iFLT 2020 Presenters

Language Lab Teachers

Grant Boulanger

Grant Boulanger

Grant Boulanger is an innovative public educator living in St. Paul, MN. He is a 2017 ACTFL National Language Teacher of the Year Finalist and co-founder of the Comprehensible Midwest Conference. He holds a BA from Gustavus Adolphus College and an M.Ed. in Second Languages and Cultures Education from the University of Minnesota. He has taught in and directed innovative language acquisition programs since 1997. His joy is pioneering equitable, engaging and effective classrooms where EACH student belongs, acquires confidence and competence, and sees themselves as a natural language learner.

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Alina Filipescu

Alina Filipescu is a Spanish teacher at Kraemer Middle School in PYLUSD, California, where she has been teaching for 21 years. Alina has taught Spanish I, Spanish for Heritage Learners, and English as a Second Language. Alina has presented as the Advanced Track trainer at the NTPRS Conference and has been a Language Lab teacher at the iFLT Conference. She has also presented internationally in Agen, France. In addition to presenting and teaching, she has a passion for acquiring languages. She is currently working on Portuguese and French.
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Jason Fritze

Jason Fritze has over 20 years of teaching experience at all levels (elementary, middle, high school, and university) in public (urban and suburban) as well as independent (private) education. A National Board Certified teacher, Jason currently develops curriculum and teaches in the elementary Spanish language program for Laguna Beach Unified schools in Laguna Beach, CA. He works with language teachers around the globe in CI-based approaches, including TPRS & TPR, content-based instruction, reading strategies, reader’s theatre, etc. Jason also teaches intensive Spanish and French language classes to adult learners and is one of the cofounders of iFLT.

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Mark Mallaney

Mark Mallaney is a high energy Spanish teacher for Denver Public Schools.  In addition to teaching, Mark coaches new teachers in his roll as a District Teacher Leader and hosts learning labs throughout the school year that give fellow educators an opportunity to see him work with his students in his classroom.  In Mark’s classroom you will observe a passionate approach that engages and includes all learners.  Mark is committed to paying forward the mentorship that he has received throughout his career from the teaching greats in the iFLT community.

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Sabrina Sebban-Janczak

Sabrina Sebban-Janczak is a Master teacher who currently teaches French for Denver Public Schools, as well as at the University of Colorado in Boulder.  Sabrina was nominated Colorado Teacher of the Year 2016-2017.  Sabrina regularly presents at national and international conferences on various topics related to teaching using Comprehensible Input. A Teacher Leader who coaches, mentors and trains World Language teachers, she also edits and writes graded readers, teacher guides, curricula, as well as the Denver Public School World Language Assessments.  She has also recorded audio books for language learners.  Her passion and commitment to teaching and acquiring foreign languages continues to be a driving force in her life.

Presenters and Cohort Coordinators

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Justin Slocum Bailey

Justin is crazy about helping teachers and learners succeed with less stress and more joy. A veteran language and music teacher, he operates Indwelling Language, a treasure trove of resources and low-prep practices for joyful language education, while consulting for schools, districts, universities, publishers, and non-profits worldwide. Justin was raised in Vienna, Austria, but now lives in Michigan, where he thrives on finger-style guitar, jujutsu, and Detroit Tigers baseball.

Martina Bex

Martina Bex

Martina Bex is a former Spanish teacher with a passion for curriculum development; in particular, for exploring cultural topics using high-frequency vocabulary. In addition to presenting at state and national conferences, Martina has worked with Fluency Matters, TPRS Books, and McGraw-Hill Education on various projects since 2011 and with school districts across North America as a curriculum and instructional consultant. She taught for two years at Syracuse University and four years at a public middle school in Anchorage before making the decision to stay home with her own children full-time. While her kids are sleeping, she sneaks away to post CI-based lesson plans, activities, and strategies on her blog, “The Comprehensible Classroom” (www.martinabex.com).

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 John Bracey

My name is John Bracey and I have been a Latin teacher in Massachusetts since 2010. I have a B.A. in Classics from UMass Amherst and an MA from Boston College. I have taught Latin exclusively using Comprehensible Input for the past several years. I lead workshops around the country for language teachers of all kinds. I am also the 2016 Massachusetts Latin teacher of the year!
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Mira Canion

Mira Canion is a respected author of CI novels, photographer, storytelling Spanish teacher, and stand-up comedian. A frequent presenter at ACTFL and many other conferences, Mira is a dedicated board member of SWCOLT and past CCFLT president. She has won professional awards for Excellence in Teaching, Creativity, and Best-of Sessions. Mira has been bringing classrooms to life with her collection of puppets for over 20 years in Colorado and beyond.

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Jon Cowart

I taught Spanish for 10 years in inner city Memphis before becoming an instructional coach and assistant principal of instruction.  I earned my MAT in Teaching Foreign Languages from Middle Tennessee State University where I studied with Dr. Shelley Thomas, a CI expert who gave one of the first keynote speeches at iFLT in its early years.  My passion is combining best practices from CI with best classroom management practices to help teachers bring CI to students in a structured way that works for everyone.

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Leslie Davison

Leslie Davison has been teaching Spanish for almost 20 years. She is a Google Certified Innovator and National Board Certified World Language teacher with experience at both the high school and elementary levels. She shares her passion for language learning and technology by presenting at national and international conferences. She was recently awarded the World Language Teacher of Year for Colorado. Currently, she serves as K-12 Dual Language Coordinator and a best-practices coach for an elementary school. When not learning, Leslie can be found running or skiing in the mountains of Colorado or kitesurfing around the world.

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Gary DiBianca

For the past 17 years, Gary DiBianca has been a Spanish teacher, presenter, world language consultant and coach, and AP reader. He has presented nationally and regionally on acquisition and brain-based strategies in the world language classroom, big picture planning and unit design, pre-AP vertical alignment and the 21st Century World Language Standards, the inclusion of topics of diversity in the curriculum, and teaching with comprehensible input and TPRS. It is his passion to with teachers to hone their craft as educators and helping them develop new ideas for student learning. He has served on the state of Ohio’s World Language Model Curriculum Committee, and is an advisor and leader for many diversity programs.

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Bertha Delgadillo

Bertha Delgadillo is a high school Spanish teacher at Woodville Tompkins Technical and Career High School in Savannah, GA. Over the past six years, she has taught all levels of high school Spanish (Spanish I – AP Spanish Language).  Bertha is passionate about acquisition driven instruction as it has drastically changed her teaching practices in the last three years and counting. In the spring of 2019, she received one of fifteen LifeChanger Awards and was named the World Language Educator of the Month of May in the state of Georgia. During her spare time, she enjoys family time, traveling, latin dance, reading, and vegan cooking. She lives with her husband, 13 year old son Manny, and a Chihuahua named Patrón.  You can connect with her via Twitter @profedelgadillo, Instagram and Facebook as @profesoradelgadillo, and via her web page www.profesoradelgadillo.com . She loves sharing ideas via social media and connecting with others to collaborate.
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Carol Gaab

Carol Gaab has been providing teacher training in CI-based strategies since 1996. A frequent presenter at national and international conferences, Carol was also a presenter for the Bureau of Education and Research for 9 years. She is the director of the iFLT Conference and was a Spanish and ESL teacher for 25 years, most notably twenty years teaching for and directing the San Francisco Giant’s U.S. and Dominican Language Programs. Founder and President of Fluency Matters, Carol has authored and published numerous SLA-friendly resources for novice to advanced levels.

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Michelle Kindt

Michelle Kindt has over 20 years of teaching experience at both the middle and high school levels in public education.  A National Board Certified teacher, Michelle currently works as a French teacher (Levels 1-AP) at Hershey High School in Hershey, Pennsylvania.  Michelle has had the privilege of developing the curriculum for the high school French program.  Michelle works with language teachers all over the country touting the message of Comprehensible Input (CI) and its significance to language acquisition and happy classrooms!  As a teacher-trainer and coach, Michelle regularly works with small cohorts of teachers over the course of each school year, introducing the cohort members to CI strategies and facilitating its use in their classrooms.  In addition to regional, state and local venues Michelle has had the opportunity to present Comprehensible Input theories and strategies at national conferences, such as IFLT, NTPRS & ACTFL.  She has worked with other school districts to develop curriculum and train teachers.  She very much enjoys working with World Language teachers, encouraging them to teach for proficiency outcomes via acquisition-driven language instruction.  Michelle believes that working with the right CI coach will make all the difference in using CI in your classroom!

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Diana Noonan

Diana Noonan. After 30 years of experience teaching French and Spanish in the Denver Public Schools, Diana has continued her work in DPS for the last 16 years as the coordinator of world languages where the focus of her work centers around training teachers in best practice instructional strategies. She offers workshops and professional development in communicative, comprehensible input strategies, curriculum and assessment development. Diana is one of the co-founders of iFLT in 2010. As co-director of iFLT in 2012, she implemented the learning lab model featuring host teachers with students. These language labs continue to be a highly effective training opportunity, integral to the success of teachers as they embark on using best practice instructional strategies for second language acquisition.

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Katya Paukova

Katya Paukova is a highly-sought TPRS presenter and editor. She has adapted/translated various TPRS materials to Russian and is a key presenter for NTPRS. A gifted teacher, Katya has taught Russian and French for middle/high schools, the United Nations, and the International Monetary Fund. Katya currently teaches Russian for the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA.

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Erica Peplinski

Erica Peplinski, an Ann Arbor Public School elementary Spanish teacher, has taught every grade from Kindergarten to 8th grade. She is in her 15th year in the classroom, and enjoys developing elementary Comprehensible Input curriculum; and exploring the connection between neuroscience and language acquisition.   In addition to presenting at Austin Community College, Central States ACTFL, MIWLA , IFLT and in local districts; Erica helps organize and presents at MittenCi and CiMidwest.  Learn about her elementary approach to Comprehensible Input and access many resources by visiting her website.

Kristy Placido

Kristy Placido

Kristy Placido is an accomplished teacher, presenter and author. She has been teaching Spanish at all levels since 1997 and provides teacher training on a wide range of topics, including TPRS, reading strategies, classroom technology and assessment. Kristy has presented at ACTFL, iFLT, TPRS Publishing’s Multi-cultural Conference, NTPRS and numerous other state and regional conferences. In addition to being a regular presenter for Fluency Matters, she is a popular author as well, having written numerous comprehension-based readers (novels), teacher’s guides, ancillary materials and curricula for all levels. Kristy holds a Masters degree in Curriculum and Teaching from Michigan State University and is proud to be the co-founder of the more TPRS list.

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Adriana Ramirez

Adriana Ramírez works in Canada, in the province of British Columbia as a Spanish teacher. She has been a language teacher for more than 16 years and currently teaches all levels of Spanish, from beginners to IB Spanish (International Baccalaureate).

Adriana holds a Master’s in Education and is also a well-known CI author and presenter. She has published several books with stories to teach through storytelling and comprehensible input, as well as novels (Spanish and French) for language learners.  She constantly presents workshops, nationally and internationally, trains and coaches teachers on applying CI methodologies in the language classroom, and welcomes guests to her classroom so they can see the power of TPRS first hand.

Adriana has a YouTube Channel where you can see her in action teaching Spanish with TPRS and CI methodologies:


  Website: adrianaramirez.ca

  Instagram and Twitter: @veganadri

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Clarice Swaney

Clarice Swaney has over 33 years of experience teaching Spanish in the Roseville Joint Union High School District in northern California, and is a long time practitioner of teaching with comprehensible input and TPRS.  As she grew in her understanding of acquisition driven instruction, she gained confidence to continue taking risks, try new activities, and challenging herself as well as her students. As the founding teacher of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program Spanish courses at her high school, she successfully taught with CI during her nine years as the main instructor in the program.  Clarice presents at national, state and regional conferences, coaches colleagues in her area, as well as organizes, coaches and presents at monthly training and support sessions, and  is a founding member of the  Comprehensible California Conference.

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Donna Tatum-Johns

Donna Tatum-Johns is a gifted French teacher with over 29 years of classroom experience. She specializes in TPRS and other comprehensible-input strategies and is credited with many valuable contributions to the method. Also a gifted presenter, Donna leads teacher-training workshops for various institutions across the country and serves as an editor/translator for various publishers.

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Carrie Toth

Carrie Toth has been teaching all levels of Spanish since 1994. A National Board certified teacher in WLOE, Carrie serves as a mentor to National Board candidates and presents at various local, state, regional, and national language conferences. Her passion is helping teachers enhance cultural knowledge in the world language classroom using CI-based strategies and backward planning (through Understanding by Design).  Carrie is the 2012 recipient of the Horace Mann “Innovative Education Award,” the 2014 Teacher of Year for both the state of Illinois and the Central States Region, and a finalist for the 2015 National Teacher of the Year. In addition to Carrie’s achievements as a teacher and trainer, she is also an accomplished author, writing teacher’s guides, ancillary materials, and novels.          

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Teri Wiechart

Teri Wiechart is the Program Coordinator for iFLT.  She retired from 35 years of teaching high school French. During her retirement, she has been working as a consultant to the Ohio Department of Ed., and consultant with schools working to implement new ways of teaching World Languages. She has been a TPRS/CI trainer and coach, and coaching trainer and coordinator since 2001 — at the National TPRS Conference, 2007-2015; iFLT 2010-2020; Agen, France CI Conference 2013-2019, and regional professional development in Ohio. She has been the President of the Ohio Foreign Language Association and is currently the Membership Chair and a Conference Committee member.  She is passionate about helping teachers become more effective in teaching languages and works to find better and better ways to train and prepare teacher in Acquisition Driven Instruction.

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Angela Williams

Angela Williams, a Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools Spanish teacher, has taught every grade level from Pre-Kindergarten through high school. She is currently teaching 7th grade Spanish and is in her 11th year in the classroom. She was recently awarded the World Language Educator of the Month in Georgia in August 2019. Angela loves sharing best classroom practices and effective instructional strategies through CI with her district colleagues at professional development sessions, and facilitates training & observations for new teachers to her school district. Angela is also passionate about all things technology, and is a Google Certified Level 1 Educator. Since discovering the magic of Comprehensible Input, Angela’s teaching practice has blossomed and she frequently shares pictures and video of her classes on Twitter.

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Annabelle Williamson

Annabelle Williamson was christened “La Maestra Loca” by her students long ago, but what she is really crazy about is building a positive, inclusive, success-oriented language community that promotes equity and anti-racist education. Annabelle’s love of students, people, languages, and of life is contagious, while her deep understanding of the nuts and bolts of teaching for communicative competence will leave you eager and inspired to return to your classrooms and start implementing all of her strategies for equitable engagement! She’s currently in her 9th year as an educator, teaching Middle School Spanish in New Orleans at Bricolage Academy. Annabelle has her Masters in Education with an emphasis in linguistically and culturally diverse education.

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