Shining Mountain World Language Teachers Attend State Conference |by Joshua Berman



forsale“Those who know nothing of foreign languages know nothing of their own.”

This Goethe quote appears on this year’s Colorado Congress of Foreign Language Teachers, or CCFLT, spring conference program cover. This past February professional development break, while other SMWS faculty were attending workshops, trainings, and conferences around the country, three members of the World Language department—Frau Paula Blum, Profe Julie Irwin, and myself, don Josué—spent two days at the CCFLT conference in Loveland.

CCFLT is a professional organization formed for “the purpose of providing foreign language teachers a forum for mutual support, a means for sharpening their pedagogical skills, and a vehicle for keeping culturally and linguistically current.” I always look forward to meeting with nearly 500 of our colleagues from various schools around the state, and to learning new techniques, songs, and standards from each other.

Paula Blum, who is one of 80 American Association of Teachers of German (AATG) professional consultants and German teacher trainers in the United States, presented an all-German session in the  “Collaboration and Professionalism” part of the conference, entitled “Studium in Deutschland—kostenlos!” As she described it: Tuition costs at US universities are skyrocketing. Encourage your students to go and study in Germany where tuition costs are zero! In this interactive session, participants will learn about the application process, what the prerequisites are and what the average living costs will be.”

Meanwhile, Profe Irwin and I tried to divide and conquer the Spanish-language sessions, including “Oye mi canto, mi son: An exposure to Strategic Use of Music to Supplement the textbook,” “Reading is Thinking: Making True Learning Visible,” “Whole Brain Teaching in the Target Language,” and “Practical ideas for the language classroom of elementary school grades.”

We are grateful to all those who contributed to last year’s Special Appeal at the annual gala, which allowed this important professional development trip to happen. Gracias y danke schoen!