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The Voces Summer CI Conference: Your Story of Success

The Voces Summer CI Conference will showcase our stories of success so that you and your colleagues can find your stories of success with the curricula next school year.

Join us on July 21-24 for a 4-day, virtual conference!

Learn about best practices with storytelling and CI using the resources in Nuestra historia and Notre histoire. Discover how best to use the programs in class and remotely. We will also explore how to plan a unit, deepen intercultural competence through authentic materials, and use other materials throughout the curricula to reach and inspire students.

Presenters include Señor Jordan, Bess Hayles, Eric Richards, Gary DiBianca, Bryan Kandel, Allyn Lodge, Linda Temby, Nina Holzfeind, and others. These CI educators will share with you tips and strategies that have worked for them and their students. There will also be sessions dedicated to how to use the Voces platform for maximum success, both in class and remotely. Click here to learn more about our presenters.

When? July 21-24, from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. ET every day.
Where? Online via Zoom
How much? $50.00 per person
Have an active subscription to Voces? It's free. Just email us and we will get you registered.

Do you use one of our vocab- and grammar-based or ESL titles, and not Nuestra historia or Notre histoire? Then register for a full day of Voces workshops on July 29. Learn more here!

Tuesday, July 21st
10:00 AM Our Story is Your Story In this opening session, we reflect on the story behind the Nuestra historia and Notre histoire curricula and help to set the stage for the learning and professional development you will be experiencing over the next four days.
11:00 AM Path to Proficiency Through Storytelling and CI
Señor Jordan
Join Youtube’s Señor Jordan as he gives an overview of Comprehensible Input and how It can be used to push students towards proficiency.
12:00 PM Special Event, TBA
1:00 PM Preparing to Teach Level 1
Gary DiBianca
Is your plan to use Nuestra historia or Notre histoire Level 1 in the fall? If so, this session will provide you the steps and practices for how to deliver Comprehensible Input to your Novice-Low students using the Level 1 materials. We will focus on teaching Unit 1. Some of the topics will be: using TPR, PQA, Questioning, and Telling a Story.
*Demos in Spanish, but content will be applicable to Notre histoire.
2:00 PM Know What Drives You
Allynn Lodge
Build confidence in your teaching by identifying the qualities that are most important to you as a teacher, and making sure that your course reflects these priorities. Learn how to share your approach with both students and parents. While each of us will emphasize slightly different things in our teaching, as CI enthusiasts, we all place value on communication. Explore how to promote Comprehensible Input in your classroom while being true to who you are as a teacher and connecting with your audience. Discover what works and what doesn't!
3:00 PM Preparing to Teach Level 2
Gary DiBianca
Is your plan to use Nuestra historia or Notre histoire Level 2 in the fall? If so, this session will provide you the steps and practices for how to deliver Comprehensible Input to your Novice-Mid/High students using the Level 2 materials. Some other topics will be transitioning from present to past tenses, Asking a Story, and using class novels.
*Demos in Spanish, but content will be applicable to Notre histoire.
4:00 PM Preparing to Teach Higher Levels
Bryan Kandel
Levels 3 and 4 of Nuestra historia and Notre histoire are filled with relevant cultural themes and useful Spanish and French language. In this session, we will explore strategies for getting the most out of each unit in these higher levels. We will discuss techniques for making the content engaging and comprehensible for our students. Many of the strategies from this session can also be used with novels and other CI materials in higher level classes.
*Demos in Spanish, but content will be applicable to Notre histoire.
Wednesday, July 22nd
10:00 AM Incorporating Authentic Material to Deepen Cultural Awareness
Linda Temby
Nuestra historia and Notre histoire stories are the perfect springboard and scaffolding for deepening your own and your students’ awareness of target language cultures around the world. Discover how to incorporate authentic materials and resources that reflect and build on both story content and settings in unique ways.
*Demos in French, but content will be applicable to Nuestra historia.
11:00 AM Drawing and Doodling in the CI Classroom
Allynn Lodge
Although drawing is often associated with elementary education, this technique can serve as an effective tool in the upper level language classroom. Drawing words or creating images to go with stories allow students to build memorable, personal connections to language. Leave this workshop with several no prep and low-prep activities that you can easily incorporate into your CI curriculum.
12:00 PM Special Event, TBA
1:00 PM Tips for Teaching CI Remotely
Bryan Kandel
In this session, we will explore effective remote CI lessons that can be applied to out-of-the-classroom experiences, homework activities, and substitute plans—or to enhance in-class learning. Strong CI practices can be transferred to remote lessons. We will discuss strategies for creating compelling content, recording it, sharing it, and ensuring that our students engage with it.
*Demos in Spanish, but content will be applicable to Notre histoire.
2:00 PM Tease Out the Tales
Linda Temby
Learn how to easily increase and diversify input opportunities, build classroom community, and boost active student engagement by interacting with Nuestra historia and Notre histoire stories and sentence structures in fun, interactive, and creative ways - both in person and online!
*Demos in French, but content will be applicable to Nuestra historia.
3:00 PM What’s So Super About ¡Súper Lápiz!?
Señor Jordan
Learn how to soar with your students while using the the Súper Lápiz level 1 series. This session will include ideas for personalization, discussion and tips and tricks to get even more out of the episodes while having a SUPER time.
4:00 PM Using Media to Reach Students
Gary DiBianca
Since we live in a time of constant access to newly streaming content, how are we including this into our classes? In this session, we will delve into using music, videos, social media, interviews, and more in our classes to engage learners. With big picture planning, using these materials can help us provide a much needed representation of different cultures, perspectives, and language structures.
Thursday, July 23rd
10:00 AM Teaching with a Focus on Culture
Nina Holzfeind
In this session, we'll explore the ways in which culture has been embedded into the Nuestra historia and Notre histoire approach to teaching language with CI. Using French examples, we'll discuss how to use the stories and authentic resources within the curriculum to promote students' cultural awareness and language proficiency. We'll also talk about ways that teachers can enhance the cultural richness of their classes by incorporating additional authentic resources, their own background knowledge and experiences, and those of their students.
11:00 AM “But Can I Still Teach Grammar?”
Allynn Lodge
Yes! There is still a place for grammar within CI instruction! This session will look at how explicit grammar instruction fits into the Nuestra historia and Notre histoire curriculum. We will discuss when and how to offer grammar explanations to students, and how traditional grammar exercises and games can be adapted and modified for the CI approach.
12:00 PM Special Event, TBA
1:00 PM All About Embedded Readings
Bess Hayles
In this session, you will learn how to maximize the use of Embedded Readings through varying reading strategies. Learn about PQA, Three-Ring Circus, and more!
*Demos in French, but content will be applicable to Nuestra historia.
2:00 PM To the Community and Beyond!
Nicole Hartung
In this session, we will explore ways to utilize the "In my community" component in Nuestra historia and Notre histoire to cultivate connections with the community and the globalized world. How can the community challenges found in each unit spark student interest, and engage them in meaningful work and impactful projects?
*Demos in Spanish, but content will be applicable to Notre histoire.
3:00 PM Keep Reading and Stories Fresh and Engaging
Eric Richards
Reading is vital for vocabulary development, but engaging students in the reading process can be challenging. In this workshop, we will look at various techniques and strategies that will help keep reading and stories fresh and engaging for students in the world language classroom. Increase student participation and excitement for reading and create an enjoyable classroom culture where reading is valued and enjoyed.
4:00 PM Creating Classroom Culture
Bryan Kandel
No strategy or technique is effective unless we first establish a positive and dynamic classroom culture. When students enter our classrooms or sign onto our virtual classes, they must feel confident, empowered and motivated to use the target language. We will explore practical ways to transform the settings for our lessons. We’ll discuss student engagement, setting expectations for TL use, the importance of variation, customizing lessons for each class and other techniques for bringing classes to life.
Friday, July 24th
10:00 AM How to Approach This School Year’s Unknowns and Uncertainties
Select Presenters and Voces Team
Q&A-led discussion on how Voces supports blended learning and can help you feel more confident going into this new school year.
11:00 AM All About Assigning, Managing, and Grading Student Work
Kelsey Lewandowski
Discover the control and options these important Voces tools offer. Learn about the many different parameters you can give to an assignment, how to efficiently manage those assignments (even with a large class/many classes), and how to give students the feedback they need while saving your sanity.
12:00 PM Special Event, TBA
1:00 PM All About Editing, Creating, and Sharing
Erin Almeranti
Learn about the Voces editor, including the Quick Edit tool, and find out how to build your own activities and content anywhere in Voces. You will also learn how to share content and collaborate with colleagues and other Voces users.
2:30 PM Using Zoom for Remote Learning
Charles Verhey
By now most of you have used Zoom. You’re using it right now to participate in our webinars! But did you know there’s more hidden behind the scenes? Features you have with your account right now that you might not even realize are available to you? In this webinar, I'm going to show you some of these hidden settings to help make the experience for you and your students more engaging and easier to use.

Learn how to get your students to RSVP for class, how to email reminders to your students prior to the meeting, how to get your students to "raise their hand", how to use break-out rooms and nonverbal feedback, how to protect your classroom against unwanted visitors, how to take attendance, the difference between a "webinar" and a "meeting", and tips on how to manage both small and large groups of attendees.

It may seem like a lot, but I'll lead you one step at a time, and we'll spend a few minutes at the end of a Q&A. By the end, you'll have a much better understanding of all the tools available to you through Zoom.
3:30 PM Concluding Remarks
Voces Team
A reflection on the conference and open Q&A
  • All sessions will be recorded and accessible by attendees and/or active Voces subscribers afterwards. However, some Q&A sessions and other supplemental conference material may not be available via video after.
  • There will be games, special guests, and giveaways throughout the conference as well, so stay tuned for more details!

About the Presenters

Gary DiBianca

Gary DiBianca is a Spanish teacher, presenter, world language consultant and coach, and AP® reader. He has presented nationally and regionally on acquisition and brain-based strategies in the world language classroom, big picture planning, unit design, pre-AP® vertical alignment, the 21st Century World Language Standards, the inclusion of topics of diversity in the curriculum, and teaching with TPRS (Teaching Proficiency through Storytelling) and Comprehensible Input. As a world language coach, he works with teachers at the iFLT conference and as the co-coordinator for coaching at the NTPRS conference. Gary made many contributions to Nuestra historia: Aprender y preparar and is working on including instructional strategies for Nuestra historia: Level 1 and 2.

Nicole Hartung

Nicole Hartung teaches middle school Spanish at Winchester Thurston School, an independent school in Pittsburgh, PA. She has worked with children of all ages since 1995 in both academic and faith-based settings. Nicole has taught Spanish levels pre-K through high school Spanish. She is an alum of the University of Pittsburgh, and studied abroad in Seville, Spain when pesetas were still the currency. Nicole built a pen pal program for her students and students in Cuenca, Ecuador. She strives to inspire life-long learning in her students through meaningful work and global connections.

Nina Holzfeind

Nina Holzfeind is a French teacher, curriculum writer, and author of the stories in Notre Histoire. She believes that the best things in language learning—and in life—are fun, natural, and from the heart. Nina fell in love with Comprehensible Input-based methods while teaching at the middle school level, and now she is passionate about creating CI materials to help other teachers and students have an effective and enjoyable learning experience.

Señor Jordan

Jeremy Jordan (a.k.a. Señor Jordan) is a Spanish teacher, a YouTube personality, and an author of TPRS novels. Jeremy has dedicated himself to the TPRS method and Comprehensible Input strategies for nearly a decade.

Bryan Kandel

Bryan Kandel teaches high school Spanish in Canton, Ohio. He presents professional development workshops on Comprehensible Input techniques, the importance of strong classroom culture, successful world language AP® courses, reading strategies, and many other topics. He has published many CI Spanish readers, including Bella durmiente (coming Fall 2020), Perdidos en la traducción (coming Fall 2020), El carterista de Pamplona, Bajo el agua, Los sobrevivientes, and La novia perfecta. He has seen the power of input as a method to improve proficiency, and constantly aims to increase engagement with his students. He is the author of the stories in Nuestra historia 3, 4, and Aprender y preparar and currently uses Nuestra historia with his classes.

Allynn Lodge

Allynn Lodge is a foreign language teacher who is passionate about how both language and art can help forge connections and mutual understanding between cultures. She holds an M.Ed. in Art in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a BA in Spanish Languages and Cultures from Princeton University. She is the recipient of a Fulbright fellowship to Madrid, Spain, and was recently selected by the National Association of Independent Schools as a Teacher of the Future for her innovation and creativity in the classroom.

Eric Richards

Eric Richards is a high school German teacher, author, and presenter. Eric is a 2020 ACTFL Teacher of Year Finalist and he is the author of a series TPRS/Comprehensible Input books and other readers for the world language classroom. He also authored Grafted Writing, which is designed to help educators facilitate language acquisition through reading and writing. Eric presents on various topics in foreign language methodology and strategies at national and regional conferences around the United States. He transformed a small German program into a large, successful, growing, and vibrant program, where his students also enjoy opportunities to travel abroad.

Linda Temby, M.A.

Linda Temby is an innovative, tech-savvy French teacher with a passion for facilitating the development of student voice and cultural awareness, both in and outside of the world language classroom. After living 25 years in France, she returned to the U.S. in 2013 to complete a master’s degree in Curriculum Design for Experiential Learning. She has experience teaching kindergarten through graduate level students in both public and private school settings in the U.S. and abroad.


View the Conference Schedule

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