Language Sensei

A Language Teacher's Journey

What #langchat Means to Me (And To You?)


frontWhen did you (have you) discover #langchat? It started for me as a hashtag I noticed in a tweet from Joe Dale (@joedale) about language teaching. I was new to this whole twitter thing and, as a language teacher, looking for some insight and inspiration for my teaching. Then, after following a woman named Sara-Elizabeth Cottrell (@secottrell) I learned about the Thursday #langchat hashtag chat. I began, as many do, by lurking, watching and reading. Eventually I took the plunge to start tweeting in. I haven’t looked back.

I thought the other day about what #langchat means to me and why both the hashtag (for daily tweeting) and the chat (Thursdays 8pmET & Saturdays 10amET) are so key in who I am as a professional today. What do I like about #langchat?

#langchat- the hashtag –  is my daily dose of learning & discovery – Have a question? Want a resource? Looking to discover something new. I learn every day via tweets sent out with the #langchat hashtag. Teachers using it are generous, supportive and quick to offer up ideas, opinions and resources that I would never find on my own. Checking in on the #langchat stream is a must for me – and it’s never let me down in answer a query or offering up a suggestion when I’ve needed it. There are those with whom I interact, collaborate and plan more often than I do simply on a professional day – for me now every day is a day to learn

#langchat- the chat – reaffirms that I am on the right track: Teaching can often be a ‘solitary’ pursuit. The chance to be observed or network with fellow staff can be few and far between. But during a chat I often find that I am indeed doing things, and choosing approaches that others are too. It’s nice to know that in my ‘isolated’ classroom I am on target, or not!,  for how to deliver my language program.

#langchat  – the chat – offers approaches/ideas/resources on a specific topic: Chats are really focused with a weekly theme voted on by participants. What a great way to have some concentrated work on one area. It may be pedagogical one week, and class ‘management’ the next. It can be about new trends or a ‘brush up’ on existing challenges. In all cases it is timely, lively and a real challenge to me to focus on my teaching practice.

#langchat  – the hashtag & chat – gives me a look into the future:  Many of my #langchat colleagues are in districts or positions that are ‘leaders’ in their field. Although my school may not be at that point, I get tips on where we might be headed. It also allows me to be a ‘leader’ in my school – challenging the status quo and assisting in change.

Quite simply I would not be the teacher I am today without it. I wouldn’t be striving to be the teacher I want to be, pushing, stretching, questioning my practice without it. My #langchat PLN is my key go-to for my Professional Development. The other day my sister-in-law phoned. It was 6:05pmPT on a Thursday and my sister-in-law’s opening was “Oh it’s Thursday – I’m not interuppting #langchat am I?”  And that’s when I knew how important it was to me!

And now a favour to ask of you! Have you benefited from #langchat? What has it meant to  you? #langchat will be presenting “#Langchat – Your Always-There Professional Learning Network” at ACTFL 2014. If you would be kind enough to share (via a comment) – we’d like to share some of your thoughts with those who are coming to learn more.


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  1. As the foreign language department of one #langchat has been crucial to the success of my first years of teaching. It is how I collaborate, get fresh ideas, and get advice from those who have been there. Thank you #langchat!

  2. I first read about Langchat in an ACTFL list serve email; something about searching for #authres on Twitter and using #langchat as well. I didn’t have Twitter and didn’t understand hashtags, but since I was new (then) to the world of AP, I knew I should check it out eventually. In the fall of 2013 (one year ago) I finally did, and the rest is history. The result was the COMPLETE transformation of my classroom and teaching style!

  3. I do not remember exactly how or when I found #Langchat. I found it sometime after the ACTFL conference last year. The combination of what I learned at the conference and the #Langchat community has transformed my teaching. I haven’t been a participating member yet, but I have learned so much. I now use more CI, performance assessments, can-do statements, and much more.

  4. #langchat for me is always an hour well spent. It is invigorating to discuss topics important to what we as language teachers do and face everyday. It is also reassuring to know you are not alone, even if you are the only language teacher in a school or district. With #langchat you have a “helpline”. It motivates you to try new things that other teachers have used successfully and makes you feel uplifted when another teacher retweets your response or marks it as a favorite. I am so happy I joined and plan on attending as many Thursdays as possible.

  5. Hearing that Twitter was a great place to share and connect with other educators, I surfed around and finally found #langchat. A chance meeting that was meant to be. I love the moderators, I love the support and thoughtful discussions that keep me moving forwards. I love my new virtual colleagues that help in a moments notice. Hands down my go-to area for a re-charge on my language teaching!

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