Workshops & Presentations

img_4823I regularly present at world language conferences and do in-district workshops on a range of topics, as well as consultations with district leaders on strategic planning, curriculum design, and instructional coaching.

If you’re interested in working with me, please email me the following:

  • School/District Name
  • Location
  • Number of Teachers
  • Languages Offered
  • Grade Levels
  • Workshop Topic or Overview of Consulting Needs
  • Workshop Length (3, 4, 5, or 6 hours)

Here are some of the workshops topics I regularly present. These can be brought to your school or adapted to meet the needs of your district:

Using the Target Language 90%+

Attaining ACTFL’s standard of 90%+ target language use for teachers and students is easier than it seems! With classroom-proven, highly effective techniques and strategies, all teachers can reach and even exceed the 90% mark. In this workshop, we’ll look at highly effective teaching strategies for increasing target language use, define when the use of English is appropriate, explore ways to motivate all students to use the target language, and develop oral proficiency through Interpersonal activities and assessments.

Assessing Performance

It’s time to let go of chapter tests and focus on what really matters: what students can do with language! In this workshop, we’ll look at how to transform traditional tests into meaningful, authentic, and engaging assessments to demonstrate student progress using can-do statements, proficiency targets, and addressing the three modes. Hands-on and interactive, attendees will leave with draft assessments they can immediately begin using with students.

Thematic Curriculum Planning with Backward Design

At the core of all good instruction is thoughtful planning with a clear goal. After all, we’re not going to get anywhere if we don’t know where we’re going! In this workshop, we’ll explore how to plan effective lessons and units for the world language classroom with clear, measurable objectives. The NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements, model curriculum units, and exemplary lesson plans will help guide us in our work. And, we’ll take our planning to the next level by investigating how to help students take ownership of their learning through goal-setting, self-reflection, and portfolios that demonstrate student growth.

Technology in the Three Modes

Through the lens of the three modes of communication, in this workshop, we will explore technology resources that enhance student proficiency and engage students through active learning. Interpersonal Communication lends itself to a wealth of interactive tech resources where students can text and chat with other students around the world, simulate conversations, or create fun clips to show off their language skills. Interpretive Communication brings students in contact with authentic reading and listening passages. And Presentational Communication, focusing on both writing and speaking skills, can harness video, peer editing, embedded rubrics, and more. By focusing on a variety of communicative learning objectives, attendees will explore a number of tech tools that support students in developing their proficiency.

Using Authentic Resources to Build Communicative Skills Across the Modes

Most teachers know that an authentic resource is something by a native speaker, for a native speaker. But how do you determine which resources are appropriate for each proficiency level? And how do you integrate authentic materials into classroom tasks that facilitate interpretation and interactive classroom discussions? In this workshop, we’ll examine features of authentic resources that make them accessible for students at various proficiency levels. We’ll explore the Interactive Model, which provides a framework for guiding learners to interpret and discuss authentic texts. We’ll also look at how to use authentic resources to engage students in Interpersonal and Presentational Communication.

Foundations of Teaching for Proficiency

New to the ACTFL Proficiency levels? The movement to shift our teaching practices from traditional grammar-driven models to focus instead on developing student proficiency in using the language is sweeping our country, with more and more teachers joining the #PathToProficiency! Before we can shift our practice, however, it’s crucial to have a strong understanding of the ACTFL Proficiency levels, knowing what students can do at each level, how much time it will take for them to move up the levels, and what kinds of classroom experiences will best support their language development. In this workshop, we’ll explore the ACTFL Proficiency Levels, looking at sample language learners. We’ll set targets for your classroom or district, depending on hours of instruction. And, we’ll establish basic core practices that will make attainment of those targets realistic and achievable. Come join the #PathToProficiency! Your students will thank you!

Elephant in the Room? Tackling the Grammar Question in a Proficiency-Based Classroom

Does teaching for proficiency mean no more grammar?? Can you really develop student language without explicit grammar instructions (often in English)? In a proficiency-based classroom, a core practice is teaching grammar as a concept and guiding students to use it in context. In this workshop, we’ll explore using authentic resources as a ways of building students’ comprehension of target forms. We’ll look at instructional practices–including the PACE Model–that lead students to inductively develop an understanding of target linguistic forms. And we’ll also discuss how to maintain 90%+ target language use throughout class activities that focus on form.

Work Your Core!

ACTFL has identified six core practices for language teachers: Facilitating Target Language Use Comprehensibility, Guiding Learners through Interpreting Authentic Resources, Designing Oral Interpersonal Communication Tasks, Planning with a Backward Design Model, Teaching Grammar as a Concept and Using it in Context, and Providing Appropriate Oral Feedback. In this workshop, we’ll discuss each of these core practices, with specific examples on how to integrate each practice into your instructional toolkit. We’ll also do some hands-on work where you develop a lesson plan integrating two or more of these practices to get ready for Monday!