I always enjoy visiting schools and working with teachers. Though it is often quite beneficial to collaborate in person, sometimes there are issues that create obstacles to this happening. Perhaps it isn’t possible to get the entire department together at once? Maybe funding is difficult when needing to hire substitute teachers for many teachers in the department? Or… there is our current pandemic that is not allowing for easy travel and in-person gatherings.
These obstacles don’t mean that we need to push professional development aside. We can certainly continue working together remotely with a virtual workshop that includes videos and materials along with live check-in Zoom calls for clarification and Q&A.
How does a virtual workshop work?
- Once a contract and dates are confirmed a workshop website password will be sent to participants.
- Each workshop includes 1, 2 or 3 45-minute videos along with notes, handouts, video slides, templates and additional helpful materials for implementing the information presented.
- Teachers watch the videos when it is convenient for them during the period agreed upon in the contract (1-3 weeks depending on the number of videos).
- Following the viewing period for each topic there will be a live Q&A via Zoom with me and the participants. There will be one call for each video. Questions can be submitted in advance via a Google Form or can be brought up during the Zoom call.
- The time of the Zoom call is flexible and will be confirmed with input from the participants. This can take place during the school day or in the evening.
We can also discuss a topic of interest that is not listed. I’m happy to create a specific workshop to fit your needs.
If you are interested in hosting a virtual workshop this summer, fall or any time during the school year please submit the form below and include this information:
Number of Teachers
Possible Dates for Workshop (1, 2 or 3-week period)
Workshop Topic (see below or in the link above)
I will be in touch to follow up on fees, details and moving forward with a contract.
What are the possible virtual workshop topics?
Eye on Proficiency in and out of the School Building
• 2 videos (45 minutes each)
• Implementation Materials
• 2 live Q&A sessions via Zoom
The school year will offer challenges and opportunities as we navigate teaching in-person, remotely and perhaps with some version of hybrid or blended learning. We will need to be innovative as we work toward proficiency goals. Teachers can support students in reaching their language learning goals, but there we will need to shift or pivot as we design our classes and lessons in this ever-evolving environment. In this workshop we will look at ways to teach in these various scenarios with a solid focus and eye on language proficiency in all of the communication modes while remaining aware of relationships and cognitive load.
1 video (45 minutes)
1 live Q&A sessions via Zoom
This workshop provides tools for maintaining and supporting students’ proficiency in the three communication modes as we teach in various scenarios, including Distance, Blended, Hybrid and In-Person. A solid and consistent focus on language proficiency in all of the modes is possible and manageable and we will look at challenges and opportunities as we navigate our communicative goals and objectives.
Teach Grammar as a Concept and in Context
1 video (45 minutes)
1 live Q&A sessions via Zoom
One of the biggest debates or challenges among the communicative language teaching community is the topic of grammar instruction. There are lots of questions and concerns around this. Should we teach grammar? Should we only provide examples of language structure through comprehensible input? What is the “right” way to teach or expose students to grammar structures in a second language? Implicit or explicit grammar instruction? We will explore these questions in depth with a focus on implicit and explicit grammar instruction.
Language and Culture: The Path to Global Citizenship
2 videos (45 minutes each)
2 live Q&A sessions via Zoom
What is the role of culture in your language classroom? Is it enough to teach facts and anecdotes that relate to food, holidays, social structure and traditions? This is a starting point, but we need guide students to engage with culture that goes beyond facts and leads to an understanding of why culturally specific practices and beliefs exist. To guide students in this discovery process we will explore the framework of ten cultural value dimensions and learn how to use them to prepare students to be global citizens with a strong Cultural Intelligence (CQ). It is best to embed the study of culture into language proficiency goals, rather than teaching them separately. To meet this goal, we will look at target language needed to discuss culture along with the language needed to engage authentically and respectfully.
Authentic Language Learning with the ACTFL Core Practices
3 videos (45 minutes each)
3 live Q&A sessions via Zoom
How would you finish this sentence? “The best way to learn a language is…” You probably didn’t say “memorize verb charts.” Now think about what language instruction in your classroom actually looks like. Does this match how you think a language is learned best? In many foreign language classrooms instruction continues to be guided by “best practices” introduced well over 25 years ago. We need to usher in the innovative, effective, proficiency-based teaching methodology to the classroom that will mirror how we know, most likely from personal experience, that languages are most effectively learned. The 6 ACTFL Core Practices are designed to provide this authentic language learning experience. In this workshop we explore in-depth how to use the target language for learning, design communicative activities, teach grammar as a concept, use authentic cultural resources, plan with backward design and provide appropriate feedback.