Answers to Your Podcast Questions

As many of you know, I launched a Kickstarter to raise money to create a podcast for language teachers. We are in the final days and it’ll take a group effort for us to meet our goal. If you’ve pledged, I ask that you talk to one person you think would also want to listen to this podcast and inspire them to contribute. If you haven’t pledged, please read and consider supporting this project.

Today I wanted to write a little more about what this podcast would be like. Please read the campaign if you haven’t because we outlined our plan there, but here is a little more info! (This is the link to check out the campaign info and how to support us and please share!

Here are some of the questions asked on Twitter and my responses! Let me know in the comments if you have any more.

How often a new episode will appear?

We plan on releasing two episodes per month to start for season 1. They will be two weeks apart.

What will the topics be?

Here is an overview of our segments:

1. An opening with both Becky and Ashley talking about their classrooms, WL teaching news, highlighting resources online and trending conversations in the WL teaching community.

2. An interview with a passionate, successful teacher who uses proficiency-based strategies. We will focus on topics that will inspire ideas to implement immediately in your classroom.

3. A variety segment that will change each episode. Some ideas include: listener involvement, games, voices from more teachers, a panel, student voices or more! This segment will be shaped by the Inspiring Team Members backing this project.

I will also add that while the exact topics are not planned yet, I am passionate about discussing target language use, games and team challenges in the target language, assessment and feedback practices, portfolios, speaking activities, writing activities, interpersonal activities, movement in the classroom and proficiency levels, developing questions at level and for next level, using hooks to get students talking and writing and many more. 

What are your goals and purpose? 

We want to provide quality professional development through a podcast. I love working with teachers and schools as a coach. I’ve done so through sessions at conferences, workshops and digital webinars. This will be a new format that I’m hoping it will make the content accessible to more people.

What will listening do for me? 😉

We hope that it will inspire you to take an idea and use it! Or even better, take an idea you hear and improve it! When I’m low on creativity and energy, I talk with my colleague to hear about her classes. When I leave, the creative juices are flowing and I feel better than ever! I hope that this bi-monthly podcast will be just like that. We’ll pump you up and inspire you to do what you do so well- Inspire Proficiency!

How is it different from other awesome podcasts?

I think it’s exciting that world language teachers have a variety of resources available. To be honest, I actually didn’t realize there were podcasts out there other than BVP when I first launched this project, and am THRILLED to have subscribed to others since. I plan to promote these other podcasts through Inspired Proficiency. Let me share a few ways in which our podcast would be different.

Tea With BVP

Who doesn’t love the Diva of SLA? We can learn so much from this team! Our podcast is less about SLA research and theory and more about the application. We want our practices to be founded in good research, but we won’t spend as much time discussing that research, linguistics or theory during our podcast. We will focus on activities, strategies, feedback systems, portfolios and other topics that can be used in your classroom immediately. We also aren’t live.

We Teach Lang

I love this podcast and am so happy to have discovered it! I hope that our interview segments will be as wonderful as hers are, and I hope to bring in other voices. We’ll be able to highlight even more teachers by having both of these podcasts available. Another difference is that we have the two non-interview segments as well. So, listeners can get to know Becky and me and our practices. They’ll also hear a summary of new blog posts and recent resources to check out online that we research for you. Our variety segment will also be unique in that we’ll be bringing panels together for discussions, teaching games and other applicable topics. Finally, Becky and I are in the classroom full time and that will bring a different perspective as we create this podcast.

Teachers that Teach Looks like an amazing resource created by a teacher who is currently teaching, which is similar to what we want to produce. This is specific to CI, however, which our podcast is not. I definitely use a lot of comprehensible input and TPR in my classroom, as well as Fluency Matters books in my FVR library, but I do not use TPRS circling and story telling. I’m eager to have CI teachers on our interview segment, and believe the way I teach is a like a cousin of TPRS, but this podcast will be a broader look at proficiency-based approaches and strategies that both CI and non-CI teachers can use.

I hope my answers help you get a better idea of what Inspired Proficiency would be all about. We also will allow our backers “Inspired Team Members” to decide on some of the topics discussed.

I’d like to finish this post by thanking our current supporters! We only have 3 1/2 days left to fund this project. Please consider joining our team by pledging here.

Thank you to our backers:

Gale Stafford, Wyatt Crane, Louise Palmer, Marissa Coulehan, Sarah Kennedy, Kathryn Haggquist, Jarno Virtanen, Maria Smith, Adam Lukens, Alison Moran, FJ Searls, Estela Schmalz, Amy, Megan Budke, Mandy Levine, Anne-Kathrin Schille, Laura Sexton, Nelly Ossia, Caro Spring, Ale Young, Julie (Mundo de Pepita), Ruth Whalen Crockett, Maureen Conroy, Emilie Saccomanno, Kristine Keefe (@kkeefe_hassan), Profe Cubiertos, Tina Hargaden (inspired sponsor), Maris Hawkins, Danielle, Diego Ojeda, Sara-Elizabeth (Sra. Musicuentos),  Mara Malafronte , Melanie Thomas @senoraMThomas, Carlos Brown, Stephanie Carbonneau, Samara Berman,  Jessica Gillespie, Dawn Carney, Angel Piedra, Karin Valencia Bedard, Andrea Markarian, Kim Hergenhahn, Gregory Sanchez, Stefanie Bakken, Jill Schimmel, Amelia Eastin, Margo Marcel Brown, Danielle Scala, Loyda Zamalloa, Angela Williams, Jason O’neil-Willoughby, Beth from Ohio, Meg Ronchi Martin, Rich Madel, Helaine Wemple and several other unnamed guests for a total of 61.