NILA Workshop Menu

Promoting Best Practices in World Language Education

NILA Workshops

In the 2016-17 academic year, the Nebraska International Languages Association received a $1999 grant from the Nebraska Department of Education to provide high quality professional learning experiences for world language teachers (online and face to face). As per the agreement, NILA will contract with ESUs / districts to offer NILA-sponsored workshops. NILA will charge a flat fee of $500 for hosting the workshop.

Transitioning from a Traditional Classroom to a Comprehensible Input Classroom: It’s Not That Scary!!!

Presenter: Brett Edward Ávila, MPH; Sidney Public Schools

Workshop Description:

This all-day workshop is designed to accomplish 3 objectives: 1) establish a rationale for transitioning from grammar-based, traditional World Language instruction to Comprehensible Input (CI) methods; 2) share lessons learned and techniques; 3) develop a minimum of 3 CI strategies that you plan to implement. I taught a grammar-based, textbook-driven WL classroom my first year and made the leap of faith to a more CI classroom the second year. Like many, I was terrified to step away from the ways I had been taught, start over and what about all of my my previous lesson plans! The change was well worth it. Students’ proficiency improved and they were using the language. I will demonstrate how I modified using textbook/worksheets to create Personalized Questions and Answers (PQA), Circling techniques, Total Physical Response (TPR), Storytelling, and Teaching Proficiency Through Reading and Storytelling (TPRS). At the 2016 Colorado Congress on Foreign Language Teaching Fall Conference, a panel of teachers, including WL expert Dr. Bill Van Patten, said that even bad Comprehensible Input is better than no comprehensible input, 10 minutes per class can make a difference. They encouraged those making the transition to do a little at a time. The workshop is designed to build your capacity to take small steps in an important direction.

IPAs: Building proficiency-driven assessments to guide proficiency-driven instruction

Presenter: Janet Eckerson, Ed.D.; Lincoln Public Schools

Workshop Description:

This workshop explores how ACTFL's Integrated Performance Assessments (IPAs) can help participants design and deliver instruction aimed at real language proficiency targets. IPAs can give teachers and students better information about what students can actually do with their language. Using principles of backward design this workshop will help participants to:

1) Set proficiency targets for students at each level taught

2) Design an IPA for actual use in the classroom

3) Work backwards from an IPA to plan an instructional unit

This is truly a WORKshop - with lots of time to work and talk with colleagues – participants should bring curriculum they'd like to explore. Plus, they'll leave with a classroom-ready assessment, based on their own curriculum, ready to be put to the test in the field!

Each participant will need the content from one instructional unit (chapter of a textbook, thematic unit, etc.) that they plan to teach this year. Whether attendees are unfamiliar with IPAs or if they have already begun implementation - this workshop will support participants in creating resources and building their skills - Come ready to build an IPA!

Differentiation in the World Language Classroom: Meeting the needs of a diverse learner population

Presenter: Janet Eckerson, Ed.D.; Lincoln Public Schools

Workshop Description:

Participants will explore characteristics of diverse learners in the world language classroom. The presenter will share strategies and approaches for differentiating instruction to meet the needs of Heritage Language Learners, students in split-level courses (i.e. two levels taught at the same time in the same room) and other diverse classroom environments. Participants will learn about varied approaches to differentiation and in which contexts each approach might be most useful. Attendees will participate in differentiated activities that could be used in their own classrooms and have the opportunity to share experiences with differentiation strategies with colleagues. Last but not least, participants will create a differentiated activity (or two!) for use in their own classroom.

Can Do Instructional Design in the Proficiency-Oriented Classroom

Presenter: Nick Ziegler PhD; ESU 5

Workshop Description:

Participants will explore the instructional implications of WL standards and proficiency guidelines. They will consider the role of Can Do statements in motivating students, directing learning, and driving instruction. Finally, they will explore how Can Do instructional design might be adapted to meet the specific needs of the unique WL classrooms across our state.

Spanish Language Immersion for Teachers: Building our proficiency so we can build our students' proficiency

Presenter: Nebraska Association for Teachers of Spanish and Portugues

Workshop Description:

This workshop for Spanish teachers is conducted entirely in Spanish. Spanish teachers know that maintain and growing their own skills in Spanish language and culture is fundamental to providing the best language instruction they can for their students. In this workshop presenters and attendees will be immersed in a variety communicative activities, games and participation structures - in the target language - that can be used back in the classrooms with students. Centered on the diverse cultures of the Spanish speaking world and building from a foundation of fun and engagement, attendees will re-energize their passion for the language! Participants will actively build vocabulary and cultural knowledge and make a concrete plan for continuing to grow their language proficiency into the future.

Effective teaching practice informed by SLA theories

Presenter: Joshua Pope, Ph.D.; Doane University

Workshop Description:

Scholars’ and educators’ understanding of the cognitive and social processes involved with second language acquisition has advanced a great deal. This workshop is designed to explore some of recent theories that work to inform language learning pedagogy such as Complexity Theory, which highlights the individual differences in learner experiences, and Sociocultural Theory. In addition, there will be time devoted to theories related to learner motivation and social networks. The greatest utility of this workshop will be in the extensive time spent reviewing, designing and revising curriculum that is informed by latest theories.

Teaching with Comprehensible Input

Presenter: Jan Coone, ESU 16; Kathy DaMoude

Workshop Description:

Learn how to engage your students through the use of best practices in this full-day World Language Teachers’ workshop. Presenters will begin with a review of the basics of TPR, TPRS, and CI methods. Building on the basic techniques, presenters will demonstrate embedded reading, using novels and videos in the classroom and a variety of other activities to improve student acquisition of the language. Presenters will adjust topics based on skills of attendees.