What is this website?
This site is a resource for my students and colleagues with links to websites for learning and teaching. It also showcases student projects. Over time, I'll be adding activities I've designed and student work.
Why is this site called El Cenzontle?
The name Cenzontle comes from Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs and modern Nahuas. In English the bird is the Northern Mockingbird. Intelligent, creative and quick to imitate, the cenzontle is native to the Americas. Its name means "the bird of 400 voices" and so the cenzontle seems a fitting symbol for those who learn and speak multiple languages. Here's a link to learn more about this amazing bird.
Who maintains this website?
Alice Emery. Here's my website.
My approach to teaching languages
A language is learned by using it for activities you're interested in. If you want to use the language, it can't be studied as if it as if were an ordinary school subject-- because it isn't one. Like playing music or a sport, speaking a language means using a set of practiced skills that allows us to do far more than we could do without those skills.
Languages mediate our interaction with-- and understanding of-- the world. Languages are intimately connected with identity, cognition, and community.
Good language learners are creative, resourceful and strategic. They are also imaginative, inquisitive, and unafraid of making mistakes. Anyone can be a good language learner. I teach students to approach the target language strategically, and encourage them to develop the skills to continue learning on their own.
I design courses based on students' interests, availing myself of a wide repertoire of communicative and experiential language teaching techniques. My international experience and training in literature, music and dance influence my teaching approach; I incorporate the arts when possible in my lessons.
Copyright @ 2015 Alice Emery. All rights reserved.