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 Dunkin' Donuts Park, located at 1214 Main Street in Hartford. Registration will open at 7:30 am, and the conference will end at 3:30 pm.
Pre-Session 7:45 - 8:15
Session A 8:30 - 9:30
AATF’s Exemplary French Program: Your Roadmap to Program Growth & Advocacy, presented by Jon Shee and Melissa Tubbs
Looking for exciting ways to invigorate, grow, and advocate for your French program? Using the “AATF Exemplary French Program” indicators as a guide, presenters discuss innovation, promotion, enrollment, retention, standards-based curriculum and assessment work, professional growth, and best French teaching practices. You’ll leave excited, with many new strategies and resources!
Co-Designing with Empathy in Our World Language Class, presented by Mara Malafronte
This session will share ways for teachers and learners to "co-design" a more empathic and connected classroom with their learners. This is designed for all grade levels, with a special focus on the secondary World Language classroom.
Kid Speak, presented by Kristopher Kelso
Increasing teacher efficacy in a proficiency-based model of World Language learning by promoting interpersonal speaking and deepening connections.
Special People: What makes us a part of our community, presented by Amy Marshall
There is nothing better than a tight-knit community that you can trust, depend and lean upon, but how do you create this with your class? The answer lies heavily in fostering the building of relationships among students and also with their teacher. One way to do this is with Special person interviews that will allow students at all levels to share and learn about one another.
Adding Movement to the Classroom, presented by Amanda Robustelli-Price
What are the benefits of adding movement to the classroom? What are some ways to incorporate more movement? In this interactive workshop, we will explore the "why" behind movement and collaboratively choose which activities to discuss and try. Participants will be given ample time for discussions and personalization.
Flexible Grouping – Using Playlists to Foster Independence and Proficiency, presented by Trudy Anderson
Our students are back in the classroom after a year of hybrid or remote learning, so how can we leverage our past practices to help them in their transition? We will explore how flexible groups promote independence, agency and meet the needs of all learners. We will identify ways to group students and keep students on task using playlists.
“Centering” Student Independence, Collaboration, and SEL Skills with Centers, presented by Rebecca Aubrey and Joshua Zmarzly
Teachers, you’re not the center of learning - students are! Explore how to use centers to de-center yourself from the learning process and let students lead their own proficiency journeys through collaboration, culturally responsive teaching, and social-emotional learning. Participants will leave with ready to go center routines and activities.
Break 9:30 - 10:00
Visit our exhibitors!
Session B 10:00 - 11:00
Low Prep, High Engagement in the WL Classroom, presented by Sara Hall and Jamie Roxas
This session offers a first-hand experience in low prep, high engagement activities that increase motivation for reluctant learners. Let’s foster a positive learning environment where students have the confidence to take risks. Creating this safe space will encourage students to dive deeper into the language learning process.
New techniques to prep & teach WL literature units, presented by Jon Shee
We want our students to do literature in our WL classes, but how can we make it relevant, accessible, engaging, and comprehensible? Overcome the classic challenges that come with teaching literature with some new techniques, including creating custom annotated digital texts, reimagining homework and assessments, and implementing student-centered discussion tools.
How Spanish Teachers Can Learn and Develop Latin America-Centered Curriculum, presented by Bonnie Nietupski and Elise Weisenbach
In our Spanish classes, including UConn ECE LLAS 1190: Introduction to Latin America and the Caribbean, we create an interdisciplinary and meaningful classroom experience and will share lessons and resources. This session will empower and motivate teachers to teach to our passions by developing our professional skills and knowledge.
¿Tú, usted o vos? Which You Are You?, presented by Joseph Parodi-Brown
Tener la competencia intercultural de saber cuándo usar "tú" y "usted" es imprescindible para alguien aprendiendo el español y no es un asunto sencillo. Además enseñar "vos" incluye y valora la experiencia de millones de hablantes diversos. Este taller explorará esos usos y ofrecerá sugerencias de desarrollarlos en la clase.
Vista Higher Learning Presents - Take Me To…, presented by Cheri Quinlan
While travel abroad is cost prohibitive for all students, we still want to provide experiences that deepen connections across languages, cultures, and communities. If you are looking for ways to scaffold language activities based on authentic texts and bring the target-language countries to your students, this session is for you.
FVR: the what, the why, the how, presented by Katy Reddick
Free voluntary reading has become a hot topic in language teaching circles, but there has been less discussion about how it helps students to integrate bottom up and top down reading practices to increase their fluency. This presentation will answer some of those questions and also present some ungraded activities that will provides some accountability for the reading time.
Productivity Chat: Confessions of a Tired Teacher, facilitated by Marta Krzemien
You can't pour out of an empty cup...how many times have we heard this during our careers? It's time to examine your own productivity routines and commit to what matters most. Productivity enhances connectivity! Join me for an honest chat about problems, solutions and everything in between.
Seal of Biliteracy for All: Keys to Success, presented by Jessica Haxhi and Samuel Marquez
The Connecticut State Seal of Biliteracy (SoBL) is the best way to advocate for your program, celebrate students’ learned and home languages, improve instruction, and reach out to your community. Come and hear about “best practices” for equitable implementation and ask any questions you may have.
Session C 11:10 - 12:10
Incorporating Francophone Music into your classroom to maximize student engagement, presented by Ally Cianci and Laura Faga
Do you want your students singing and listening to francophone music? In this session, the presenters will share how to spice up the classroom with music and have your students downloading their favorite francophone artists! Presenters will share ideas for use with any song and will model activities with favorites.
Pump Up the Slides!, presented by Megan Wojcicki and Melissa Morales Reyes
Let Google Slides do the work for you and bring language learning to life! In this workshop, you will see examples and learn how to make Google Slides presentations that will keep your students on the edge of their seats, and even transport them to different places, waiting to see what is coming next! You will learn strategies to keep students engaged, promote target language use and make everything comprehensible input!
Retirement Planning for CT educators, presented by Chris Murtha
Retirement planning may seem like a foreign language, but it is important for everyone to understand. Come get an overview of retirement planning for CT Educators, and learn how to take action with your finances.
Historia y cultura a través del muralismo, presented by Rocío Fuentes, Alice Emery , and Jessica Rutherford
Este taller se enfoca en proveer a los participantes un marco de referencia que les permita desarrollar contenido cultural que enfatice elementos de la comunicación intercultural usando como contexto la pintura muralista.
Breaking the Barrier presents - THE IDEAL LESSON PLAN: Now, Tomorrow, and Forever, presented by John Conner
John Conner will present his take on the ideal lesson plan for language learners. Ten activities will be presented that can be done the next day in class (live, hybrid or remote) by teachers of any language. Videoclip samples will be shared as well as John's recommendations on great materials to support language learning.
Street Art: A Creative Approach to Engage the Language Classroom, presented by Gina Gallo
Join this session to dive into street art as a topic for discussion, analysis and creativity. This will be a hands-on workshop where presenters will have the opportunity to work in small groups and individually. All participants will leave with templates and examples to infuse into their own lessons .
Immerse your Students - an Experience of a Lifetime, presented by Raquel Hernandez Bonassi and Naomi Alvarado
Help your students study abroad with the Council on International Education Exchange in more than 30 countries for a summer or a semester. Students may participate in language learning, service, leadership, or content studies. Hear this life-changing experience from a high school Global Navigator scholarship recipient who studied abroad in Madrid, Spain. Since 2016 more than 50 students from AITE have participated in the summer abroad programs. Maybe your students will be next!
Re-Focus Units Using UN SDG’s & Social Justice Standards to Engage Students, presented by Lea Graner Kennedy
Re-focus units to hook students with authentic tasks across ALL modes aligned with UN's Sustainable Development Goals & Social Justice Standards. Re-envision how Gen Z students communicate about common Novice & Intermediate level topics such as food, education & the planet while exploring identity, diversity & justice to build cultural competence.
Lunch & Awards 12:20 - 1:20
Student Panel 1:30 - 2:10
Students in grades 2 through 12 will share insights on topics related to our conference theme in a question and answer format.
Session D 2:15 - 3:15
NNELL (National Network for Early Language Learning) Networking Session, facilitated by Marisa Lewis
Connecticut early language teachers from elementary and middle school will have the opportunity to connect with each other, exchange ideas, network and collaborate in this unconference session. We will discuss opportunities for early language teachers at the National Network for Early Language Learning NNELL organization, to grow and be inspired in our practice together.
New Teacher Meetup, facilitated by Katerine Santiago and Caitlin Swan
New teachers are invited to attend the launch of our "New Teacher Support group"! We will brainstorm ideas for activities throughout the year and get to know one another.
Retired Teacher Meetup, facilitated by Vincenza McNulty
We invite all retired teachers to attend this informal meetup to discuss ideas for activities throughout the year and network!
Voice and Choice: Keys to balance, connection and community in the classroom, presented by Amy Marshall
When we allow our students voice and choice in our classrooms, we move in the direction of creating an environment where students want to learn rather than have to learn. We move from compliance to engagement. Let’s have a discussion about where and how we can give our students voice and choice and how to manage it in an acquisition driven classroom that builds a cooperative and supportive community.
Taking the First Step: Incorporating Social Justice in the World Language Classroom, presented by Jimmy Wildman, Rita A. Oleksak, and Efmorfia Efthimiou
WL teachers play a part in debunking stereotypes and bringing attention to people and cultures. But how can WL teachers begin to incorporate the concepts of social justice into curricula without rewriting the entire course? Join this presentation to see how one district is taking the first steps toward teaching with a more socially just focus.
Don't Make it a Thing: DEI & B in the Language Classroom, presented by Yensen Sierra Lambert
This session will review strategies on how to make your proficiency-based curriculum more diverse, equitable and inclusive while also fostering a sense of belonging for all students.
Deeper Connections with Elementary Students by Sharing Cultural Identities, presented by Maria Teresa Rosario and Jessica Haxhi
When students learn about the diverse cultures of their classmates and how to express their own cultural identities, it deepens relationships and develops mutual respect in the language classroom. Come hear how elementary teachers can model by sharing their own identity and supporting students to share theirs, all in Spanish.