Thursday Pre-conference

Thursday- 8:30-11:30

W-03 Dare to De-Tox(tbook)

Presenter: Carrie Toth, Salem (IL) Community High School

Feeling like your classroom is bound by the two covers of the textbook?  Wishing the walls your room reached around the world? Wondering why so many are anxious to leave the text behind? In this session, we will look at several typical textbook chapters and explore ways to de-tox from that text.

Thursday 1:30-4:30

W-08 Speaking Before they Can: Creating a Culture of Communication through Trust and Comprehensible Input

Presenter: Grant Boulanger, Open World Learning Community, Saint Paul, MN

Learn to elicit and assess effective interpersonal communication skills in any language, on any topic. Empower students to prepare, interact and engage with intentionality in the language classroom. Build confidence and self-awareness appropriate to student proficiency levels. Create class culture that breeds trust and fosters community. All with one simple rubric.


Friday 7:45-8:45

Addressing Attrition: Compelling Input’s Power to Empower Lifelong Learners

Presnters: Sheila Jordan, Round Rock (TX) High School; J.J. Epperson, Gibson Southern High School, Fort Branch, IN; Leslie Phillips, Park Tudor School, Indianapolis, IN

Students often lose their motivation to continue being lifelong language learners for many reasons, including: not feeling successful, “can’t speak a word”, “it’s too hard”. This session will share how culture and comprehension are driving forces that have assisted three teachers at different schools to successfully increase enrollment and add advanced levels of courses in their foreign language study. Culture and comprehension are the key driving forces!

Friday 7:45-8:45
Creating Comprehensible Cultural Input
Presenters: Mira Canion, Sonowski Language Resources, Pine, CO and Kelly Ferguson, La Follette High School, Madison, WI

Beginning learners can successfully investigate culture even with very limited proficiency. See how to develop comprehensible language and strategies that help students notice culture through the presentation of three cultural topics; fine arts, daily life, and human migration.

Friday 11:15-12:15

Comprehensible Input Meets Project-Based Learning: Using Technology to Promote Inquiry and Acquisition

Presenter: Alicia Quintero, Chicago (IL) Public Schools

This session will peel back the layers and fears around implementing PBL in a Spanish 1 level course, focusing on how to synergistically combine the practices and principles of project-based learning and comprehensible input to promote acquisition and proficiency.  Teachers will receive units, materials, and guideposts to help leverage technology skills with language learning.

Friday 1:00-2:00

Exhibitor Session: Setting the Stage for Blockbuster Acquisition

Presenters: Donna Tatum-Johns  and Carol Gaab, Fluency Matters, Chandler, AZ

Videos are an ideal tool to engage students, provide comprehensible input and facilitate continuous interaction in L2. Learn how to use videos to inspire interpersonal communication and exceed the 90% target.  From previews to reviews, participants will see exactly how to set the stage for blockbuster acquisition!

Friday 1:00-2:00
Using Novels with Novel Ideas: Research to Practice/Helpful How To’s

Presenters: Sheila Jordan, Round Rock (TX) High School; J.J. Epperson, Gibson Southern High School, Fort Brach, IN; Leslie Phillips, Park Tudor School, Indianapolis, IN

Literacy is critical in successful language acquisition.  This session will briefly present relevant research related to literacy and language gains, then connect the research with an interactive opportunity for creating effective and efficient Comprehensible Input strategies and activities that prompt literacy in L2 via reading activities.

Friday 1:00-2:00
Preparing the Troops for a Paradigm Shift

Presenter: Carrie Toth, Salem (IL) Community High School

Shifting our own thinking about teaching is difficult but shifting an entire department can feel impossible.  In this session, participants will explore the ups and downs of trying to bring the troops on board for a shift in language teaching.

Friday 3:45-4:45

Best of Nebraska: Transitioning to a CI Classroom: It’s Not that Scary!

Presenter: Brett Avila, Sidney (NE) High School

This session shares lessons learned and best practices from the presenter’s experiences in the WL classroom. He taught grammar-based, textbook-driven lessons his first year and made the leap of faith to a more comprehensible classroom, aimed to build proficiency.  Like many, he was afraid to step away from the ways he observed and was taught, and from all his previous lesson plans, new textbooks, and that which was familiar.  He spent a year transitioning and has implemented CI strategies over the past two years, including TPRS, TPR, Circling, PQA, Story Asking, etc.  In the past three years, the changes have been well worth it: proficiency increased, teaching was more fun, and students loved it.  The improvements were HUGE!

Friday 5:00-6:00 p.m.

Free Professional Development? Check.

Presenter: Leslie Phillips, Park Tudor School, Indianapolis, IN

Digital publications, Facebook groups, Twitter feeds, language teacher chats, blog aggregators, and more! Come to this session to learn how to join passionate groups of language teachers who are sharing and collaborating online.  Participants are guaranteed to leave with inspiration and many new ideas for the classroom based on SLA theory, research and practice.


Saturday 8:00-9:00

Life Hacks: Classroom Edition

Presenter: Kelly Ferguson, La Follette High School, Madison, WI

There are all sorts of little things that make class run smoother, reduce teacher stress, and increase student engagement! Learn a variety of simple techniques and tricks, all focused on building relationships and shifting the cognitive and physical work to students, giving more opportunities for culture and comprehensible input.

Saturday 8:00-9:00

Exhibitor Session: I Got the Music in Me

Presenter: Donna Tatum-Johns, Fluency Matters, Chandler, AZ

Music is a great way to connect with students, provide an abundance of CI and make class time more engaging and productive.  Learn how to use music as a tool for language acquisition; to use music to enhance a story; to make cultural connections; and to make thematic connections between a song and a novel.

Saturday 8:00-9:00

Chinese Literacy: Cold Character Reading

Presenter: Diane Neubauer, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA

Ensuring that every student enjoys and succeeds in the process of Chinese literacy can be a challenge for Chinese language teachers.  Cold Character Reading, developed by Terry Waltz, PhD, is an approach that relies upon students’ auditory comprehension rather than on memorizing characters.  Come explore how this approach to literacy would assist your students.

Saturday 8:00-9:00

Incorporating Input: Getting Started with Input-Based Activities on Monday

Presenters: Gregory Schwab and Sonja Thrush, Carmel Catholic High School, Mundelein, IL

According to Bill VanPatten input is “language that learners hear or read in some communicative context.  It is language that learners respond to for its meaning, not its form or structure.” In the field of second language acquisition, input is the essential condition for language acquisition to take place.  How does one get started with comprehensible input-based activities right away no matter what level or required curriculum they are required to teach? Get language into your students’ heads and help bring them to a point where this input spills over and becomes emergent output.  Practical tasks and activities that you can implement right away will be discussed.

Saturday 9:30-10:30

Best of Missouri: Stay on Target!

Presenter: Jeremy Jordan, TPRS Books

The presenter explains various techniques that he uses in his classroom to stay on TARGET, pushing the target language usage to 90% or higher, while still helping class be a fun, positive, yet rigorous place to b

Saturday 9:30-10:30

Just Read!

Presenter: Leslie Phillips, Park Tudor School, Indianapolis, IN

Silent Sustained Reading or Free Voluntary Reading in the World Language classroom has been proven to improve vocabulary, students’ writing style, vocabulary and grammatical accuracy. In this session, the presenter will share her experience implementing FVR in her classroom including ideas for building a library (many of them are free), what to do before and after reading, and resources to continue learning about successful FVR programs.

Saturday 9:30-10:30

Developing Literacy through Chinese Culture

Presenters: Pamela Rose, Far Hills Country Day School, Far Hills, NJ and Yiyi Xu, Evanston Township High School, Evanston, IL 

Participants will learn how to develop classroom activities that engage and motivate student learning, sharpen their literacy skills, and incorporate Chinese culture into the curriculum. Presenters will demonstrate how to weave culture into lesson planning by using traditional Chinese legends, Mando pop music, popular graphic novels, and comics.

Saturday 9:30-10:30

Exhibitor Session: Activating and Connecting Classroom Discourse with Storytelling

Presenters: Mira Canion, Mira Canion Creations and Laurie Clarcq, Sosnowski Language Resources, Pine, CO

Keeping classroom communication lively and meaningful makes learning language enjoyable. Connecting classroom discourse is key. Storytelling provides a consistent framework to organize and maintain comprehensible input that leads to proficiency gains. Participants will gain the tools of creating basic stories and personalized questions.

Saturday 10:45-11:45

Best of Minnesota: Worth 1000 Words: The Power of Visuals in Language Instruction

Presenter: Amy Roe, Breck School, Golden Valley, MN

We often hear that “a picture is worth a thousand words”. This is especially true in the world language classroom, where our students have limited vocabularies. In this session, participants will learn how to introduce new vocabulary and grammar structures through Picture Talk; how to “ask” a TPRS story based on an image; how to use visuals to engage students in the lesson; and how to teach culture through works of art, photos of historical events, and snapshots of daily life. The session will conclude with a tour of several online image databases and a brief discussion about copyright.

Saturday 10:45-11:45

Exhibitor Session: One Goal, One Sequence, 10 Powerful Lessons

Presenter: Carol Gaab, Fluency Matters, Chandler, AZ

Comprehensible Input (CI) is the critical link to 2nd language acquisition (SLA). Learn how to provide CI to achieve specific proficiency goals and discover how to use a simple series of events as a catalyst for a wide range of CI-based lessons that will engage students, inspire interpretive and interpersonal modes of language and result in SLA.

Saturday 12:15-1:15

Power Up Your In-Class Reading

Presenter: Tatiana Jordan, Stow-Munroe Falls City School District, Stow, OH

Reading in the target language is one of the most powerful tools in the classroom. Novels, embedded readings, and other reading sources are a great way to have students learn vocabulary and grammatical structures in context; however, sometimes it is hard to find ways to get students engaged while they just read!! In this session, participants will learn strategies to make “in-class reading” fun and engaging. From “POWER UP Alert” activities to using audio books in class, teachers and their students will rediscover the joy of reading in class through these reading strategies.

Saturday 1:30-2:30

Social Media? The Best PD Resource Ever? Yes, Really!

Presenter: Kelly Ferguson, La Follette High School, Madison, WI

Think Facebook is just for political arguments? Pinterest is just clothes you can’t afford? Twitter is for stalking celebrities and trolling politicians? Come and learn how to find and organize resources and collaborate online! Expand your professional network world-wide and find ideas & support from around the globe.

Saturday 1:30-2:30

Using TPR in Primary Grades (K-2)

Presenter: Jonathan Harris, St. Gabriel Consolidated School, Cincinnati, OH

This session will discuss the benefits of using TPR (Total Physical Response) teaching method for younger learners. A variety of lesson plan ideas will be demonstrated.

Saturday 1:30-2:30

The Power of a Single Resource

Presenter: Ellen Ericson, Mahomet-Seymour High School, Mahomet, IL

Have a great resource and want to use it for more than one day? This session will focus on how to use one resource over the course of an entire week while integrating the three modes of communication. Additionally, the interpersonal assessment created for the unit will be provided. We will explore how the Core Practices were incorporated throughout the week with an emphasis on communicative activities, comprehensible input and use of 90% target language.

Saturday 1:30-2:30

Cutting-edge EdTech Tools for Assessing Language Proficiency

Presenters: Sonja Thrush and Greg Schwab, Carmel Catholic High School, Mundelein, IL

Learn how to create a variety of assessments for reading, listening, speaking and writing that are aligned with ACTFL and CI best practices. In this session, participants will be guided in the creation and use of digital storyboards, student audio-video recordings, online quizzes for comprehension checks, and online tools for interacting with target language texts. The presenters will also share ideas to help World Language educators connect with others around the world in their field and find free resources.

Saturday 1:30-4:30

W-20 MovieTalk: From the Basics to Implementation

Presenters: Yinghan Xue, Neenah (WI) Joint School District and Marta Ruiz Yedinak, Ripon (WI) High School
resider: Andrea Behn, Parker High School, Janesville, WI

In this workshop, presenters will explain and demonstrate how to use short films and videos to boost student engagement and develop fluency while enhancing comprehension of the target language. A short explanation on the background of this powerful technique will be followed by pre and post activities in Chinese and Spanish to reinforce the goals of the lesson. Participants will have time to practice the skills in small groups and be coached by the presenters.

Saturday 2:45-3:45

Burn Out is Bad for Everyone

Presenter: Erica Peplinski, Saline (MI) Area Schools

Teacher burn out is a real problem that hurts both staff and students. Due to increased pressure on teachers, it is easy to get stuck in a state of constant agitation and anxiety. When teachers are burned out we cannot do our best for ourselves or our students. Learn about the effects of burn out, and how to take back your health. Participants will learn what happens when your brain and body are burned out, simple breathing techniques to control stress, and yoga and healthy eating suggestions to return them to their best health.