Fátima Cornwall, Spanish language coordinator, and Amber Hoye, World Languages Resource Center director, delivered a one-hour presentation titled “Best of PNCFL: A Teacher’s Toolbox: Comprehensible Input Strategies for Language Educators.” Their presentation was nominated by the Pacific Northwest Council for Foreign Languages (PNCFL) and the Executive Board of the Idaho Association of Teachers of Language and Culture (IATLC) to represent the organizations at the American Council for the Teaching of Foreign languages (ACTFL) annual conference in Nashville, Tennessee. The presentation was selected from the IATLC conference, which took place in Pocatello, last October.
The hands-on presentation was well-attended and participants walked away with a “toolbox” of strategies for communicative language teaching, focusing on comprehensible input.
Hoye gave an additional presentation titled “Let’s Chat: Proficiency and Digital Literacy through Conversation Labs.” Attendees discussed how the arrival of the BYOD (bring your own device) era has affected the traditional language lab. Hoye provided participants with an innovative model for weekly, face-to-face conversation labs that embraces student-owned devices, while incorporating task-based activities centered around the NCSSFL-ACTFL “Can-Do Statements.” Strategies for incorporating authentic materials and technology were also discussed.
Kelly Arispe gave a presentation titled “Fostering Advanced Interpersonal Speaking Performance” that highlighted an assessment model (design, implementation and evaluation) to foster upper-intermediate and advanced level performance in interpersonal speaking that is situated in a learner autonomy framework. Drawing from a conversation course in Spanish at Boise State University, Arispe showcased a signature assessment that utilized an innovative technology, Soundcloud, to record and archive chat sessions that were self- evaluated by the student and later evaluated by the instructor using criteria from the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language’s Performance Descriptors to scaffold improved performance. Soundcloud allows the ability to leave written comments that map to the exact moments in the recording and, thus, can be an excellent vehicle for feedback for the instructor as well as help learners become aware of and reflect on their individual performance.