Saturday, March 14, 2015

My SWCOLT takeaway

Colorado was fortunate to host our regional SWCOLT conference at the end of February. Since it was hosted by my state language board, CCFLT, I was working the majority of the time. It was fantastic to see so many colleagues (I finally got to meet Amy Lenord and Don Doehla in person), see some interesting vendors and pop in on many sessions. I was fortunate to pop in to many sessions, but never got to see a session in its entirety. So, I have many things I want to explore further. I want to learn more about PBL from Don Doehla and have to find time to dedicate to reviewing his presentation. I want to learn more about OWL (they were having so much fun in that session!). There were tons of other great sessions that I was so sad to have missed out on.

But, there was one clear awesome moment for me. I had sneaked into the Avalanche room (a session where five people give 10 minute presentations and participants rotate) to check out what I could tweet about. A few minutes later, Amy Lenord came in and we began talking. We talked about the types of sessions that conferences offer and how there seems to be a lack of sessions for more experienced and frequent conference going teachers. So, this had me asking the question, What types of sessions do experienced teachers want to see? What kind of professional development can conferences offer teachers that are familiar with comprehensible input, trying to stay 90% in the TL and Can-do goals? What do I want to learn?

It is a harder question than I had originally thought it would be. How can I take what I am doing to the next level was the answer that we had come up with. I want some specific "how to" training that will show me how to better show my students not just the language, but the cultural aspects of the language. I want to be able to take comprehensible input, train the students how to derive information from it and then be able to find comprehensible input of their own. I want to be able to begin with giving my students the input and move to them finding their own input that interests them and then teaching it to all of us. Isn't that going to be more meaningful for everyone? Can't we teach vocabulary and point out grammar structures using this method? Would it give students the desire to learn, not just get through the class?

Share with me....what do you wish you could see at your conference? Comments appreciated.