On February 7 and 8, Seattle Academy hosted an Organic World Language (OWL) Foundations Workshop. Over the course of the two days, eleven SAAS World Language teachers and nineteen teachers from other area schools dove right into the OWL methodology completing a range of activities including community-building icebreakers, target language circles, movement-based language activities, and lectures and discussions about language acquisition. Participants had many opportunities to practice teaching and learning a second language, and everyone came away invigorated with new ideas about how to help students become more proficient.
Spanish teacher, James Watson organized the workshops after attending a one-week OWL boot camp over the summer that he says, “changed his career.” On the first day, participants observed James run a language circle with his Spanish 2 students. All were impressed at the communication, ease, and confidence those Spanish 2 students displayed. The workshop’s director then ran a second circle with the students in Amanda Smart’s Honors Spanish 4 class, so that participants could see how students might react to this methodology when they are first introduced to it.