Here's a sneak peek of IATLC president Danyelle Davis' article in the most recent edition of Lingo from our friends at PNCFL. Be sure to check out the rest of the articles, as well as Danyelle's favorite ACTFL hightlights, in the next edition of Lingo.
I’ve been the K-5 French teacher at Sage International School of Boise since it’s doors opened in 2010. That year my son Graeme was starting Kindergarten and my daughter Claire was a newborn. I was thrilled about the idea of building a K-5 language program, one that would give kids, my own included, an early start and would be the foundation of a K-12 French continuum.
Once a week language programs present their own unique challenges however. At a pace of one class per week with new students walking onto the dance floor at anytime (this is not dual-immersion afterall), how do you keep the music going for returning students, help new students hear the beat and inspire everyone to find their groove? It’s enough to leave you in a puddle on the floor when the lights come up.
These were the questions I was wrestling with when I attended my first state teachers’ conference for IATLC in 2015. There I met Dr. Kelly Arispe, professor at Boise State University. She was the keynote speaker that year. She challenged me to take my questions and research ideas to the next level, using my classroom as a lab to work out a model for K-5 language programs that might point the way for K-12 continuums in other districts. This November I presented my work to date, with Kelly Arispe, at the ACTFL Conference in Washington DC. The session was enthusiastically received by around 150 attendees, with lively discussion spilling out into the lobby afterward. It was thrilling to know that the work I am doing in my own classroom, my own ongoing experiment, might contribute in some way to the growth and stability of other K-12 language programs. I’ve provided links here to the presentation and an introduction by Dr. Arispe.
Introduction - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5mFUHs5czI
Part 1 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OY1KDh_KKhA
Part 2 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xdqLUwJX6k
Before I sign off, allow me one anecdote from ACTFL. Since the conference was in Washington DC this year, ACTFL organized an Advocacy Day for Languages on Capitol Hill. I happen to be the only person from Idaho, so when it came time for meetings with our legislators, off I went. Senator Risch was in meetings with the European Union that day, but he took time out to speak with me. During our conversation, he mentioned rather casually that, when the EU comes, they don’t need translators, because everyone on the EU delegation speaks English. I thought to myself, how convenient for the US, but how powerful for Europe. To connect with someone through their language, that is quite frankly a superpower. Other countries are equipping their children with this superpower as a matter of course. Why aren’t we?
I am convinced that K-5 language programs play an essential role in raising every child with the power of language proficiency. We cannot rely solely on dual-immersion and we cannot make students wait until high school or even junior high to begin language studies. Unbroken K-12 paths must be the standard and the norm.
As we enter 2020 I want to send a hearty thank you and cheers to all of you, my K-12 language teaching colleagues across the Northwest. You are doing a great thing, equipping the next generation with the superpower of biliteracy. I wish you all continued vision and renewed practical insight for the New Year!
The Idaho Association for Teachers of Language and Culture (IATLC) Name Rebecca Sibrian, Boise State University German Instructor, as World Language Teacher of the Year.
On Oct. 5th, the Idaho Association of Teachers of Language and Culture (IATLC), the professional organization for World Language teachers across the state, honored Rebecca Sibrian with the 2019 Teacher of the Year Award at its annual conference on the College of Idaho campus in Caldwell.
Rebecca has taught German at Boise State University for the past 19 years. She has served as the German chapter (IATG) president and on the board of IATLC as vice president and president. She is a leader both on campus and in the community.
About Rebecca, nominators wrote:
Recca is an energetic, caring, creative teacher who is always willing to share her ideas with her colleagues across languages.
Her classes are highly interactive and creative. Over the years many students have commented that they continued their German studies because of her. She has also created a new University Foundations 100 class for the department, Dynamics of Diverse Cultures in Film.
Besides her regular teaching duties, Becca has been instrumental in organizing Do Deutsch Day which provides over 500 high school German students annually the opportunity to visit the BSU campus, meet faculty and fellow students, and participate in a variety of German language based educational and cultural activities. German students from across the state look forward to this experience each year. She is a fundamental contributor to all things German in the region.
Please join the Idaho Association of Teachers of Language and Culture (IATLC) in congratulating Rebecca Sibrian on her well deserved award. May she continue to inspire us all.
The 2018-19 Idaho World Languages Teacher of the Year is Cyndi Cook, German teacher at Mountain Home High School. The Idaho Association of Teachers of Language and Culture (IATLC) recognized Mrs. Cook’s outstanding contributions to World Language teaching. As the association’s Teacher of the Year, she will serve as an advocate for World Language education in Idaho. She joined IATLC in the first year of teaching back in the late 80's, and has gained valuable insight and support from all the teachers she has gotten to know in the many years she has taught in Idaho and been active in IATLC. Cook states that "IATLC played a very important role in my development as a teacher early on, and it is a very valuable organization for FL teachers in Idaho."
According to fellow German educator Cassie Shelton, “Cyndi is innovative in her teaching style and she is always thinking outside the box. Nothing is too messy, elaborate or time-consuming if it helps her students learn language.” Mrs. Cook has taught for both Mountain Home High (1987-1998 and 2009-Present) and Boise State University offering Concurrent Credit courses to high school students. Additionally, Cook has coordinated the GAPP program (German American Partnership Program) for Mountain Home High School since 2013.
In her “spare” time, Mrs. Cook has transcribed the memoirs of a World War II pilot whose missions took him over a good portion of Germany, and works on an additional transcription and translation project for a woman born in Prague who can only recall her experiences in German. During the fall she volunteers her time with the high school swim team. She's been married to her very supportive husband David for over 30 years and has three grown daughters who also speak German!
For the 2019 IATLC Annual State Conference on October 3rd and 4th at College of Idaho in Caldwell, the Spanish section will be awarding two $80 scholarships to cover the cost of conference registration and IATLC dues. Teachers that are new to the profession and continuing teachers may apply.
Check us out at iatlc_org or search IATLC. We'll be updating our Instagram with conference updates and news from language teaching around the state. Got something cool you want to brag about? Email email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, or message us on Facebook or Instagram.
Opportunities to learn other languages are limited, especially, in Idaho. Many foreign language teachers lack sufficient support and may not have access to high-quality teaching resources. The Pathways Open Educational Resource (OER) Repository, an initiative from the Boise State University Department of World Languages, is an open and collaborative network of instructional materials and professional development created by and uniquely for Idaho’s K-16 language teachers and students.
Teachers and students participating in the Pathways Project come from different fields of study and schools across Idaho to create open (i.e., free), digital activities that support the teaching and learning of foreign languages and promote intercultural competence. We hope to impact the opportunities learners have to connect to the global world and want to connect with you!
We are excited to announce a special Open House for Idaho K-16 second language instructors. This event will take place on April 26th, from 5:00pm-6:30pm and participants will have the option to attend virtually or face-to-face!
Please RSVP via Paperless Post and if you have not yet received an invitation, kindly send email@example.com an email and she will make sure you receive one.
The Online Master of Arts in Spanish
The MA in Spanish is a fully online, year-round, 30 credit program of study that provides high school teachers of Spanish and other individuals seeking to reach an advanced level of proficiency the opportunity to attain the qualifications and language skill level required to participate effectively in a variety of educational and professional settings. Students are encouraged to personalize their program of study by including nine credits of elective coursework in Spanish, Spanish for the Professions, or in another approved area of study. Rolling admissions means that students may begin their studies in fall, spring, or summer semesters.
IATLC is pleased to announce that Darcy Rogers, the founder of Organic World Language (OWL), will offer a keynote address and interactive workshop at this year’s fall conference, ‘Language and Culture in Motion’!!! Check out this dynamic methodology in the video below!
Registration is open for the 2018 IATLC Fall conference, October 4th - 5th at Columbia High School in Nampa! Please see our conference website for more information and to register. Presenters are needed, too!
John was the Idaho Association of Teachers of Languages and Cultures Teacher of the Year for 1994-1995. This Genesee native stretched the world view for many students and colleagues alike with his integration of language and history. His 75 years were pebbled with numerous examples of calm sharing of knowledge and new adventures. Many Idaho students had their first foreign experience thanks to his willingness to help them travel. He was at the core of German teachers in Idaho while at Nampa, but the state's weak response to the linguistic needs of its students never detoured him from doing his best to compensate for the short-comings of the legislature and school districts.