TOWARD PROFICIENCY

Empowering World Language teachers to develop their learners' proficiency, by providing compelling and comprehensible input. Building bridges.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

My passion is helping teachers to build joyful, inclusive, and acquisition-driven language classrooms. 

With 10+ years of classroom experience, I have experienced firsthand the benefits and the challenges of transitioning to teaching for proficiency. As a trained coach and presenter, it is my great joy to come alongside other teachers as they strive to connect with their students through the stories that they share.

If you are located in the Southeast US (TN, KY, GA, AL) and are looking for training and mentorship as you seek to transition to an input-based classroom and/or strengthen the kind of input that you are already providing your students, I would be honored to help you achieve your goals.

Interested in hosting a workshop? Please contact me:

The power of ‘Demo-Debrief-Do’

My workshops are designed to boost teacher’s confidence, and ensure they can quickly implement what they have learned. Workshop participants first experience a demo of an input-based strategy, then debrief collaboratively, and finally practice the strategy together in a safe coaching circle. This sequence is effective because it is very hands-on and focuses setting-up teachers for success.

Workshops & Services samples

Workshops can be delivered as stand alone or combined and customized to your needs.

1. The nuts and bolts of remaining comprehensible… and interesting

Being comprehensible does not have to mean being boring and repetitive! In this session, participants will practice techniques to use the target language from Day One, stay comprehensible, and keep their students engaged with input. This is a fundamental skill-building session.

2. One Word Image: create with your students, in the target language

In this highly interactive session, participants will learn how to develop class-created fictional characters with their Novice students, while building their descriptive language and literacy skills. One Word Image is a wonderful way to provide Novice students with language in context and prepares them for story telling.

Note: One Word Image was created by Ben Slavic.

3. Personalization: your students are your curriculum 

This session will emphasize noticing your students and making them part of your daily lesson plan using a powerful and joyful technique: Personalized Questions and Answers (PQA). Come and learn how to ask the next interesting question to your Novice and Intermediate students!

4. Unleash the power of stories in your language classroom 

Telling interesting stories in a comprehensible way provides optimal input for students because you are naturally providing rich input at i+1, just like you do when you tell a story to a young child.

This session will enable participants to select, adapt, and effectively deliver stories to their Novice and Intermediate students.

5. Teachers as Librarians: guide your students to become independent readers

You have stocked your classroom library with all kinds of interesting reading materials but you can’t just tell your students: “Now go and read!” This session offers concrete strategies to help your students browse, select, get hooked on books, and most importantly read independently in the target language.

6. Picture Talk and Movie Talk: engaging stories are all around

Whether you want to introduce a cultural topic, narrate in the past, or just present a compelling story to your students, Picture Talk and Movie Talk are go-to techniques every teacher should (and will) master. These techniques are versatile and appropriate for all proficiency levels!

7. Assessments in the input-based classroom

In this session we look at Standard Based Grading (SBG) principles to inform our grade book set-up, criteria to select an assessment, simple interpretive assessments and rubrics for Novice learners, and ACTFL Integrated Performance Assessments for Intermediate learners.

Note: Participants will work collaboratively in small groups to develop the backbone of an Integrated Performance Assessment.

8. Backward design: design powerful input-based cultural units 

Whether you want to “upgrade” your textbook units, or start from scratch in designing rich input-based cultural units, this workshop will guide you step-by-step through this important ACTFL core practice.

Note: Participant will work collaboratively in small groups to develop the backbone of an input-based cultural unit for a proficiency level and language of their choice.

9. Curriculum (re)design & mapping

Curriculum design is a time when teachers come together and agree on common goals for the program, specific outcomes, ways to measure these outcomes, and instructional practices that will support and empower teachers and students. It can be a make or break experience for a World Language department. Let me help facilitate this process of coming together!

We will start either from your mission statement or from the ACTFL standards, and then backward design from there.

Finally, my specialty and greatest joy is to infuse rich and interesting input into a curriculum, in a way that respects the slow and piecemeal nature of language acquisition. If you are ready to take that step, I would be happy to help you achieve this exciting goal!

In a nutshell, I am prepared to meet you wherever you are on your journey.


If you are located in the Southeast US (TN, KY, GA, AL) and are looking for training and mentorship as you seek to transition to an input-based classroom and/or strengthen the kind of input that you are already providing your students, I would be honored to help you achieve your goals. Let me know if you are interested in hosting a workshop!

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