I’m very much looking forward to seeing lots of people at ACTFL in San Diego next week. There are a few sessions that I would like to recommend to people who follow my blog.

Here are the details of several sessions that I won’t miss. For a more comprehensive list of CI-focused presentations, see Carol Gaab’s extensive list here.

Comprehension-Based Instruction: The Foundation, the Method, the Evidence
Presenters: Dr. Stephen Krashen & Carol Gaab
Friday, 10:30 AM – 12:20 PM ~ Workshop room 3, Exhibit Hall
A great deal of research indicates that Comprehensible Input is the critical component of language acquisition. In this session, we present the underlying theory of comprehension-based instruction, the unique contributions of personalized story-telling and story-asking as a means of providing “compelling” and comprehensible input, the powerful role of reading at all levels, and recent empirical research comparing the results of TPRS/CI-based approaches to traditional methods. Attendees will receive a FREE leveled reader.
NOTE: This is a 2-part session, 10:30 a.m. – 12:20 p.m.

Are Some Languages Really More Difficult to Learn? Maybe Not
Presenter: Charlene Polio
Co-Presenter/s: Alison Mackey, Margaret Malone and Bill VanPatten
Friday, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM ~ Room 1A
This presentation critically investigates the idea that some languages are harder to learn or that they take more time for English speakers to learn. We begin with an investigation into how authors in published academic journals and writers of popular blogs and web sites characterize language difficulty and what evidence they use to support their claims. This will be followed by a discussion of how the field of second language would consider the various claims. We will consider issues of transfer, learnability, universals, and the effects of writing systems on second language acquisition. The presentation will end by arguing that issues of difficulty are complex and that claims have been misused. We then present a research agenda suggesting how we can better study the issue.

Engaging Novice Students Read in Chinese
Presenter: Pu-Mei Leng
Co-Presenter/s: Haiyun Lu
Friday, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM ~ Room 26A
The presenters will demonstrate how to use Embedded Reading to make reading easy and fun in your classroom and how to select, adapt, and modify reading materials that will interest your students and fit their level. They will share strategies to engage students and to inspire their future interest in reading.

In-class versus on-line testing
Presenter: Bill VanPatten
Co-Presenter/s: Walter Hopkins and Daniel Trego
Friday, 1:15 PM – 2:15 PM ~ Room 22
In this session we will present and discuss our experience with moving paper-and-pencil tests from in-class to on-line environments. We will share the results of how testing environment affects grades. We will also share how we used the freed up class time to incorporate can-do performance measures as we continue to develop a fully proficiency-oriented program.

Towards A More Comprehensible Classroom
Presenter: Kevin Ballestrini
Friday, 1:15 PM – 2:15 PM ~ Room 21
If our goal is to make the acquisition of Latin possible for all learners who come into our classrooms, then we must employ best practices in language acquisition in order to deliver understandable messages to everyone. This workshop aims to provide participants with an overview of comprehensible input theory as outlined by linguist Stephen Krashen in order that they understand what comprehensible input is and how it can be leveraged in a Latin or Greek classroom.

With a foundation in the theory in place, the remainder of the allotted time will be used exploring a variety of straightforward and easy to implement comprehensible input activities. These activities are designed to be an effective way for teachers to begin employing comprehensible input strategies in their classrooms regardless of which textbook or program participants use in their everyday instruction. Participants will leave the workshop with a host of new techniques and resources to begin using immediately.

Let’s MovieTalk!
Presenter: Noemi Rodriguez
Friday, 2:30 PM  – 3:30 PM ~ Room: Ballroom 6F
MovieTalk is a powerful, enjoyable technique that you can use to boost your students’ second language listening comprehension and oral production, at any level. By choosing an engaging, culturally appropriate film, a teacher is able to narrate a story and provide comprehensible input to learners in a visually-appealing way. Come learn how to create a MovieTalk for your students and immediately implement this method for success in language acquisition and production! Presentation URL (Prezi): goo.gl/FxbMLF

Optimizing Immersion through Teacher Talks
Presenter: Mike Coxon
Friday, 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM ~ Room 7B
Through instructor demonstration, video examples, and hands-on activities participants will take away several ideas for creating comprehensible immersion for any level of student. “TeacherTalk” is an idea for categorizing several input activities for the purpose getting students to understand the target language while feeling confident and having fun.

This session is for any level of proficiency or language. Participants will have fun and be relaxed as teachers observe creative ways to create immersion in their classrooms with a variety of everyday and authentic resources. The backwards design of the session is building literacy through comprehensible input immersion. Take with you a variety of ideas and access to online resources for your classroom!

From Fragmentation to Collaboration: Aligning a K-8 Program
Presenter: Faith Laux & Rebecca Collora
Friday,  3:45 PM– 4:45 PM ~ Room 1A
How can we create maximum proficiency in an aligned world language program? In this session, we will discuss the process our department went through to transform from a fragmented program to one that is both aligned and collaborative. Educators will walk away with ideas and tools to implement in their own districts.

Bringing Culture Back: Designing Units for Fluency and Global Competency
Presenter: Martina Bex
Friday, 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM ~ Room 10 
In this session, participants will learn how to increase their students’ language proficiency and global competence simultaneously by teaching language through the culture in which it exists. The presenter will demonstrate how to create coherent, compelling, and culturally-rich units by matching cultural concepts to prescribed vocabulary and grammar targets. Participants will leave with a unit outline that they develop as the presenter walks them through each step of the unit-mapping sequence.

Common Threads: Tying It All Together
Presenter: Laurie Clarcq
Friday, 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM ~ Room 15B
How do we design language instruction that is engaging, personalized and comprehensible? This session will identify the connecting threads that simplify and clarify instruction. Explore ways to incorporate these patterns into procedures, protocols, and truly interactive lessons.

Inspiring Students to Engage With Texts
Presenter: Mr Robert Harrell
Sunday, 11:15 AM – 12:15 PM ~ Room 1A 
Multiple readings of a text and reading multiple texts on a single theme require that teachers accomplish a number of complex tasks: developing and maintaining a significant degree of student engagement, helping students sustain focus, providing for depth of inquiry, providing for a high level of comprehension, and remaining in the target language for 90% or more of the instructional time. This presentation will include a demonstration of Reader’s Theatre as one means to revisit a text using participants as “students.” Participants will have the opportunity to experience and discover other avenues for addressing a text multiple times or a topic using multiple texts. Teachers will leave with activities and strategies that help students remain engaged, sustain focus, stay in the target language, and get the repetitions they need for acquisition and that align with the Common Core State Standards.


#ACTFL15 – Sessions I Won’t Miss

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