The truth about American optimism October 1, 2019 - Today when I navigated to the library homepage at my institution, a stranger appeared. The handy quick links I’d come to know and rely on to help students get the materials they need–gone. The research guides, essential for accessing resources such as subject librarians–buried in a peripheral page somewhere in the footer. The Web of... Continue Reading →
The language carrot … August 30, 2019 - “I don’t speak,” Bijaz said. “I operate a machine called language. It creaks and groans, but is mine own.” “Dune Messiah” (1969) by Frank Herbert Today, the BBC published an article on what it means to be fluent in a language. Fluency might be the unicorn sighting of the second language universe–that thing everyone carries... Continue Reading →
Sun shower in Madrid’s Plaza Mayor August 27, 2019 - Monday culminated in some shopping in Madrid’s Plaza Mayor, where I got locked down by a torrential downpour. The intensity of the sunlight doesn’t show up so well in this video, but the green dot moving around the screen is where the sun was hitting the lens of my phone’s camara.
Hace mucho tiempo no nos escribimos August 20, 2019 - Blog updates succumbed to summer ennui this year, but there’s nothing like refreshing time away from the U.S. to get the words flowing again. It’s remarkable what a reliable metro system with occupants who know how to act in public will do for my overall humor. I’m writing this from the patio of my hotel... Continue Reading →
The trouble with books … July 10, 2019 - The next time your students ask if they can rely on books for their research, you can tell them this: Book publishers don’t normally fact-check books. They’ll run sensitive material by lawyers, but otherwise it’s on authors to make sure their work is accurate. Generally, this works out fine. Sometimes, it does not. When books... Continue Reading →
Duolingo Announces its French Podcast June 19, 2019 - I love the Spanish language podcast, so this should be a welcome addition for French students.
Week 8 – Summer 2019 June 18, 2019 - Looks like I’ll be adding some additions to my Mexican handicraft collection after all this year.
Shift the onus to them June 11, 2019 - This is a great article on classroom management: Why shouldn’t students feel entitled? You’ve relieved them of responsibility. Think about it. You assess by legislative fiat, document attendance, lord over technology, interact with students 24-7 via email or text, keep students on track via Blackboard or Canvas, treat students as customers, are blamed for grade... Continue Reading →
Summer 2019 – Week 7 June 11, 2019 - Some people have bad hair days; I have bad technology days. This morning, the OneNote app on my phone stopped syncing with my work account (most likely due to the hyper-vigilant Internet security protocols at my workplace–a problem our IT department perennialy insists on deflecting to faculty). Otherwise, I’m still recuperating from TESOL proposals, which... Continue Reading →
An informal introduction to American allophonic variation June 10, 2019 - This makes for a narrative introduction to the North American pronunciation of the intervocalic /ɾ/. she also touches on the difference between the Spanish and English varieties. As I began hearing Beto’s name said by a variety of acquaintances and the national media, I noticed that often the pronunciation sounded just slightly off. Read more:... Continue Reading →

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