April 2009
Vol 6 No 4

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Teachers.Net Gazette Vol.6 No.4 April 2009

Cover Story by Alfie Kohn
When “21st-Century Schooling” Just Isn’t Good Enough: A Modest Proposal
Are we serious about educating students for the global competitive economy of the future?

Earth Day Special Article:
GE Project Plant-A-Bulb
Give the planet the gift of flowers for Earth Day....

Harry & Rosemary Wong: Effective Teaching
The Tools for Success

»Actively Involve Every Reader—Ten Easy Ideas! Sue Gruber
»Motivating Children Leah Davies
»Multiple Working Hypotheses Todd R. Nelson
»Eliciting vs. Punishments Marvin Marshall
»The Busy Educator's Monthly Five Marjan Glavac
»Tattle Tales and Classroom Helpers Barbara Pressman
»Tips for Travel to France or Italy with Students Josette Bonafino
»Too Much Parent Involvement? Can It Be? Dorothy Rich
»Return to Sender & The Neon Necklace Rick Morris
»Be Your Own Mentor: Reflect Hal Portner

»Getting Your Students' Work Published Alan Haskvitz
»At Risk Students: Victims of Miseducation and Failure Bill Page
»Teachers – Healing Broken Lives Graysen Walles
»Get Smart! Doodle! Tim Newlin
»A Dozen Ways to Build a Caring Classroom Community Susan Fitzell
»April 2009 Writing Prompts James Wayne
»Using Photographs To Inspire Writing VI Hank Kellner
»Quality in School Systems Panamalai R. Guruprasad
»Problems With 9th Grade Euclidian Geometry Stewart E. Brekke
»Multisensory/Kinesthetic Alphabet ActivitiesJeanine Horner

»Apple Seeds: Inspiring Quotes Barb Stutesman
»Today Is... Daily Commemoration Ron Victoria
»The Lighter Side of Teaching
»Teacher Blogs Showcase
»Guided Reading in Kindergarten (printable)
»Printables - Happy Earth Day, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, We’ve Got the Whole World in Our Hands, Portable Word Wall, Earth Day Every Day Award, Bringing Choices to Light, and April - May Calendar
»Photo Tour: 3rd Grade Classroom, Red Creek, NY
»Lessons, Activities, Theme ideas: Earth Day, Mother’s Day, Paul Revere, Spring, Easter, more!
»Featured Lesson: Outdoor Activities/Nature
»Meet Bill Martin Jr. and Brown Bear, Brown Bear, Creative Quotes from Shakespeare, Massive Ant Colony Uncovered! AMAZING science!, Tim Hawkins - Cletus Take the Reel, Lovefield, and Dolphin Bubbles: An Amazing Behavior
»Live on Teachers.Net: April 2009
»Newsdesk: Events & Opportunities for Teachers
»Wisdom for the pain? Why Did You Do It? Why Pursue National Board Certification?


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published by the Teachers.Net community
Editor in Chief: Kathleen Alape Carpenter
Layout Editor: Mary Miehl

Cover Story by Alfie Kohn

Effective Teaching by Harry & Rosemary Wong

Contributors this month: Alfie Kohn, Graysen Walles, Hal Portner, Sue Gruber, Leah Davies, Todd R. Nelson, Marvin Marshall, Marjan Glavac, Barbara Pressman, Josette Bonafino, Rick Morris, Bill Page, Tim Newlin, Susan Fitzell, Alan Haskvitz, James Wayne, Hank Kellner, Dorothy Rich, Barb Stutesman, Ron Victoria, Stewart E. Brekke, Panamalai R. Guruprasad, Jeanine Horner, Marie Smith, Carol Goodrow, Jennifer Goldstein, and YENDOR.

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Josette Bonafino

Global Travel Guru
Archive | Biography | Resources | Discussion

Tips for Travel to France or Italy with Students

We’re off to France to study French with Josette’s pointers for finding the best language school possible, and to Italy with a group of students during the time of year when they’ll get the most from their experience!
by Josette Bonafino
Regular contributor to the Gazette
April 1, 2009

Dear Global Travel Guru,

I’d like to take my students to study French in France this summer. There are so many language schools to choose from. How do I pick the right one?

Samantha Burko
Tuscaloosa, AL

Dear Samantha,

Just because you want to study French in the Motherland, you are not automatically guaranteed a learning experience "par excellence." All schools are different, so do some research to determine which one is right for you.

Ask yourself whether you'd prefer studying in the heart of a cosmopolitan capital, a quiet provincial town or close to the beach. Next decide what kind of academic environment will be most conducive to learning for your students -- a typical classroom setting in a 19th-century Parisian building or a modern campus on the Côte d'Azur? Find out how many students can be accommodated at any one time. There's a big difference between a school that can accommodate only 30 students and one that has room for 400.

Make sure you feel comfortable with the general makeup of the school's student body. Does the school attract mainly teenagers and young adults or corporate executives on a crash course? Ask the school to provide its demographic breakdown. If you want a truly international experience, select a school that draws students from Europe, Asia and South America rather than one which caters mainly to Americans, Brits and Australians. Find out whether or not the school teaches English to native speakers, an added bonus if you're interested in meeting and speaking with the locals.

The best way to reinforce your language skills is by practicing them in real-life situations. How you spend your time after class is just as important as the course. Look for a school that provides a full roster of weekly social activities like discussions on music or politics; dance and cooking lessons; visits to museums; sports activities; beach parties and barbecues; and outings to the theater, cinema or even the neighborhood disco.

Finally, make sure the school belongs to a professional language association which shows it is committed to quality standards. Organizations like the International Association of Language Schools (IALC), The European Association for Quality Language Schools (EAQUALS) and other mother tongue associations like SOUFFLE in France evaluate schools on the qualifications and experience of the teachers, the teaching materials, the management and premises, accommodations, social activities and even the veracity of their advertising material. A word of caution, though; many smaller but high-caliber schools cannot afford or simply do not wish to pay for the expensive membership fees that come along with a "club" endorsement. So don't automatically discount a school which does not boast a stamp of approval.

Just do your homework and let the school “speak” for itself.

Global Travel Guru

Continued on next page »

» More Gazette articles...

About Josette Bonafino...

The Global Travel Guru, courtesy of Josette Bonafino, also appears in Language Magazine.

Josette is the founder and Director of Culture Quest Tours, an educational tour company that specializes in custom-tailored travel programs. Since 1993, Culture Quest has worked with hundreds of American high school and college groups traveling to Europe, Latin American and beyond.

Josette is also the founder and Executive Director of MYX: Multicultural Youth eXchange, a nonprofit organization that works to increase tolerance among young people worldwide by using art-based projects to explore diverse cultures and social issues relevant to all youth.

A native Philadelphian and a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Josette is an avid traveler and frequently spends time in Iceland and Montserrat where she and her husband own homes.

The Global Travel Guru welcomes all travel questions at

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