Language educators learned new methods and best practices for teaching the novice language learner during the Global Language and Culture Conference from June 28 – 30. Nearly 30 K – 12 teachers from schools across the country, including Columbia Grammar and Prep School in New York and Marin Country Day School in California, attended the the 9th annual conference presented by Professional Programs at Punahou and Wo International Center in collaboration with The Dalton School.
The conference included a keynote speech, breakout sessions and networking opportunities. Featured guest Helena Curtain from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee discussed techniques for engaging the “minds, heart and hands” of novice language learners through lessons that stimulate cognition, emotion and physical movement. The author and language education consultant also offered teachers a template for organizing lessons into thematic units to inspire creativity beyond the typical teaching materials.
“We were so fortunate to have Helena Curtain at Punahou,” said Paula Arias, director of global programs at Wo International Center. “She really is the preeminent language educator in the country.”
Veteran language teachers, including U.S. French Teacher Veronique Brau from Lakeside School in Seattle and Betsy Basom, a grades 3 – 6 Spanish teacher from California’s Village School, presented on such topics as “Integrating Polynesian culture into the French curriculum” and “Utilizing Centers in the preK – 8 World Language Classroom.”
Other topics included exploring interactive, aesthetic approaches to enhance learning; boosting language performance through teacher and peer feedback; and valuing culture and diversity in the Spanish classroom.
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