 tips from authors, teachers, and colleagues in the world language education field for the best way to continue to provide comprehensible input to your learners.

Instructional videos for remote learning 

Do you have questions about teaching grammar in context or performance-based assessments? Subscribe to our Learning Site knowledge base playlist for videos on those topics, along with using the Learning Site classroom forum, authentic resources, and more!

If you are using a Wayside language program with your learners, be sure to check out and download the Learning Site app! It gives you full Learning Site functionality, including recording audio and video on your iPhone or iPad. You can find it in the Apple App store. Android users do not require an app because you can enjoy all the functions of the Learning Site, including recording audios, through a mobile browser. Wayside recommends Chrome.

Join Proficiency Talks LIVE! 

Join the conversation as we discuss the latest pedagogical thinking about language learning, interculturality, advocacy, leadership, and other issues impacting world language teachers on our Proficiency Talks Live Facebook group! 

Our next event will take place Thursday, May 14, at 4:30 p.m. ET. Classroom teacher Elena Spathis and Instructional Strategist Jennifer Carson will share tips and tricks for promoting mindfulness in the classroom—virtual or real. 

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A Propos - February 2020

French Newsletter
02-13-2020  A Propos - French Newsletter, Teacher Resources, Author Spotlights
Supporting your intermediate French learners, what makes language authentic, and free downloads for your classroom.  Subscribe to a Wayside newsletter

A propos

Bold ideas and practical resources for your French classroom

Hi educators

Welcome to the latest issue of A propos! In this issue: 

  • Find out how to scaffold the speaking skills of your intermediate learners
  • Take a look at what makes language authentic
  • Download free tools to support all learners in your classroom
Are you enjoying A propos? Tell us what you would like to read about!

Bon cours,

What do you give the students who want to say everything? 

"I know what to say, I just don't know how to say it" was the refrain French teacher Erin Gibbons heard from her intermediate students a lot. Her students were bursting with ideas but got frustrated when their language skills couldn't keep up. So Erin came up with some strategies to provide them with the same scaffolds she provides her younger learners.

3 basic principles about authentic language 

When Elizabeth Zwanziger arrived for her year of study abroad in France, she quickly realized that after more than 6 years of studying the language, she could not order food or understand her host family's everyday conversations.

Now a world language teacher education professor at the University of Iowa and the coauthor of EntreCultures, she looks back on her early experiences with learning French and outlines the 3 principles that guide authenticity in language teaching.

Proficiency-driven tools for your classroom 

Take a peek at some of the free proficiency-driven supporting materials we offer to make your life in the classroom easier. 

  • Classroom expressions handout in Spanish and French to help keep your students in the target language
  • Free lesson plans (in Spanish and French)
  • 5 reasons to teach for proficiency—a free download to make the case for proficiency-driven instruction.
  • Strategies for supporting heritage learners
  • Tips on integrating differentiated instruction
  • How to cultivate interculturality in your classroom

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A Propos - October 2019

French Newsletter
10-09-2019  A Propos - French Newsletter, Author Spotlights, Learning Site, Authentic Resources, Teacher Resources
The power of authentic resources, speak up for language education, and new proficiency trackers on the Learning Site.  Subscribe to a Wayside newsletter

A propos

Bold ideas and practical resources for your French classroom

Hi educators,

Welcome to the latest issue of A propos, your go-to source for everything you need to take your French instruction to the next level. In this issue: 

  • Reflect on the power of authentic resources
  • Speak up for languages
  • Get the latest tidbits about French language and culture
  • Watch a video about our new proficiency trackers

What would you like to read about? We'd love to hear from you!

Bon cours,

The power of authentic resources

French teacher and EntreCultures author Ed Weiss reflects on his experience learning French without access to authentic resources and makes the case for real materials, real tasks, real purpose.

Your story matters

Share your story: how did you become a language teacher? How did languages change your life? Submit your video or written testimonial to join a community of language advocates who can make an impact on policies around access to language education.

Les actualités

The latest news about French language and culture


The Success of French Dual-Language Programs in the U.S. 
Multilingual candidates are increasingly important in today’s economy with French now being the third most sought-after language amongst US employers.   

Why the future of French is African 
African nations are changing the French language and carrying it into the future. 

Film blog: The 20 best French back-to-school movies 
Whether you are looking for a rainy day in-class activity or a Friday night film for yourself at home, check out this list of French back-to-school movies.

Proficiency trackers


Help your students track their growth and their performance towards proficiency with these new proficiency trackers, now available on our Learning Site. Download from the Learning Site or assign online for each unit and for the entire year. 

If you are an EntreCultures pro, find these under the Content tab in the Proficiency Resources folder on the Learning Site.

Watch a brief tutorial with digital specialist Jen Cornell on how to find and use the trackers. 

Haven’t implemented EntreCultures yet?  Request a sample now and see everything our Learning Site has to offer. 

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A Propos - August 2019

French Newsletter
08-21-2019  Interculturality, A Propos - French Newsletter, Author Spotlights, New Products
The case for interculturality; EntreCultures 1 for middle school; look inside EntreCultures 3; tips for connecting with French teachers online.  Subscribe to a Wayside newsletter

A propos

Ideas and resources for your French classroom

In this issue:

  • Making the case for interculturality
  • More paths to proficiency for your novice learners
  • 5 tips for making the most of online learning communities

What would you like to read about in the next issue? We’d love to hear from you

Bon cours,

In case you missed it: Making the case for interculturality

We loved meeting so many of you at this year’s AATF conference in Philadelphia. 

In case you missed EntreCultures coauthor Ed Weiss’ presentation on interculturality, you can catch up with his latest post on our blog, where he argues that there is no way to replicate the experience of living in a country where the target language is spoken. 


More paths to proficiency for your novice French learners

We launched our groundbreaking French language program, EntreCultures 1 and 2, this summer. Now we are pleased to introduce EntreCultures 1A and 1B in a new special edition for middle schools and for schools that use non-traditional scheduling. 

EntreCultures 1A (novice-low to novice-mid) and EntreCulturas 1B (novice-mid to novice-high) allow greater flexibility for classrooms to complete the first year of French over a longer period of time. The topics, resources, and themes are relevant and appropriate for middle school students and an overlapping unit between the two editions allows for continuity.


Take a peek inside EntreCultures 3

EntreCultures 3 will take your students’ proficiency and knowledge of French culture to the pre-AP® level. Covering engaging topics like friendships, the effects of digital media, and healthy habits, EntreCultures 3 integrates a diverse variety of authentic resources that drive the cultural contexts for communicative tasks. 

EntreCultures 3 will be available in late 2020, but you can take a peek inside now!


5 tips for making the most of online learning communities

Do you ever feel isolated as you plan, grade, or build relationships with your students? Fortunately, there are thriving world language teacher communities online, ready to lend support. Ashley Uyaguari, host of the Inspired Proficiency podcast series, collected her best tips for finding and making the most of these communities. 


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