iFLT 2021 Presenters

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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Carol Gaab

Carol 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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Eric Herman

Eric Herman is a Ph.D. student in Hispanic Linguistics at Florida State University. For 3 years, he co-taught a course at UC Boulder on second language acquisition and language education. He has been a Spanish teacher at the elementary, middle, university, and adult levels and he taught English in Honduras as part of his Peace Corps service. His most recent book is Research Talks: Motivating Acquisition-Centered Classrooms (2019) and he shares research-supported practices in the Acquisition Classroom Memo (https://acquisitionclassroom.weebly.com).
Kara Jacobs

Kara Jacobs

Kara Jacobs is a high school Spanish teacher in New Hampshire. She has been teaching since 1999 and, like many, she has changed her teaching practices tremendously during the past six to eight years. She loves using TPRS novels, authentic resources and lots of music to engage and educate her students!

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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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Alicia Quintero

A.C. Quintero is currently a Spanish Teacher at Walter Payton College Preparatory in Chicago, IL. She has 16 years of cumulative experience as an International Baccalaureate middle school teacher, high school teacher, and adjunct instructor. She holds a Master’s in Latin American Literature and Cultures coupled with a Master’s in Educational Leadership. These dual degrees have afforded her a vantage point from both ends of the educational spectrum: instruction and evaluation.  A.C. has been sharing her unique perspective on pedagogy and language acquisition for over ten years at national, regional, and state conferences. She is also an accomplished author. She has authored several compelling comprehensible novels that allow students to solidify their language skills while experiencing a wide range of different cultures.

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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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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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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