InterPrep frequently provides professional learning opportunities to foreign language faculty and administrators in schools, school districts, consortia of districts, professional organizations and higher education institutions.
InterPrep’s experience includes work in 48 states; internationally in Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Ecuador, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Korea, Mexico, Myanmar, Singapore, Spain, and the United Arab Emirates; and, represents over 400 institutions that have engaged its services. Each year, more than 2,000 educators profit from InterPrep’s leadership through work with various educational institutions.
Site-based professional learning opportunities may take place in one day or may span several days, depending on the topic(s) selected and the needs of the school or institution. InterPrep is frequently asked to provide workshops on the following topics but is also more than willing to address other issues not listed below:
Realistic Expectations in Foreign Language Learning
Using the nationally accepted proficiency scale and definitions of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), teachers learn what it means to be Novice, Intermediate, Advanced or Superior language users and the time and instructional requirements necessary to attain those levels of proficiency.
Achieving Higher Levels of Speaking Proficiency
First and foremost, foreign language students want to learn how to speak the language they are studying. However, students frequently leave their language experience feeling they know more about the language than being able to use it. Through the power and efficacy of pair and small group work, this workshop aims to equip teachers with strategies to address what students want and to help students achieve higher levels of proficiency faster.
Motivation and Student Engagement
Arguably the most important element in learning a foreign language is that of student motivation. Teachers heighten their understanding of what the motivated classroom looks like and make connections between motivation/student engagement and student success in the language classroom.
Performance-Based Assessment in the Standards-Based Classroom
The critical role of performance-based assessment is examined as teachers learn why it is important; its connections to student motivation and achievement; what good performance-based assessments look like; how to design good tasks; and the role of rubrics in fairly measuring student performance.
The Crucial Role of Feedback
Students who are committed to learning a new language need massive doses of feedback. Yet feedback often receives little or no attention. Teachers learn the pivotal role that feedback plays in student learning; what good feedback looks like; how to give it; and what types of feedback lead to the greatest gains in learning.
Linking Standards and Performance
Teachers gain insights into national and state standards and discover their relevance to teaching and assessing foreign languages in their own classrooms. Connections are made to locally-generated desired outcomes.
Planning Backwards ~ From Course to Unit to Lesson
The backward design model is used to help teachers focus on what they want students to know and be able to do; how students will demonstrate what they know and can do; and, how they will plan to get there. Attention is given to how this planning paradigm can apply to the development of courses, units and even daily lessons.
When the Textbook Just Isn’t Working
Helping teachers examine options to achieve the results they—and their students—desire from the foreign language experience is the focus of this workshop. Teachers consider the power of thematic units to engage students and to focus their energies on attaining real world language targets. Understanding why they work, what good units look like, and trying their hand at drafting a thematic unit, teachers will gain insights into this valuable instructional option.
Planning for Effective Elementary School Programs
Establishing an elementary school foreign language program that can withstand the passing of time and lean budgets is an art. Teachers and/or administrators examine the characteristics of programs that endure and discuss strategies that will potentially lead to success in their own district.