It’s been nearly a month since I attended and presented at the Minnesota Council on the Teaching of Languages and Cultures Fall Conference. I may be biased, but I think my state puts on a pretty amazing annual conference, with wonderful hospitality, great sessions and meaningful, important focus strands.
In 2017, I had my first taste of presenting at MCTLC, when my friend and heritage language champion Jenna Cushing-Leubner talked me into being a part of a group presenting on a variety of ways to incorporate social justice topics into the heritage language classroom. Because my topic (free voluntary reading) was pretty loosely related to the social justice theme, and also because of my anxiety, I was the last one in our group to present. I was grateful to have an excuse to rush through everything because we had less than 10 minutes left when we got to my part of the presentation.
Thanks in large part to Jenna’s work, MCTLC created a full strand for heritage language teaching. After attending in 2018, I approached Jenna and said I’d like to present, on my own, about my growth in my heritage teaching and all of the changes I was implementing in my heritage classes. (It’s probably a good time to note that Jenna doesn’t just have fantastic ideas, she also makes them happen. So if you volunteer to present in the spur of the moment, you’re not getting out of it. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.)
Fast forward to spring of 2019, when I was writing my proposals for both #MCTLC19 and CSCTFL20 (Central States conference). I proposed a session on moving away from grammar and vocabulary instruction and towards a language arts model in my heritage classes. At the time, I had no idea how transformative my summer PD with my school’s English team, led by Amy Rasmussen, would be. I didn’t mention using workshop model in my proposals because I didn’t know that that’s where I was heading.
I am sitting here in a hotel room on a mini getaway with my husband (he’s sound asleep but the bed was way too firm for me) realizing this post is kind of rambling on too much. I came here to share my presentation with you all, so here it is:
If you make it all the way to the end, you’ll find some great resources and also my rough plan for the year. One thing that’s not there, because it was a plan hatched at MCTLC, is Aracely Thomas’ idea to create a poetry slam for our students from several local (la and not-so-local) schools and get them all together to perform their poems. Stay tuned for more info on this exciting event that will hopefully happen in May 2020.
Be sure to drop your questions or suggestions down below. I’d love to hear what *you* are up to!