Happy 1st of October, the month of the Michigan World Language Association‘s (MIWLA) annual conference! I’m excited to meet colleagues there and honored to present three sessions, all of which I’ve presented before in some form or another, but never in Michigan. In case you’re interested, the titles and official descriptions are below. Feel free to follow up if you’d like to know more about the content or format of a session, or if you’d like to experience a similar presentation closer to home! I should be able to announce some other 2015/2016 workshops soon.
Sheep No More: Training savvy, self-directed, joyful, lifelong language learners
What if all our students knew what they needed in order to advance, knew how to get it, got it, owned it, and enjoyed the whole process? What if they even knew how to pass on to fellow learners both the content and the skills involved?
This entertaining, interactive, hands-on workshop will train participants to use an integrated, adaptable system of 40+ techniques and practices for focused, energizing language-learning-and-teaching that will enhance any existing curriculum.
[Note not in official description: All this largely boils down to helping students get the input they need in order to acquire the language, either by seeking and modifying live, spoken input, or by identifying suitable target-language content to consume and developing sustainable habits for doing so; and, having received the necessary input, putting themselves in and taking advantage of opportunities to communicate in the target language.]
Three Lesson Plans with Compelling, Comprehensible Input and Output
The entertaining lessons modeled in this session can be used with any curriculum to provide interesting, comprehensible content with high-frequency structures and to sustain personalized, scaffolded conversation in the target language. The plans are designed both to incorporate cultural content and to draw on students’ circumstances and interests, are highly adaptable, and can be used repeatedly with different content and at different levels. The lessons work in any language; examples will be provided in several.
Research-Informed Latin Education: Expecting the best* from students and teachers
Most Latin teachers’ training has left them under-informed both about how languages are learned and about many effective language-teaching methods. This session explores the implications of Second Language Acquisition research for Latin education and models several techniques Latin teachers and learners can use to make the most of the power of the human brain and the power of their language-learning communities. The session includes opportunities for discussion, sharing of ideas, and guided practice.
[Note not in official description: This presentation focuses on the Comprehension Hypothesis and on the distinction between mental representation and skill.]
*”Expect the Best” is the theme of this year’s conference.