Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Welcome to my blog about foreign language service learning!

Me, sitting in my blogging spot.
by Ann Abbott

I'm very excited that my blog is featured in an article about language educators and blogging in The Language Educator's latest issue!

Welcome, especially if you found your way here from the "Language Educator" article.

Blogging is a very important part of my teaching life. I'm passionate about foreign language community service learning (CSL). I love teaching about social entrepreneurship. I channel my inner entrepreneur through my Business Spanish course. And teaching about and through social media fits me perfectly: I love to listen and share. If you read anything about "how to blog," the first piece of advice is always to blog about something that you love. Check.

What do you blog about? What are you passionate about?

Maybe blogs for you are about reading. Me too. I like blogs that teach me how to do things. Or do them better. I confess to reading Failblog most days for some comic relief. I need blogs about simplifying, because I tend to complicate things. At home, at work and sometimes in my teaching. (Ever designed an activity with 12 steps to it? I have. Too complicated! I'm always telling myself, "Simplify it, Ann.") I read blogs about blogging or about writing in general. And I like bloggers who have a strong voice. Bloggers with an opinion. Informed opinions. Bloggers with expertise and confidence.

What blogs do you read? What do you want to get from your blog reading? I hope that you will find information here that you like to read. I hope I can solve some problems for you, too.

  • Are you just curious about what foreign langauge CSL looks like? Glancing through this blog will give you a good idea.
  • Would you like to start using CSL in your teaching? It's not as hard as it might seem! have some posts related to that, but I will post a "how-to" soon. You can also contact me ( to chat.
  • Do you have to teach in a couple of hours and you're out of fresh ideas? Look for the lesson plans I share frequently.
  • Are you researching and writing about CSL? I keep an updated Spanish community service learning bibliography on this blog.
  • Do you need to convince your skeptical colleagues that there is serious learning going on in a CSL course? Read the student reflections and cull the best examples as proof.
  • Do you want to start teaching with Facebook in the classroom? I started doing that this semester, and it has reinvigorated my teaching. Here is our Facebook pageHere is an example of how I use it.
  • Do you need a textbook for your Spanish CSL course? I've got that, too
I share all kinds of things here: book and article reviews, lesson plans, tips, my use of social media in my teaching, and my reflections.

My students share here, too. The honors students in my Spanish community service learning courses write reflective posts, and I upload them--unedited--here. It's useful, inspiring and sobering sometimes to see what your students are thinking and learning.

You can share here. I'd love to read your comments. I'd love to read your blog. I am sure I would learn a lot from you if we followed each other on Twitter and Pinterest. Those of us who want to engage foreign language students in new ways and with new content need all the support we can get, because change is not easy. But blogging is one way to challenge and change the status quo.

Thanks for coming to my blog.

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