Iowa World
Language Association

2019 IWLA Optional Workshop Descriptions

Friday AM Workshops (8:00 - 11:00 AM)

WA1 - At your Fingertips - Presented by Maria Surma

How do we nurture language “doers” instead of language learners? How do we encourage both the brave and the timid to dive without a parachute? As much as we understand that language learning involves structure and grammatical precision, we also know that authentic communication entails solving unexpected situations and making choices in the spur of the moment. This workshop is devoted to inspiring teachers to create situations in the classroom that will help students become language problem-solvers and fast thinkers. Strictly hands-on, undoubtedly interactive, unquestionably fun. Together we will discover that all we need to “make it real” for our students is at our fingertips. Come prepared to role-play, move-around, build, compete, inspire and be inspired!

For: Teachers of all languages

Please bring: A laptop computer

WA2 - Experience CI - Input in Disguise: Interactive Games and Activities - Presented by Melissa Evens Newell

Witness the magic of students acquiring language naturally and having fun by exposing them to language in context, repeatedly, through Input in Disguise!  Participants will EXPERIENCE a variety of activities and games that can be used to stretch a unit and foster natural language acquisition and spontaneous production!  All experiences will be conducted in English with instructions modeled in a student friendly, comprehensible manner. During the last hour, participants will have time to explore the activities and experiment with a story of their own (a story will also be provided for those who don’t have one).

For: Teachers of all languages

Please bring: Laptop if available, a short story you might use in class

WA3 - Gen Z Bootcamp


WA4 - Including Struggling Language Learners: Why? And How? - Presented by Ann DeVault

We will discuss teaching struggling language learners, both those with and without diagnosed disabilities.  Participants will share their experiences, questions, and useful strategies regarding teaching students who struggle to learn languages as well as create action plans for their struggling students.  The presenter will facilitate these discussions and provide research-based approaches toward including all students in our world language classrooms.  Topics covered will depend on the needs of participants, but potential topics include: What are IEPS and 504 Plans?; characteristics of struggling language learners; and strategies geared toward specific disabilities/learner characteristics. 

For: Teachers of all languages

Please bring: Laptop or tablet and, if possible, a list of students with diagnosed disabilities and their accommodations and/or modifications (for participants’ private use only)

WA5 - Incorporating Service-Learning in language courses - Presented by Inbal Mazar and Sally Haack

How does critical service-learning experience affect language acquisition? What are students learning about culture and how are they gaining confidence to speak the language? Out-of-class opportunities compliment learning language with an understanding of society and enable in-context interactions. A main goal for language teachers is to provide students with the ability to transfer skills and for their lives to be enhanced by their language and culture knowledge. This workshop will help  explore the link between ways meaningful language interactions outside of the classroom strengthen students’ ability to speak and interact in the language.

For: Teachers of all languages, all stages of planning welcome - from those who are interested in learning more, to those who have incorporated service-learning.

Please bring: Ideas of courses you would like to implement service-learning in, possible ideas for partnerships (recommended, but not required, we can think through these together).

WA6 - Linking Language and Culture through Intercultural Communicative Competence - Presented by Pablo Muirhead (Keynote Speaker IWLA 2019)

Cultivate a passion for the learning of culture among your students and more importantly, learn strategies to guide students’ development of intercultural communicative competence (ICC). Reflect on the concept of culture and explore how to help students take ownership of their ICC development. Experience practical strategies and resources that help make the link between language and culture more evident. Learn how to develop rubrics that are reflective of the inextricable link between language and culture. Walk away with a set of tools, grounded in research, to help you engage students in a more authentic language/culture learning experience.

For: Teachers of all languages

Please bring: Laptop or tablet optional

WA7 - Songs and Storytelling in the Second Language Classroom - Presented by Kristine Muñoz & Ruth Westfall

How can language teachers create passion among their students to understand,  and express themselves in, a second language? It seems fair to say that few things motivate adolescents like music, and nothing motivates human beings like stories. In this workshop I will provide examples of how I use lyrics of (clean) popular songs and engagement with storytelling to both ignite passion and ground instruction in grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation.  Participants are encouraged to bring songs they have used successfully for these purposes to share with others.

For: Teachers of all languages

Please bring: Laptop or tablet helpful but not required

WA8 - Teaching Spanish for Native Speakers/Heritage speakers: Ideology, Curricula and Activities - Presented by Christine Shea

Between the years 2000 and 2017, there has been a 217% increase in the number of Spanish-speakers enrolled in Iowa public schools. Many school districts across Iowa have recognized the need for Spanish for Native/Heritage Speaker classes to meet the academic, cultural and linguistic needs of these students once they reach high school. In this workshop we will discuss who these learners are, principles for designing a Spanish for Native Speakers class and see samples of activities designed to work on the cultural and linguistic needs of this growing population of learners. 

For: Teachers of heritage Spanish students

Please bring: 1. Laptop (or shared access to a laptop) with activities they have designed for heritage speaker classes to share with other participants.  2. Bring curricula already prepared or in process to share with workshop participants.

WA9 - Using Authentic Texts in L2 Reading Instruction - Presented by Runqing Qi

In this workshop, related issues of using authentic texts in L2 classrooms will be explored, such as the definition of authentic texts, text selection and modification, and instructional designs of using authentic texts in L2 classrooms. During the workshop, participants will be guided to design a L2 class based on a self-selected authentic text.

For: Teachers of all languages

Please bring: Laptop

Saturday PM Workshops (2:00 - 5:00 PM)

WP1 - Assessing multilingual students: Why, what, how, and when to assess - Presented by Alejandro Perez

This session focuses on language assessment for multilingual students, including students in Dual Language (content-based instruction provided in two languages), transitional (content-based instruction provided in students L1 first, then transition into English), and traditional (content-based instruction provided only in English) programs. The first part of the session will focus on appropriate theoretical frameworks for assessing bilingual learners. The second part of the session will target the connection of (1) Educational Goals, (2) Learning Practices, (3) Assessment Practices, and (4) Washback Effects. The last part of the session will cover designing assessment instruments, creating rubrics, and analyzing assessment data.

For: Teachers working with multilingual students/ELLs

Please bring: We will provide all materials and hands-outs for them. Laptops are not required; however, since we will provide digital resources/access through the presentation, they might take advantage if they bring their own digital devices (laptop, I-pad, etc.).

WP2 - Creating a Culture-Centered Language Class - Presented by Kerisa Baedke

In this workshop we will explore the rationale for creating a culture-centered class by unpacking the cultures standards.  We will examine approaches and strategies that help students explore cultural products and practices in relation to cultural perspectives.  We will share and generate activities which will lead students to an understanding of the underlying cultural perspectives with the ultimate goal being students’ intercultural competence. 

For: Teachers of all languages

Please bring: Workshop participants should bring a laptop/tablet and have access to a curriculum overview and specific units of study.

WP3 - Cultivating Creativity in the Classroom - Presented by Anne Cummings Hlas (Plenary Speaker at IWLA 2019)

Explore the power and potential of creativity in the language classroom. Discover multimodal strategies to support students in meaningful ways and to support their creative thinking and learning. Engage with visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and tactile strategies to design creative learning experiences that can be adapted for different teaching contexts. Participants will revitalize their teacher toolbox for next week’s class using creativity to support language acquisition. This workshop is appropriate for all languages, levels, and teaching contexts.

For: Teachers of all languages

Please bring: Laptop/tablet

WP4 - Fun with French-language Films


WP5 - Pack your teacher toolbox! - Presented by Rebekah A. Casciato Hamblin

Get ready to get moving, get active, and gain so many tools for your teacher toolbox!  I am a 10th year Spanish teacher to novice learners, and I am excited to share some tips, tricks, and resources my students have loved to make your class THE class to take. In three hours, I will take you through my entire year and routines to help you gain/enhance ideas, resources, strategies, and games you can implement in your classes on Monday morning with little/no prep on your part! All resources are developed for a Spanish classroom, but many can be adapted for any language. Topics covered include: Song of the week (And May Music Madness), Brain Breaks (why and how I use them), Holidays (how I cover them and activities I use to enhance them), March Menu Madness, Breakouts, and so much more! Come on in and get ready to try something you've never seen before, or how to do something old in a new way! Ready, listos, ¡vamos!

For: Teachers of all languages

Please bring: Anything you wish to take notes with, a laptop/smartphone to experiment with different tech resources. Comfortable shoes because we're going to be MOVING. This is an ACTIVE session!

WP6 - Play with Authentic Materials in Language Task Design - Presented by Yanglin Lu

This workshop aims to provide ways of designing class activities with authentic materials, namely target language websites, mobile apps, and multimedia; I will demonstrate a shopping task by using an e-commerce site step by step including the designing process, and then participants will design their own class activities with the framework provided by the workshop. Participants are encouraged to brainstorm more about using target language websites and apps or other authentic materials to design tasks and engage students in the learning process. At the end of the workshop, a summary of resources concerning the use of authentic materials will be provided.

For: Teachers of all languages

Please bring: Laptop/tablet/phone, paper and pencil

WP7 - Snack Size CI - Presented by Christine McCormick

At last year's conference, there was a need for more practice with comprehensible input (CI) strategies, especially for teachers with an assigned curriculum.  This session will talk about different CI strategies under the CI umbrella and explore and practice how to use those skills. Intended topics to cover include OWI characters, story creation, story listening, free-voluntary reading, movie talks, embedded readings and write and discuss.  Also included will be how I use rejoinders, passwords, rubrics, brain breaks, and Sr. Wooly in my classroom.

For: Teachers of all languages

Please bring: Participants should bring items from their curriculum they would like to work with and present in a more comprehensible way:  a reading, culture, grammar unit.

WP8 - Teaching for Social Justice in the World Language Classroom - Presented by Karen Goering

Teaching for and about social justice positively influences all students, yet social justice education can be challenging to integrate into the language classroom.  In this workshop, the participants will start by examining the principles of social justice education, looking specifically at how those principles connect with the guidelines and standards in language teaching.  We will proceed through activities and discussions designed to help the participants to plan and adapt curriculum, classroom activities, and assessments that help students to understand and enact principles of social justice while still developing their language proficiency.  Participants in this workshop will leave with clear ideas about how to integrate principles of social justice education into their language classes.

For: Teachers of all languages

Please bring: Personal device, curriculum map, paper/pen

WP9 - Teaching Spanish in a Mixed Classroom: Methodologies for a Successful “Multi-Prismatic” Learning Experience - Presented by Julia Oliver Rajan

The Spanish-speaking population growth is reflected in the language classes of many high schools and institutions of higher education in Iowa. However, the educational needs of second language learners (L2) and heritage speakers (HS) are different. Mixed classrooms have diverse levels of language proficiency, but HS and L2s also have different socio-psychological and affective spaces. What can language instructors do to successfully teach a “multi-prismatic” classroom? This workshop will focus on the specific educational needs of Spanish heritage speakers in Iowa. Also, it will offer practices and activities that would be easy to implement in mixed Spanish language classrooms.

For: Teachers of Spanish and/or heritage speakers

Please bring: Laptop/tablet

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