In his classroom at Charles City, Iowa, High School, Al Bode uses technology and an unorthodox pedagogical technique to help his students learn Spanish.

At first glance, one notices right away that his classroom is a little different from the rest. For one thing, the room contains no student desks, but only couches to sit on. For another, the teacher himself doesn't even have a desk.

Bode said students learn better in a more relaxed, home-like atmosphere. In addition, as he walks about the room, he is sure to include all his students in the...

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