When was the last time you attended your state’s language conference? Have you ever considered presenting? How about your regional conference? Have you ever shared what you’re doing in your classroom with others there? ACTFL? That’s a big one! Have you thought of proposing before the January 15 deadline?
Conferences are so important. Yes, they often cost us money out of pocket because there isn’t funding these days for teacher training but you come home from a conference energized and full of new ideas to create little language learners in your classroom! As I sit and stare at the foot of snow in my yard, I am thinking warm thoughts of CSCTFL in March, iFLT in Denver in July, NTPRS in Chicago in July, and ACTFL in November in San Antonio! I encourage you to start saving your pennies (and dollars) to attend one (or many) of these conferences! If you are in IL, don’t forget ICTFL in October!
Wherever you go for training, don’t forget to step OUT of your comfort zone. If the workshop title is 20 tricks for memorizing vocab lists or The magical world of preterite and imperfect, run away! Find titles that represent a truly communicative classroom alive with language! Attend things that will encourage you to grow and to seek out ways to beef up the amount of TL in your classroom rather than tricks and games that don’t promote authentic communication!
Do you already teach in a high TL environment? PROPOSALS, PEOPLE!!! We need people (new and old) to propose sessions and workshops at ALL conferences! Sessions that will advance the study of language and promote acquisition! Maybe you think you don’t do anything special in your classroom, but I am sure you do!!! Try to think of just one thing you might share with peers about what makes your students love learning language and try to develop a session from there!!!
Hoping to see lots of CI based sessions at ALL of the upcoming conferences! Attend as many as you can! Hope to see you there!!