Acquisition-friendly Sessions


THURSDAY FULL DAY WORKSHOPS 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Thursday- 6-hour workshop

W-01: Foundations of Comprehensibility

Presenter: Tina Hargaden, CI Liftoff & Diego Ojeda, Louisville Collegiate School

Practice foundational skills to make ANY input comprehensible! ANYONE can learn to deliver a rich diet of interesting, personalized, understandable language. Acquire concrete tools to put COMMUNICATION in the driver’s seat in your classes!

THURSDAY MORNING WORKSHOPS 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Thursday- 3-hour workshop

W-05: Level Up Literacy Skills with Embedded Reading

Presenter: Laurie Clarcq, Bothell, WA 

Embedded Reading was created by teachers to develop students’ literacy skills. It combines several high-leverage practices in order to create the most successful activities possible. By carefully scaffolding text and incorporating highly-effective activities, teachers can change the look of literacy in their classrooms. Come explore Embedded Reading and develop materials for your students!

Thursday- 3-hour workshop

W-06: Keeping Kids Engaged and coming Back for More

Presenter: Michelle Kindt, Hershey High School

Having retention or enrollment problems? Consider new ways to engage students with music, reading, history, current events and homework choices. Many examples and samples will be shared! Participants will walk away with several high yield practices that have been proven to improve enrollment and keep students learning language longer.

FRIDAY AFTERNOON WORKSHOPS 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Friday- 3-hour workshop

W-17: Illuminate Comprehension with Student Illustration

Presenter: Laurie Clarcq, Bothell, WA 

Communication is putting a picture into the mind and/or heart of another person. Participants will experience drawing (even with stick figures!) as a powerful device for engagement and acquisition. This is a technique that has been successful with students of any age or level. Reading, listening, speaking and writing skills can be enhanced and evaluated via illustration!

Friday- 3-hour workshop

W-19: Exhibitor Session: Mini-Units: Teach Culture, History, Geography, Biography, Mythology, AND Language

Presenter: Tina Hargaden, CI Liftoff 

Learn how to plan and implement easy, low-prep mini-units that teach content knowledge, domain-specific academic vocabulary, AND build proficiency in reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Learn formative and summative assessment strategies.


Saturday:  3-hour workshop

W-25: An Introduction to Teaching towards Language Acquisition

Presenter: Teri Wiechart & Gary DiBianca, Orange High School

This workshop will introduce strategies on teaching contextualized language while staying in the target language. These will be based on Stephen Krashen’s Comprehensible Input Hypothesis. We will present the idea that a flood of Comprehensible Input ultimately will aid in language acquisition and will lay the foundation necessary for long-term language proficiency. — A little theory, a lot of practical, and a little practice.

Friday Sessions

Friday 7:45-8:45

S-113:  Peace, Love and Proficiency: Where Methodologies Meet

Presenters: Kara Parker, Creative Language Class, Summerville, SC and Mira Canion, Canion Creations, Lafayette, CO

Do all methods lead to the same proficiency outcomes? Two educators from very different approaches, task-based and storytelling, will showcase the finer points of comprehensible input and proficiency-based instruction within a common unit for audience reflection and discussion about communicative language teaching.

Room: A214

Friday 7:45-8:45

S-118It’s Story Time!

Presenter:  Audra Jurmanovich, Bentonville Schools (AR)

How can you use comprehensible input stories in class? This session will share ideas on how to find or create stories, as well as offer an array of activities to provide variety while using stories or novels. CI novices and experts alike are invited to learn about and share ideas on what to “do” with a story in class.

Room: A211

Friday 11:15-12:15 p.m.

S-207 : Pre-reading: Priming the Pump!   

Presenter: Carol Gaab, Fluency Matters, Phoenix, AZ

In this interactive session, participants will experience powerful techniques to prepare students for a reading. Learn how to pique interest and build familiarity with vocabulary and concepts through a variety of techniques that will leave you empowered and your students dying to start reading! Discover how to prime your students for optimum acquisition before you even crack open a book.

Room: Edward Parker Hayden

Friday 11:15a.m. – 12:15p.m.

S-209: Stop Working So Hard

Presenters: Lynn Heil & Amy Rankin

Exhausted? Stressed? Working too hard? STOP! Come hear the simple ways we’ve lightened our workload by handing responsibility back to the students and recognizing that sometimes “good enough” actually is good enough! Learn the importance of asking yourself, “Who should be doing this work?” and the joy of discovering, it’s not you!

Room: A220

Friday 11:15-12:15

S-212: Best of Iowa: Teaching with CI – I think I’m ready, but where do I start?

Presenter: Melissa Newell, Van Meter (IA) Middle School

Sprinkle Comprehensible Input (CI) throughout your daily routine and witness your students acquiring language naturally and speaking spontaneously!  You don’t have to be high energy and love being on stage to deliver CI! If you use strategies to promote natural language acquisition, chances are, you are already teaching with CI! Examples of student and teaching videos will be shown in Spanish throughout the session and can be translated to English/French upon request.

Room: Edna Bowles Hopkins

Friday 11:15-12:15

S-213:  Head to Head:  The Science of How We Learn 

Presenter: Erica Peplinski, Saline (MI) Area Schools  

Recent research on the brain has revealed much about how we learn and acquire languages.  This knowledge is invaluable to teachers, and will help increase both the rate at which students acquire a language and student joy in the classroom.  Attendees will experience the impact of brain based learning, and leave the session with practical applications to apply in their classrooms right away.

Room: A221

Friday 1:00-2:00

S-312: Whole-class Reading with Universal Appeal

Presenters: Kristy Placido, Fowlerville (MI) High School

Whole-class readers are a great source of comprehensible and meaningful lessons. Exploit the themes of comprehensible readers for culture, current events, and wonderful comprehensible conversations! Reach deeper with whole-class readers!

Room: A221



Friday 1:00-2:00p.m.

S-317: Optimize Classroom Performance with Comprehensible Reading

Presenters: Kristy Vernon, Waterford (OH) High School

Reading comprehensible novels in the classroom will assist in scaffolding your students’ learning and build their vocabulary and writing proficiency.  This session will share how to build a classroom library, understand research that validates reading in the classroom, and provide ways to track your students’ progress. Furthermore, gain knowledge of everything from building a reading program to finding strategies and tips that will strengthen your current program.

Room: A212

Friday: 2:15-3:15 p.m.

S-403:  Increased Enrollment and Achievement: Evidence from a Communicative, Comprehension-based Approach

Presenter: Grant Boulanger, Open World Learning Community, St. Paul, MN 

A 5 year comparative study compares students taught with eclectic, grammar-based approaches with those taught through a communicative, comprehension-based approach. The presenter will show significant increases in elective enrollment into upper level language courses and significantly increased achievement on independent, proficiency-based and normed assessment. Implications for program design and pedagogy will be discussed.

Room: A212                                                                                            

Friday: 2:15-3:15 p.m.

S-413: Laying a Foundation for the AP Exam in Levels 1, 2 & 3

Presenter: Michelle Kindt, Hershey (PA) High School

The AP Language Exam is no longer a grammar test!  The new exam tests our students for proficiency.  Teaching with Comprehensible Input is a key way to prepare our students for this test starting as early as Level 1.  This session will give practical strategies to use in the lower levels that will build proficiency and lay a foundation for AP Exam success.

Room: A215                                                                                          

Friday: 2:15-3:15 p.m.

S-414: Digging out of the Reading Rut

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

In this session, participants will learn a variety of ways to read Comprehension Based Readers as a whole class, in small groups, or individually.  We will dive into reading chapters differently and follow up activities that challenge them to use higher order thinking! Say goodbye to comprehension questions and hello to engaging novel studies!

Room: A221

Friday 3:45-4:45 p.m. 

S-504: Appropriate Scaffolding: Pathways to Literacy

Presenter: Mira Canion, Canion Creations, Lafayette, CO 

What are we doing about comprehensibility when it comes to reading? Literacy begins with accessible texts that learners read in volumes. When learners are not reading, often it is because the texts are not appropriately scaffolded for their proficiency level. Let’s fix that.


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

S-609 : Inspiring and Acquiring through Music

Presenter: Carol Gaab, Fluency Matters, Phoenix, AZ

Music is universally one of the most powerful tools for providing comprehensible input and facilitating language acquisition. Learn how to use music /song lyrics to naturally inspire the interpretive mode of language, deepen reading and listening comprehension, sustain interpersonal communication and naturally engage students in higher order thinking.

Room: A214


Saturday 8:00-9:00

S-708: Turn Up the Volume: Music as Comprehensible Input

Presenter: Rebecca Moulton, Northwest High School, Jackson, MI

This is a “jump start” session on how to engage students by using authentic songs and music videos as comprehensible input in any language class, in any level. Participants will leave equipped with hands-on activities, resources, and ideas. Examples in Spanish, French, German, and English. Plus, a starter list of songs in several languages will be shared.

Room: A223

Saturday 9:30-10:30a.m.

S-813: Mindfulness in the Target Language

Presenter: Justin Slocum Bailey, Indwelling Language, Ann Arbor, MI

Stress is a normal part of life, but it can have serious effects on learning and on teachers’ and students’ well-being. In this session, we will explore and experience practices for cultivating mindful calm and increasing target-language proficiency at the same time, especially mindful listening with a variety of topics at a variety of language levels.

Room: A213

Saturday 10:45-11:45 a.m.

S-907: The CI Bag of Tricks

Presenters: Beth Hanlon, Oberlin (OH) High School and Dina Marsala, Avon Lake (OH) City Schools

Curious how to incorporate CI activities into your classroom?  The presenters are infusing CI into their own classrooms.  Come see what they have in their CI bag of tricks!

Room: A222

Saturday 10:45-11:45 a.m.

S-914: Reaching Higher with Intermediate Learners

Presenters: Kristy Placido, Fowlerville (MI) High School

Gain insight on teaching levels 3 and up in a proficiency-based program. Discuss and view examples of content-based teaching, reading strategies, and authentic resources. Explore the role of output and maintaining the use of the target language!

Room: A215

Saturday 12:15-1:15 p.m.

S-1003: Speaking Before They Can with Rejoinders

Presenter: Grant Boulanger, Open World Learning Community, St. Paul, MN

Empower your students to interact with you authentically and spontaneously using memorized social language chunks – Rejoinders. Learn how to get kids talking spontaneously in ways that express real meaning, allow students to express their own personality, demonstrate their comprehension, differentiate language use, keep the target language flowing in the classroom, and drive communication down new, student-generated paths.

Room: A213

Saturday 12:15-1:15 p.m.

S-1005: Improve your Teaching with Improvisation

Presenter: Gary DiBianca, Orange High School, Pepper Pike, OH

What can teachers learn from improv acting? Participants will dive into some improvisation games and techniques to help develop one’s inner actor to aid in target language comprehensibility. Many activities could be adapted for students. No prior experience is needed, just come and have fun.

Room: A215

S-1009: How to Build and Organize a Target Language Classroom Library

Presenters: Lynn Heil and Amy Rankin

Learn how to inexpensively build an extensive target language classroom library. Discover tips and tricks for easy organization and take home extensive resources for using and maintaining your collection. You could even win a French or Spanish classroom reader to start your library!

Room: A220

Saturday 1:30-2:30 p.m.

S-1107: And Justice for All: Keeping the “Just” In Social Justice

Presenter: Melisa Lopez

Sometimes the task of incorporating social justice themes into your already full curriculum seems daunting. Learn how to incorporate seeds of social justice throughout the year no matter the themes that you are already teaching. From food units to housing, you’ll learn how to easily add components of social justice to some of the most common thematic units.


Saturday 1:30-2:30 p.m.

S-1109: So I Just Tried a Movie Talk. Now What?

Presenter:  Megan Murphy, Maple Heights High School, Maple Heights, OH

Have you tried your first Movie Talk and aren’t sure what to do next? The presenter will share several post-Movie Talk activity and assessment ideas that have worked in her classroom. Many of these activities are versatile and can also be used after asking a story or reading a chapter in a novel, too! Examples can be easily adapted for use in another language.

Room: A212

Saturday 1:30-2:30 p.m.

S-1113: Using Virtual Reality for Exploring Culture in a TCI Context

Presenter:  Steven Schubert, Park Tudor School, Indianapolis, IN

Learn how to design a virtual reality TCI lesson using inexpensive Google headsets and  Google Expeditions. VR can be used to immerse students in locations across the Spanish-speaking world while keeping lessons comprehensible.

Room: A210

Saturday 1:30-2:30 p.m.

S-1116: TPR: A Segue to Literacy and Storytelling

Presenters: Emily Ibrahim, Louisville, KY    

Total Physical Response is a powerful tool for the novice language learner of any age. When used effectively, it can provide a robust base of vocabulary needed for storytelling, as well as a natural way to transition into reading. Learn how to implement TPR in your novice level classroom as a natural segue into reading and stories.

Room: Emerson Burkhart A

Saturday 2:45-3:45 p.m.

S-1213: Teacher Wellness:  Burn Out is Bad for Everyone

Presenter: Erica Peplinski, Saline (MI) Area Schools

Teacher burnout is a problem both for teachers and students; and is partially responsible for the teacher shortage our nation is facing. Attendees will learn the science behind how taking care of ourselves is important personally and for our students. Learn how to take back your life and avoid burnout through deep breathing, sleep, meditation, yoga, and diet!

Room: Edward Parker Hayden

Saturday 4:00-5:00 p.m.

S-1303: Deeper Insights: Reading Texts with Compassionate Eyes

Presenter:  Mira Canion, Canion Creations, Lafayette, CO

Ever find yourself yearning for more meaningful reading activities? Have comprehension questions become rote memorization drills? Journey with us, whether you are a novice or an experienced teacher, as we design reading tasks that cultivate compassionate reflections between the reader and the text, all in the novice-level target language.

Room: A214

TIME: When are YOU presenting?





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