It was good to see some new and familiar faces at yesterday's MEXTESOL Aguascalientes conference. Two topics in particular struck my interest: 1) when to use translation when teaching English language learners and 2) and how to consciously promote academic and character development simultaneously.
Although most would agree that translating for ELLs does have its place in language acquisition, there appears to be some debate as to the degree in which teachers use it (i.e., what model is most effective-The role of translation in the EFL / ESL classroom). What model is most effective within your own teaching and learning contexts: 90/10 - 90% L2, 10% L1 - 50/50? How do you use translation, if at all, in your class?
Developing character and academic proficiencies at the same time addresses the importance of teaching the whole person - or using the common catch phrase teaching the whole child. As foreign/second language teachers, as with any educator, we all are responsible for developing learners to be more productive citizens by establishing a set of virtues that promote professional success. So, how do you promote character development in your class?