As a teacher, self-reflection is a big part of my professional life and, even though I’ve been an educator for many years, I am constantly working on making my classroom and my teaching better. Based on this, I decided that attending CCFL Spring Conference in Denver is a great way to learn from innovative language teachers. In the couple of days I was there, I attended many great sessions. In one of the sessions I attended, Mark Malleny and Jennifer Wetzig presented about how to make authentic language resources comprehensible for students. The session was called “Use your Muse: Music, Sheltered Readings, Current Events, and Pop Culture in the Comprehensible Classroom.” I learned great strategies about how to do this not only at the advanced level but how to use music, informational video or text accessible for students even at the beginner level. This allows me to use similar strategies with my first year and also more advanced classes.
The other really good session I attended was called “Juicy History: Making Historical and Cultural Topics come alive in the Comprehensible Classroom.” Although I view my job as presenting cultural concepts from a target culture along with a new language, incorporating history in a new language, especially at the beginner level, is really challenging. In this session, I learned how to find a connection between students and history and how to find interesting details in historical events that can be used as a hook for students. Recently, I have been focusing on making authentic resources accessible for students and learning techniques like embedded reading to do so. These sessions just added to my ability to do so. They were a great fit and gave me a lot of ideas about how to weave cultural comparison, current and historical events into meaningful units that I can do with my students. It has really energized me as a teacher.
I greatly appreciate the grant- thank you for helping me attend this conference