Attending/Proposals for ACTFL – 1

This is from Alisa:
Hello, PLC friends! Regarding WL teacher conferences, I prefer the Learning Lab model, but I want to present at ACTFL 2015 because I have heard that many WL teachers are interested in learning an alternative way of approaching their work. I am told there is a hunger for and interest in what we T/CIers are doing! I love iFLT and NTPRS too, so I’d present there if accepted and IF my district would sponsor me…
My district did a follow up presentation at ACTFL this year (I presented the initial portion a few years ago in Philly, – it was a joint Prezi w/CAL – Center for Applied Linguistics). In a nutshell, we talked about revamping our department in Philly. Then in Texas in November, my colleagues and CAL showed our SOPA (Student Oral Proficiency Assessment – an interview based on ACTFL’s proficiency guidelines) scores – lovely up-curving trend lines over the past few years since we adopted T/CI strategies department-wide. Teachers (& admin:}) in the room wanted to know what we did to get those ‘results.’ They were apparently wowed. We told them in the pres that we had migrated to T/CI.
I totally agree that ACTFL conferences are mostly boring and irrelevant for T/CI-minded teachers, plus expensive & time consuming, etc. But if your district will send you because you’ve been selected to present (district gets kudos & good PR for your work), then great for all the potential hungry listeners/learners in San Diego! Attendees can also learn from the other sessions and T/CI presenters, and we can provide networking and support for those interested in T/CI. As Ben reminded me, it’s no summer camp like iFLT, but could help disseminate the right info at the point of need. Just imagine: More interaction and communication may lead to increased understanding!
We (3 Ts in my district) recently submitted a proposal for 2015 called ‘Adapting and Creating Reading Materials for the Elementary World Language Classroom’ in an effort to address the shortage of written materials at the most novice levels, since many of the leveled readers are too hard for our kids (and the easy emergent reader stuff is soooo boring). We include ideas for adapting existing (trade) literature; writing interesting/novel stories at various levels ( i.e. from base to detailed embedded readings), as well as turning asked stories into leveled books. A bit about FVR, (though not much FV at the earlier levels, I’m afraid) book format, illustrations, and maybe even Book Creator or something teckie…
If selected, I can imagine that teachers who have or wish to incorporate reading into class but are daunted by the complexity of the texts on their shelves would be intrigued…that’s just about every one, isn’t it? I had SOOOO many books that I had never used because I didn’t know how to adapt them… We will focus on reading and creating/adapting the content for reading.
I’ve come to the conclusion that there is no single experience that a T can have [other than experiencing T/CI as a student in an unknown target language] that will win one over to T/CI. So I decided, when I wrote the proposal, to select a topic that addresses a need for elementary teachers, one that I struggled with in my pre-T/CI days (how to read to/with my students – who didn’t understand lots of the words on the page!), so that the presentation would illustrate how T/CI strategies make reading possible/pleasurable/beneficial through scaffolding, and by insuring that the focus/target structures are narrow, the instruction is slow and there are tons of reps. It’s a kind of reading ‘before and after,’ with some ‘how-to’ in between.
I will keep you posted on whether we get selected.
Alisa Shapiro-Rosenberg



1 thought on “Attending/Proposals for ACTFL – 1”

  1. Nice, Alisa! Really nice. ACTFL accepted hundreds of presentations last year – hundreds. I think you are right about the teachers there. There is an opportunity.
    There should be some kind of CI teacher meet-up one evening.

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