Episode 17 – An Interview with Don Doehla

Don Doehla, our guest on Episode 17 of An Unconventional Teacher, is a king among kings when it comes to language teachers and a pioneer of the Project Based Language Learning methodology. His passion for making the subject of world language learning shines through everything he does and this episode is a window into that! 

Don recently retired from being a classroom French teacher of 35+ years in northern California. His last school where he spent more than a decade was Vintage High School in Napa, CA. Early on in his life, he connected with his teachers who took him under his wing and supported him to attend and graduate from University of California Berkeley.

Beyond teaching, Don has always believed in paying it forward (hence why he is a perfect guest on our show)! He is a Co-Director at the Berkeley World Language Project as well as the Director of the California World Language Summer Seminar

His work also stretched to being a Facilitator for Edutopia.org as well as a Moderator for #LangChat on Twitter

Here is Don’s Project-Based Language-Learning website as everyone is encouraged to go there for tips, articles, and a wealth of knowledge.

Episode Highlights:

“I really connected with my teachers in High School…She (my French teacher) encouraged me to go to Berkeley.” – Don Doehla

“I found that doing an inquiry based approach engaged students so that the apathy tended to go away. Kids were more interested, more engaged, because they had more control over what they were doing, and what they wanted to explore and learn.” – Don Doehla

“You have to love kids. An then, once they know that, then you can teach them anything, especially when you give them the opportunity to have control over it in their own way.” – Don Doehla

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An Unconventional Teacher Founder & Host: Jon Hinthorne

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