Countdown to the 2023 CT COLT Fall Conference!
Welcome Dr. Zamora!
Watch our conference promo video below for a burst of joy!
The CT COLT Fall Conference is the largest annual conference in the state of Connecticut for World Language teachers, and CT COLT has been serving Connecticut teachers since 1968. Pre-service teachers, teachers, administrators, college and university professors, and retired teachers are all invited and encouraged to attend.
This year, the conference will be held at the OMNI New Haven Hotel at Yale located at 155 Temple Street in New Haven. Registration will open at 7:30 am, and the conference will end at 3:30 pm.
Please note that parking for attendees is complimentary. Instructions on how to receive your validated parking ticket will be given in the "day head" email sent on October 18!
|FLASH Sale! (September 5 - 15)||$135||$165|
|Preservice Teachers (Reach out to email@example.com for registration code.)||$50|
|Presenters, Special Guests, Conference Committee and CT COLT Board Members, Retired and Future Teachers||$75|
All requests for refunds must be made in writing to CT COLT, no later than two weeks prior to the conference. No refunds will
be made after this date. All refund requests will be subject to a $25 processing fee and will be made via organizational check.
All check refunds will be processed after the conference; please allow 4 weeks for processing. All substitution requests must
be in writing from the original registrant. Such requests are subject to a $25 processing fee. Membership fees will not be
refunded for any reason.
*CT COLT is a non-profit organization and cannot be responsible for refunding any money as long as the event takes place.
Dr. Celia Chomón Zamora currently serves as ACTFL’s Director of Professional Learning and Certification. Dr. Zamora has served the language education community since 2005, where she has worked as a K-12 language teacher and administrator in public and private school settings, a postsecondary language program instructor, assistant director, Quality Assurance Senior
Manager, and researcher. The daughter of first-generation immigrants from Venezuela and Cuba, Dr. Zamora is a passionate advocate of heritage language learners. She currently serves as a scholar for the Diversity Executive Leadership Program (DELP). Dr. Zamora completed her doctoral degree in Spanish Applied Linguistics from Georgetown University, where she was awarded the Harold N. Glassman Distinguished Dissertation Award in the social sciences. At ACTFL, she is currently focusing on providing a platform to amplify the voices of underrepresented language learning communities, developing resources and communities of support for less commonly taught and Indigenous languages, and continuing to advocate and support heritage language learners and teachers.
Session A, 8:00-9:00 a.m.
Building lasting, joyful connections with your students
Moussa Ly, CT COLT 2023 Teacher of the Year
In this session, participants will learn how to create meaningful, joyful and lasting connections through student engagement in the classroom and beyond to foster academic, interpersonal, and linguistic growth. Discussions will be centered around topics which include the integration of morning Social Emotional learning (SEL) talks and establishing balance when it comes to homework. Attendees will leave equipped with more knowledge on how to cultivate connections, use kindness, increase engagement and above all build trust in their classrooms. This session is beneficial to all teachers who acknowledge the importance of building connections to create a positive, engaging learning environment.
Singing For Proficiency Matters: (Re)Discovering the Joy of Singing to Learn
Richard de Meij
Experience how Singing is leveraged in class to provide compelling comprehensible input, enhance learner engagement, thus making learning enjoyable, while also enhancing phonetic/pronunciation skills, vocabulary retention, and ultimately proficiency outcomes (Ludke, Ferreira, & Overy, 2014)! Additionally, singing solidifies grammatical structures, amplifies cultural knowledge, and meets SEL needs. Participants in this session will be able to use songs as an effective way to provide students with engaging and enjoyable language-learning experiences, and realize that, indeed, “singing for proficiency does matter, for it allows us to (re-)discover the joys of singing to learn.” Receive Multi-Featured/Purpose, Multimedia, Mobile-Device-Ready (“Triple-M”) Song Sheets to get started in tomorrow's classes.
LTI presents - Keeping it Real: Bringing the World to Your Classroom
Gosia J. White, Jessica Haxhi, Dulce Cortes-Sanchez, and Scott Gravina
How do you enrich your curriculum with cultural literacy? Level Up Village (LUV) fosters world language learners’ intercultural communicative competence through secure video exchanges. Students have real-world conversations and cultural discussions with global peers. We channel students’ curiosity about the world, create awareness of cultural similarities and differences, and help them develop as global citizens. LUV’s content is aligned to with the World Readiness Standards and tiered by level. In this session you’ll learn how easy it is to connect your students with peers around the world to bring joy and authentic conversations to your classroom.
The role of authentic versus AI-generated texts in language learner motivation and engagement
Michele Back and Kyra Kabulis
The introduction of AI tools such as ChatGPT has opened up possibilities for language teaching, including the rapid generation of texts on different topics and for different levels of language learners. While potentially helpful scaffolds for developing interpretive language skills, AI-generated texts have not yet been evaluated with respect to their impact on learner motivation and engagement. We will not only share findings from our study, but invite audience members to discuss how they have used AI tools for interpretive tasks and the benefits and drawbacks they have faced. We will also demonstrate how to generate target-language texts using AI.
Joy for All: Digging deep for culturally responsive language learning
If language learning is to be joyful for all students, we need to understand how culture shapes how they learn. Inspired by Zaretta Hammond’s “ready for rigor” framework, this session provides strategies for culturally responsive language learning. We will develop awareness of digging past surface level culture to incorporate diverse cultural lenses, like individualism versus collectivism. Learning partnerships with students that balance care and push can be developed by cultivating self-efficacy skills. Authentic and culturally relevant learning experiences that connect to students’ lives help learning “stick”. Finally, participants will understand how rituals and routines support a safe classroom community.
The Power of Using Canva to Engage Our Students
Jamie Roxas and Sara Hall
Participants will explore the many features of Canva after viewing several examples of lessons. I will go through a step-by-step process of how to navigate the website and start creating lessons that fit the needs of the participants’ classrooms. Using Canva as a resource to create lessons does not only allow for differentiation, but it also allows teachers to use the site for all modes of communication. The possibilities are truly endless when it comes to creating with Canva to engage our students as teachers can include opportunities for movement and novelty in any lesson. Participants will be able to cultivate strategies to use the platform to spark the interest of their learners and get them excited to learn languages. I will be sharing resources through a QR Code for a Link Tree that will serve as a landing page for tips and examples.
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
Participants will learn where to find and multiple ways to use pictures to engage students. Participants will learn how to use pictures for varied proficiency levels in speaking and writing. We will also explore ways to have students take ownership of their learning by contributing to a class library of pictures that are interesting to students.
From Vulgar Latin to Cultured Vocab
This workshop will first present a brief, exciting history of Spain’s mosaic of cultures. The empires of the Romans, the Visigoths, and the Muslim kingdom of Al-Andalus all contributed to the country’s culture and to its language. Modern, attractive resources will help highlight the joy of linguistics. The benefits of learning and teaching root words include a larger Spanish vocabulary, a wider English vocabulary, PSAT SAT connections, and medical vocabulary. Architecture, art, and pop culture play a surprising role in this vocabulary lesson, too! Attendees will get online and printed resources.
Session B, 10:45-11:45 a.m.
Enjoy Using Tech in your Classroom Again!
We all have resources and strategies that work well for us and our students! In this workshop, participants will learn how to use technology to enhance and digitize their existing lessons and materials. The presenter will share ideas and examples of how basic features of tech like Google Presentation and Google Add-Ons can increase opportunities for student communication and engagement, meet the needs of learners, and increase opportunity for feedback. There will be lots of opportunities for discussions, questions, and suggestions from participants. Examples, templates, and activities will be shared in English, French, Italian, and Spanish.
How to get elementary students to level up
This session will give a brief description of the levels of proficiency, focusing on the novice level. It will describe how it was presented to elementary students and how it was used in class to promote confidence, teaching students how to take risks and be accountable. It will be followed by strategies, data and activity examples. In the last part of this session, participants will have a chance to brainstorm activities to promote level-up. We will use Padlet to share the brainstormed ideas.
Adapting New Teaching Changes ; Strategies for Success
Sarab Al Ani and Randa Muhammed
On an institutional level, several changes took place in response to the teaching and learning was taking place during the pandemic. The decision came as an attempt to learn from that experience. On an individual level, instructors also tried to benefit form the lessons they learned during that time with the goal of enhancing the teaching/learning experience. This presentation will describe in detail the changes that took place in language classes on an institutional level at Yale University. Additionally it will give a detailed account of the newly adapted technology tools, task type and task design, authentic materials and educational resources used for task design, as well as students feedback. Moreover, presentation will demonstrate a comparison in learners’ performance before and after adopting these changes.
Say Goodbye to Vocab Lists!
Amy Schlett and Allasandra Cianci
Moving away from established and limiting vocabulary lists helps students relate to the subjects in our classes and enhances their connection to the target culture. Participants who are not accustomed to instruction in this way should expect to walk away with adaptable strategies they can easily implement in their classrooms and a new philosophy to consider and discuss with their departments. We will engage participants by showing artifacts and allowing teachers to share ideas throughout the session with interactive technology like Google Forms. We will share a link to the presentation that participants can refer back to after the session.
New approaches to teaching Existentialism & Sartre's "Huis Clos"
Participants will get a trove of resources, including videos, handouts, worksheets, assessments, and more so that they can apply the basics of existentialism principles, terminology, and history in class. A recently-created, digital version of "Huis Clos" that I developed will be presented. This version has side-by-side annotations, images, explanations, historical context notes, and more, so that teachers can see how to make this potentially daunting topic more accessible to teenagers and young adults of 2023 and beyond. Experienced "Huis Clos" teachers can also learn something new and perhaps discover some additional depth of content.
Rigor and Relevance in the Novice and Intermediate Classroom
Caitlin Murphy and Marisa Vattana
After feedback from accreditation groups and various stakeholders, an area of growth for our school was that we over scaffold and overmodel in our classes. We were challenged to increase the rigor of all of our curriculum and assessments. This session will explain our journey to increase the rigor in all of our classes with examples from our current practice. Participants will have the opportunity to reflect on their own practice and workshop their existing assessments.
My name has an accent mark and so do I
Dr. Celia Chomón Zamora
Our students bring individual identities, language varieties, and backgrounds to our classroom and it’s up to us to ensure that we not only honor them, but empower them to embrace their individuality and heritage. This session will delve into current issues in the classroom, such as asking ‘where are you from?’, names, language varieties, and trauma-informed teaching.
Every minute counts! Classroom management & building community in the target language
As world language teachers, we have a tough job- to teach students another language with a finite amount of time. Since time with our students is precious, target language use is of paramount importance, as is the effective use of every instructional minute. In this session, you will learn strategies to help build classroom community, set clear expectations, and effectively manage routines and transitions– all while maintaining target language use! This session will also provide attendees with time to explore shared resources and think about ways to implement strategies from this session into their own classroom. Let’s talk about ways to make a more productive classroom together!
Session C, 1:20-2:20 p.m.
Mind Full Healing Workshop: Re-Writing the Stories We Tell Ourselves
Our minds are busy places. On average we have more than 6,000 thoughts per day, and 90% of them are repetitive. Much of what we do in our thoughts is create stories to understand our world and ourselves. We create them about our experiences; about how we define ourselves, about our relationships, our expectations and responsibilities; about the roles we adopt in our lives; and about and our potentials and dreams. We do this storytelling on a constant basis. You tell yourself constantly: “This is who I am, so this is how my life is.” You'll be amazed at how prolific a storyteller you are! Can you relate?
Unraveling and reframing these stories allows you to work on your self-talk; to become clearer about what you want in life and how you can manifest it; to shift your thoughts to ones of empowerment; and to connect more deeply with who you are and living the life you are meant to live.
In this workshop we will:
- Use mindfulness practices of awareness, non-judgment and compassion to explore the stories you currently writing
- Explore how current cognitive research suggests how we can change our habits of thought to support us; and
- Use a powerful series of reflection prompts, including Byron Katie’s “Four Liberating Questions,” to reframe our stories.
Carnegie Learning presents - Rising to the Occasion: Growth Mindset in World Languages
Learning a new language is challenging in any circumstance, but becomes all the more so
when students doubt their own abilities. This session will review the difference between growth and fixed mindsets, examine the challenges we face in our classrooms, and discuss the benefits of developing a growth mindset. Participants will discuss and engage in practical ways to incorporate growth mindset in their classroom activities. Growth mindset skills transcend content areas and can elevate life and languages by carrying these skills beyond the classroom so our students are even better prepared to face a dynamic and interconnected world.
Equitable Grading Practices With Acquisition Based Teaching
Maureen Lamb and Chris Semk
This presentation seeks to combine comprehensible input for language acquisition and equitable grading practices. The first focus will be on the principles of equitable grading. Then, presenters will model how these practices can be used in creating equitable assessments that measure student proficiency. Presenters will share lesson plans, guidelines, and rubrics based on Intercultural Communication Can-Do Statements. Participants will then work in small groups to apply the rubrics to assessment samples provided by the presenters. Participants will come away with lesson plans, assessments, guidelines for grading for equity, and rubrics that they can apply right away.
“Reimagining” your district’s World Language curriculum
Kristin Mancini, Andres Wullaert, Melanie Ponte, Laura Dell
In this session, we will discuss the process we went through at Branford Public Schools to reimagine our World Language curriculum. 6th grade Spanish teachers will share their “Vamos a leer” unit and a performance task that truly represents the Communities standard (and made our local CT WTNH news)! One high school teacher will share how he has rediscovered the joy in teaching Spanish by reimagining his units and the Communication standard through the use of readers/novels. Presenters will engage participants through slides, student work examples, and small and large group discussion. Slides and/or handouts will be shared with participants.
Retired Teachers Networking, facilitated by Maria DeStefanis
New Teachers Networking, facilitated by Caitlin Swan
District and School Leaders Networking, facilitated by Lea Graner Kennedy
Teachers of Critical Languages Networking, facilitated by Dr. Celia Chomón Zamora
Session D, 2:30-3:30
Designing the Culture of Our World Language Classrooms
Before students can engage in the big-picture work outlined by the World-Readiness Standards, they must feel seen, known, connected, and cared for. In this session, participants reflect on the culture of World Language classrooms. The presenter shares his holistic approach to building a student-centered classroom. Participants reflect on many aspects of classroom design, including building connections with and among students; raising energy for quiet classes; bringing calm to rambunctious groups; helping things stick with review activities and learning games; strategies for maintaining a target-language-rich environment; and strategies to help students develop a growth mindset through reflection and goal-setting.
Fostering Antiracist Instructional Practices in Language Classrooms
Richard de Meij
As educators teaching European languages and languages of colonized lands, we have a responsibility to reflect on the racist foundations of our discipline. Antiracist pedagogy allows educators to "teach about race and racism in a way that fosters critical analytical skills, which reveal the power relations behind racism and how race has been institutionalized ...to create and justify inequalities." This session invites/challenges participants to explore what antiracism looks like, why its implementation is vital, and some ways to enact its practices in the classroom to enrich/benefit all students, enabling them to ‘Rediscover the Joys of World Languages.’ Participants will receive strategies, resources, and hands-on activities to promote antiracism in the classroom.
Leveraging Enrichment Activities and Events to Build, Sustain and Advocate
Bonnie Nietupski and Olga Gotta
This interactive session will focus on a variety of strategies that participants can implement in order to spark joy, engagement, and opportunities for learners to shine. We will share ways to integrate CT COLT Student Events and Contests (Artwork, Essay, Early Language Show and Tell, Student Awards, and Poetry Recitation), as well as language-specific opportunities in a variety of organizations. We will facilitate discussion about how to incorporate opportunities such as recruitment with younger learners, enrichment programs, guest speakers, field trips, and exchange programs, with the goal of participants sharing their own successes and identifying new strategies to implement.
Early Language Learning: The power of play
Rebecca Roth, Isobel Owen, and Lily DeYoung
The use of play provides opportunities for students to take ownership of language learning tasks and apply strategies from previous learning, while creating an environment where students are consistently behaviorally and cognitively engaged in lessons. In this session, participants will jump into activities and games that they can take back to their classrooms and integrate into their curriculum. They will experience how the use of play connects to the growth of interpersonal and interpretive communication. Participants will see how games can grow with students starting at the earliest levels and how to increase student engagement through the use of games during a lesson. The google slide presentation will be available to all participants.
Urban Art: A Pallet for World Language Instruction
This presentation will focus on urban art as a foundation for cultural studies. As a team, we will look to art to broach sensitive subjects such as social justice, self image and family. The goal of this presentation is to offer an artistic approach to any level of language instruction. The presenter will share ready-made templates, lesson plans and ideas for incorporating urban art into the language curriculum. Participants will be given time to collaborate, share ideas and create at least one activity to be used immediately with their own students.
Create a Kinesthetic Classroom
Stephanie Duchesneau & Sophia Riel
This workshop will be interactive and participants will role play as students to complete activities. The manipulatives will have them in groups, partners and working together to identify vocabulary, solve language problems and celebrate as a team. They will be given the opener activities and suggestions for expanding the activities to higher levels of language. This workshop will be conducted in English to facilitate the grouping and instruction with examples provided in French, Spanish and Latin. These activities will include oral communication, problem solving, teamwork and lots of movement to incorporate the kinesthetic movement. We will also have a closing activity to show the effectiveness and memory recall from these shared activities.
Using ChatGPT for language teaching and learning
In this interactive workshop I will demonstrate how participants can use ChatGPT), a software application used to conduct online conversations, to enhance their lesson planning and their students' language learning. The facilitator will demonstrate several features of ChatGPT and encourage participants to try these features on their own. Participants will engage in activities such as generating texts for different proficiency levels, making language quizzes, explaining difficult language concepts, and empowering students to take ownership of their language learning. We will also discuss how educators and learners can get the most out of ChatGPT while still adhering to ethical classroom practices.
How is Best in Conference chosen? The Best in Conference workshop is chosen based on feedback solicited by conference attendees. Fall Conference Committee members are not eligible, and presenters can only win the award once.
Wondering how to explain all the benefits of attending the CT COLT Conference? Consider using the language below!
I am writing to request approval to attend the 2023 CT COLT Annual Fall Conference on Thursday, October 19th at the OMNI New Haven Hotel at Yale located at 155 Temple Street, from7:30am to 3:30pm.
The CT COLT Fall Conference is the largest annual conference in the state of Connecticut for World Language teachers Pre-service teachers, teachers, administrators, college and university professors, and retired teachers are all invited and encouraged to attend.
At CT COLT 2023, I will have the opportunity to engage in professional development on best practices for World Language teaching , including tangible resources and ready-to-use techniques. I will also have the opportunity to collaborate with and build my professional network with language teachers of all levels across the state of Connecticut. Upon my return, I will share what I have learned with other language teachers in my school and district, preparing us to guide our language learners to improve their level of performance.
Registration starts at $135 for CT COLT members and $165 for non-members. Rates do increase slightly after the early-bird deadline on September 15th! Join CT COLT for $30 before registering and save $30 on registration.
|FLASH Sale! (Stay tuned for dates!)||$135||$165|
|Presenters, Special Guests, Conference Committee and CT COLT Board Members, Retired and Future Teachers||$75|
- Access to more than 30 educational sessions for all levels of instruction
- Entry to an interactive exhibit hall featuring companies that offer language learning opportunities and resources for our students
- An Opening General Session with a keynote address by Dr. Celia Chomón Zamora, Director of Professional Learning and Certification Department at ACTFL (national organization for world languages)
- Opportunities to connect and network with local language professionals
I am confident that I will bring back a great deal of valuable information that I can share with my peers to create a better learning experience that will help our students succeed.
Please visit the CT COLT website for more information: https://ctcolt.org/events/fall-conference/
Thank you for considering my request for this opportunity!
Click here for a Google Docs version of this letter.