Fall Conference 2015 Sessions

We hope this list of sessions inspires you with wonderful possibilities for your classroom in 2015. Please keep in mind that the sessions are subject to change. Plan the schedule for your day when the official conference program is released in early October. 

Also be sure to sign up for a Post-Conference Workshop for an intensive professional development experience focused on your content area as a language teacher.

Back to Fall Conference 2015

Teachers Pay Teachers

Collaborate and Earn Do you want to expand your colleague base to a global level, exchanging ideas and materials with teachers around the world?  Better yet, would you like to earn money for materials you have created and use every year in your classroom?  This workshop will introduce the world language resources available on Teachers Pay Teachers that can bring new life to the classroom.  It will also walk through the basic steps to set up an online store to share curriculum and unleash unlimited earning potential.

Erin Hoffman, Poudre High School


Transitioning to 100%TL: Tricks, Triumphs and Troubles

Transitioning to 100% TL is a lofty goal.  Of course there are pros and cons to complete immersion, but this teacher has found that the benefits outweigh the pitfalls.  Come learn a personal story of transition into 100% TL, discuss a few pros and cons of this method, and ultimately walk away with an idea about how YOU TOO can get rid of English, as well as some tricks to help you on your way.

Amanda Stenberg, Mora High School


Teaching to the Test:  A GOOD Thing

Turn unit planning upside down. Determine what students need to demonstrate at unit completion. Assessments reveal the grammatical structures and pertinent lexicon. Integrated Performance Assessments use the three modes of Communication from the National Standards at a targeted level of the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines. Rubrics indicate if students exceed, meet or do not meet expectations for the unit in a cyclical process of formative assessments leading to the summative assessment.  Sound knowledge of the Standards and Proficiency essential for session based on the Extension Workshop at CSC in March.

Dr. Phyllis E. VanBuren and Elizabeth Valencia-Borge, St. Cloud State University


Using Virtual Field Trips to Explore the 3P's

In this session, participants will be able to explore multiple technologies that can be used to take students on a virtual field trip.  Emphasis will be placed on how this kind of activity allows students at any level to examine products, practices and perspectives of culture.  Examples in multiple languages that have been created for K-16 students will be highlighted, and there will be an opportunity for participants to be able to brainstorm and share their own ideas.

Cassandra Glynn, Concordia College


A Focus on Community: Addressing Place, Purpose and Belonging through Target Language Communication

This presentation will share ideas for using concepts of Community as a springboard for reflection and communication in the language classroom. The session will be conducted in Spanish and incorporate standards, cultural frameworks, activities and the experiences of participants. Handouts will be provided.

Paul J. Hoff, UW-Eau Claire and Concordia College/Concordia Language Villages


Using digital tools to engage students with the world

Social media and technology have created a more connected and globalized world.  How can teachers harness the power of today’s technology to connect their students to people and classrooms around the world?  This session will explore how digital tools can be used to engage students with classrooms all over the world and provide a real-world learning experience.  Examples of how one teacher used Twitter and Skype in the Classroom to provide an engaging and enriching cultural experience for her students will be shared.  In addition, ideas about how other digital tools can be utilized to engage your classroom with the world will also be given.

Megan Budke, Wayzata Public Schools


Hosting Students from Abroad: A Practical How-to!

The participants will learn how to bring international students to their community and discover ways they can be involved with their stay in the U.S. The presentation will offer practical steps for recruiting host families, discuss common challenges and strategies to overcome them. A panel of teachers who run established hosting programs will offer tips, share their hosting stories and answer questions. The presentation will be in a Power Point format and a panel of teachers will be present for a conversation with the participants.

Jennifer Mikolajczyk, Intercultural Student Experiences


Is it Working? Assessing the Impact of Teaching Practices

Is it working? This session will discuss a reflective action research model to assessing the impact of teaching practices, the use of technology or the implementation of other innovations in the language classroom.

Elizabeth Harsma, MSU, Mankato


Using Student Narratives to Transform Language Learning

Explore a unique approach to immersive language learning that supports students in crafting their own personal narratives. Brainstorm how to help students identify how their narratives change through connections with a new culture in the target language. The result of these connections is a culture that both parties belong to and have power to shape: third culture. Collaborate with fellow educators to construct lesson plans that support students in composing personal narratives and embracing the third culture space they share with other fellow global citizens.

Helene Vincent, EF Education


Challenges for Teachers Teaching Native Speakers in their Spanish Classes

This session seeks to explore instructional challenges that occur in Spanish classes that include English-speaking and native or heritage Spanish-speaking students. We will consider the fundamentally different language needs of each group and what is needed to address them. In group discussion, participants have an opportunity to share information about their programs, ideas, challenges and needs. The information will be used to inform future workshops offered by the CARLA, CLV, MCTLC, MDE collaboration and will be shared with participants. While focusing on Spanish, the topic is applicable to all language classes with native or heritage speakers. 

Ursula Lentz, Minnesota Department of Education


Bilingual Seals and the Proficiency Certificate - Powerful tools to recognize students' language assets and academic motivation

Recently given a renewed focus by the State Legislature, Minnesota State Bilingual Seals and the World Language Proficiency Certificate give students a powerful incentive to raise their language learning efforts to a higher level by offering clear recognition and college credit. The Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) Multilingual Department launched a Bilingual Seal Project in spring 2015 to make the seals and certificates accessible to students. In this session, the MPS journey, success story, learning and challenges will be shared. A representative from MDE will be present at this session to provide us updates and clarifications on the new Bilingual Seal legislation and guidance on implementation.

Ayumi Stockman and Annika Fjelstad, Minneapolis Public Schools


Every Second Counts! Maximizing Our Time with Classroom Management, Student Engagement and Seamless Transitions

Our contact time with students is precious. Having consistent ways to engage students and transition from one activity to the next helps us take advantage of the time we have tremendously. In this session we will discuss ways to stay in the target language throughout different activities on any given day. Specific, concrete ideas will be discussed that can be implemented immediately.

Faith Laux, Carleton Washburne School


Juntos: an innovative approach to a Spanish Immersion Continuation Program

Learn about the unique middle school Spanish Immersion Continuation Program offered at Hopkins Public Schools in Minnesota. Discover how three teachers created an AP track, AVID based program that includes the rich combination of Heritage Speakers as well as students who are exiting Spanish immersion programs. Listen and participate as the presenters discuss how they started their program, their course sequence and offerings, the nuts and bolts as well as the successes and challenges of their highly successful and popular program. This session that will be presented by the Juntos Program Lead Instructor /District AVID Coordinator, the District Curriculum Coordinator and the District Lead Administrator, will also include the professional development involved as well as curriculum development and the need for professional translation services.

Lisa Sohn, Hopkins Public Schools


Talking about Things that Matter: Preparing for Success in the Interpersonal Mode

We want our students to leave our programs with the confidence to interact with native speakers and the curiosity to explore other cultures. How can we prepare our students for the challenge and satisfaction of having a spontaneous conversation about a meaningful topic? Presenters demonstrate steps for designing instruction that moves from teacher-supported practice to independent student language use in the interpersonal mode within a thematic unit.

Karen Fowdy, Independent Consultant


Cooking in a Cultural Context

Teachers engender love of lifelong learning when their students experience culture with all of their senses. Senses are stimulated as students engage in a cultural cooking experience. Based on critical pedagogy, the presenter has reflected over years of cooking with students, to refine a model that works. A standards-based lesson plan that incorporates cultural contexts and best practices will be presented.  This will allow teachers of any language to be able to create rich cultural experiences through learner‐centered cooking activities.

Mary Thrond, Southwest Minnesota State University


Bringing Local Voices into Global Education

A global community already exists among our multilingual students and their families, but are all students learning from them? As teachers of language and culture, we specialize in facilitating students to begin their own conversations with those from different places and points of view. What voices in our school could contribute to these conversations? This presentation will offer best practices for engaging native speakers of a language with language-learners in the classroom. Additionally, it will offer concrete examples of how to facilitate cross-cultural discussion throughout the school, by means of our school community's speakers of various languages.

Richard Benton, PhD, Speak to Hear


Game-Based Formative Assessments: A Win-Win For Both Students & Teachers

Can we play that again, please? When is the last time your students begged you to give them a quiz? Well, with game-based, formative assessments your students might just start! Using both technology-based tools as well as low-tech activities you can integrate fun, motivating game-based assessment activities into your classroom right away! Many of the tools and activities that you'll experience are even self-grading! In this interactive, engaging session you'll get hands-on experience with game-based learning and assessment tools and activities ranging from technology like Kahoot!, Nearpod and Socrative to no-tech games & activities. Come and learn about how this approach to learning & assessment is a win-win for both you and your students. You'll walk away from this session with a number of practical, engaging ideas that are sure to motivate learners and make your life easier! Please bring your own device!

Jessica Wanless, Breck School


The “R” of TPRS®

TPRS® stands for Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling. It’s not only about the storytelling. This session shares ideas about how to provide powerful Comprehensible Input through reading. Some types of reading that will be presented are: Embedded Reading, Volleyball Reading, Choral Reading, FVR, novels, children's news articles online, simple biographies and personalized reading of class stories. 

Melanie Bruyers, Centennial High School


Department Chair Round Table

The purpose of this roundtable event is twofold. One, to establish relationships with other world language department chairs and build a network of support. Two, during this session, participants will discuss what global education looks like, or what they would like it to look like, in their own departments. Come ready to connect, share, learn, and go back to your school full of new energy and ideas. New and veteran world department chairs welcome!

Agnes Matheson, The Blake School


Second Language Workbook: Applying second language learning to future careers

This workshop will demonstrate a project that has been used in an American Sign Language (ASL) class.  ASL students create a workbook for their future career/major of interest that requires they demonstrate how they will incorporate their new knowledge of a second language and its users in educating their future colleagues about the language and culture of others.  It focuses on sharing appropriate methods for communicating with ASL users, cultural awareness, behavior norms, values, and the importance of being inclusive of this population within their future scope of practice.  This project emphasizes the importance of being aware of others and striving toward a global view by taking on the responsibility of learning about other cultures; enhancing their awareness of the world that extends beyond themselves thereby creating responsible, global citizens.  This workshop will demonstrate and discuss how this project can be adapted and utilized by any second language course.  Attendees will have the opportunity to view numerous samples of projects that have been created by students.

Monica K. Marciniak, The College of St. Scholastica


NNELL- Begin Early in preparing global citizens

How are early language educators K-8 engaging students in making good progress in both their language proficiency and cultural/global competence? How do you encourage your students to think globally? How do you integrate global mind-set in your curriculum?

Kathy Olson-Studler, NNELL


Making global connections through Skype


Join Fernando and Kay as they provides examples of classroom activities that can be done via Skype with native speakers.  A variety of successful lessons that can be implemented easily will be explained.  Examples of how a Skype lesson can be expanded to include reading and writing activies in addition to speaking and listening practice will be provided. 

Fernando Males, Segunda Lengua Spanish School and Kay Edberg, Mora High School


Engaging Beginning Students with 90%+ Target Language

Can we really engage beginning students 90%+ in the TL? Experience first-hand a sampling of tried and true strategies that  accomplish this FL imperative, including Look and Discuss, TPR, Personalized Q&A and more. Strategy demonstrations conducted in simple Spanish or English and include Comprehensible Input via Garageband Podcasting and Audio/Visual editing technology (note: presenter will demonstrate with Garageband) to expose students to extreme repetition of target structures. And there’s more beyond the positive language gains that initial trials suggest. Students learn how to navigate a useful tech program, and they may end up creating something that other students will enjoy for years to come. Bring your computer if you'd like to tinker around during the session.

Jim Tripp, Spring Grove Community School

Cool Technology Tools and how to use them for Teaching World Languages

Imagine a language classroom where students are all looking at screens, they all have a device on their desk, students are laughing and posing for silly pictures with a classmate.  They are all on task and working on an assignment.  This session will explore ways to use cool technology tools in the world language classroom.  Tools that will be discussed in the classroom are: ThingLink, ExplainEverything, PicCollage, Skitch, Google Apps for Education, GoogleDrive, GoogleSheets Apps, and many more. Note: most of the tools discussed in the session are iPad and tablet friendly, less ChromeBook and laptop friendly.

Emily Thomas, Hopkins Public Schools


Engaging Students to Be Highly Motivated Readers in a Foreign Language

This session features several concrete examples of pre-reading activities for the foreign language classroom that will help students become highly motivated and more successful readers, and will bring secondary language teachers a new perspective on how to teach their favorite texts. Using technology, the presenter will demonstrate how to create effective and practical activities to help students engage in their reading and improve comprehension.

Sebastien Saunoi-Sandgren, Breck School


Informes – Great Artists of Spain and Latin America

In our level 4 Spanish class, we have put together a unit on Spanish and Latin American Art where the students research and present a 10 minute presentation in the target language.  The students are guided in their research using the Library Media Specialists and teach their classmates about their artist using an iPad application and the apple tv/LCD projector.  The unit includes 24 artists of the Spanish speaking world, daily quizzes, 2 exams and a final reaction paper.  After many years of working and reworking the curriculum, we have put together an exciting unit that opens up the world of Spanish and Hispanic art to our students.  We will share all of our ideas and methods and requirements and rubrics so you too can open up this exciting world to your students. This is the ONE unit that the students truly "live" as they leave high school. We hear back constantly from our graduates as they see the works that they have learned about in all corners of the world.

Patricia Murray, Suzanne Engel Zobitz, and Kathleen Roy, Cretin-Derham Hall High School


Engaging and Motivating All Learners

Through personalized activities in the 3 communicative modes, presented in print and digitally, we address student’s backgrounds. We reflect on how personalization evokes competency and engagement.

Through authentic materials, including media, within an instructional sequence, we address students’ interests, real-world applications, and best practices in lowering the affective filter. We reflect on how such authenticity addresses cross-curricular and life-long learning applications.

In this session, participants will be able to explore multiple technologies that can be used to take students on a virtual field trip.  Emphasis will be placed on how this kind of activity allows students at any level to examine products, practices and perspectives of culture.  Examples in multiple languages that have been created for K-16 students will be highlighted, and there will be an opportunity for participants to be able to brainstorm and share their own ideas.

Cheryl Kincaid, Vista Higher Learning


Top Apps for the Spanish Classroom: An Introduction

Has your school purchased new touch screen tablets, and you’re not sure how to start using them in your classroom?  Or, are you overwhelmed by the number of apps available and don’t know how to choose appropriate ones?  This session is an introduction for Spanish teachers interested in using new technologies in the classroom. Following a brief introduction to orient teachers to key principles of selecting technologies to enhance language teaching and learning, this interactive session will present some “top” apps for Spanish classes and their appropriateness for learning goals. Bring your iPad or tablet if you have one!

Gwendolyn Barnes-Karol and Kristina Medina-Vilariño, St. Olaf College


Crossing Cultures Through Literary Learning

A good story or poem can pick us up and take us across borders to experience life with those who populate the pages. This session will illustrate how to use literature at any level of teaching for the purpose of enhancing cross-cultural awareness and knowledge. Through a given text students can learn of people and customs different from their own, but in this approach emphasis is given to the cultural products, practices and perspectives that they find similar. In other words, students identify how cultures far and wide are made up, in the end, of people who in many ways are not that different from themselves. This realization makes an understanding of cultural differences also easier to appreciate.

Lisa Twomey, North Dakota State University


Learn How YOU Can Teach in China for two weeks in July, 2016

Teachers, you’re Invited!  Put your skills to work and teach in China in a safe and trusted program for 2 or 4 weeks in July, 2016. Experience the culture and educational system of China up close and personal when you teach Conversational English to Chinese English teachers. Lesson plans, lesson plan training, and orientation to China is provided. This short term program allows working teachers the opportunity to experience a foreign country and educational system in the summer while on their summer vacation, with time left to spare for other summer activities! All teachers with degrees and teaching experience are eligible to apply, including recently retired teachers. TESOL certification is not required, but welcomed.

Gloria Juedemann, We Teach in China


Ci: The 6th ACTFL C

Successful language learners share one critical element: All have had access to a great deal of Comprehensible Input. Learn how to provide CI in various forms and in multiple contexts, how to make any resource comprehensible and how to use CI to foster continuous interaction in the target language. Participants will see actual lessons, view classroom video clips and experience strategies first-hand through an interactive demonstration. They will leave armed with tools and resources to create lessons that naturally inspire comprehensible output and ultimately result in SLA.

Carol Gaab, Comprehensible Input Teacher Trainer


Stories and meaning-based language activities

Regardless of the theme, vocabulary, or grammar to be learned, developing stories based on current events, biographies, history, etc. can provide students with global connections and the opportunity to use and create meaning-based language.  Guided through a story with the use of pictures, text, repetition, question asking, etc., students can assimilate real and meaningful information, vocabulary, and grammar in context.  The content of the story becomes the basis for a series of scaffolded tasks that allow students to engage with the target language using interpretive, interpersonal and presentational modes.  How to begin?  This presentation will suggest ways to develop stories based on themes from your textbook.

Jon Dicus, The Blake School

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