Home / Honing our Craft: KWL’s Conference 2022

Honing our Craft:
KWL’s Conference 2022

We are proud to announce our inaugural conference, Honing our Craft in Chicago this fall. This conference aims to provide world language educators of all levels with a forum to dissect, discuss, and discover the up-and-coming trends in world language teaching and learning.

Honing our Craft is a hybrid event, open to both online and in-person participation. The program includes 3 plenary sessions, 1 round table, 9 hands-on workshops and other interactive formats we will announce in the coming weeks. Participants will leave with practical takeaways that they will be able to implement in their own classrooms and educational environments. Join us for a weekend of development, networking, and fun this October 1st and 2nd!

You're Invited

Join us October 1st & 2nd at The Library!

190 S La Salle St, Chicago, IL 60603


Early bird discount!

Act now and get a 25% discount, but hurry up – this offer ends on August 17th!

Keynote Speakers

Kim Potowski

Professor of Linguistics,
University of Illinois at Chicago

Kim Potowski is Professor of Spanish linguistics at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her research focuses on Spanish in the United States: Who uses it, with whom, and for what purposes? What changes is it undergoing? How does it connect to identity and to promoting social justice? She began directing her campus’ Spanish Heritage Language Program in 2002 and is the founding director of its summer study abroad program in Oaxaca, Mexico, where she spent a year as a Fulbright scholar. Her advocacy for the value of education in two languages for all U.S. children was the focus of her 2013 TEDx talk “No child left monolingual.” She has authored and edited over 12 books including:

  • El español de los Estados Unidos
  • Heritage language teaching: Research and practice
  • Language and identity in a dual immersion school
  • and Conversaciones escritas

Toni Theisen

Thompson School District World Language and Dual Language Specialist

Toni Theisen, the 2013 ACTFL President and the 2009 ACTFL Teacher of the Year, taught French at Loveland High School in Loveland, Colorado for over 40 years.  She is currently the Thompson School District World Language Curriculum Representative and TOSA for the Dual Language Immersion Programs.   Theisen is a National Board Certified Teacher with a M.A. in Foreign Language Teaching and a M. A. in Education of Diverse Learners. She is also a Google Certified teacher.

Very active in the world language profession, Theisen has presented many workshops, keynotes and webinars for national, regional, and state conferences and has authored articles on Multiple Intelligences, Differentiated Instruction, Technology for the World Language learner and strategies that help design proficiency-based curriculum and assessments.  Theisen presented “Activating Communication” as part of the first ACTFL Webinar series.  She works with the California Foreign Teachers’ Association Summer Seminar as part of the instructional team for the STARTALK Teacher Leadership Program.

Theisen has participated on many committees including the revision of the World Languages teacher standards for licensure.  She served on the Colorado World Language Task Force for the 2018 Revision of the Colorado World Language State Standards and she chaired the committee for the development of the Colorado World Languages Academic Standards. She served on the committee for the National Board for Professional Teacher Standards and was the co-chair for the revision committee of the NBPTS Teacher Standards for WLOE. She chaired the ACTFL 21st Century Skills Map committee in collaboration with the Partnership for 21st Century Learning.

Theisen served as President of the Colorado Congress of Foreign Teachers. As an ACTFL Executive Board member, Theisen served as the program chair for two ACTFL conferences.  She was also the Local Chair for the CSC, SWCOLT and CCFLT Joint Conference and the Program Chair for the Central States Conference.

Toni has received many honors including the ACTFL Nelson Brooks Award for the Teaching of Culture, the ACTFL Florence Steiner National Award for Leadership in Foreign Language Education, K-12, the JNCK-NCLIS J. David Edwards Power of Advocacy National Award, The Colorado Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, the SWCOLT Excellence in Teaching Award, the Genevieve Overman Memorial Service Award from the Colorado Congress of Foreign Language Teachers, and the SWCOLT Honorary Lifetime Member Award.

Claudia Fernández

Clinical Assistant Professor of Spanish and Director of the Basic Spanish Program at the University of Chicago, Illinois
Claudia R. Fernández is the Clinical Assistant Professor of Spanish and Director of the Basic Spanish Program at the University of Chicago, Illinois. With more than 20 years of experience as a teacher of Spanish as a second language, her investigation focuses on task based teaching/learning, the acquisition of grammar, and on the use of materials in the classroom. She has presented at national and international conferences, and her work has been published in Hispania, Folio, The Language Educator, Studies in Second Language Acquisition as well as in various chapters of books. She is the cofounder of the group, Spanish Language Pedagogy in Higher Education (Facebook), and of the Symposium on Language Pedagogy in Higher Education, as well as author of the Input Destacado y Adquisición de la Gramática (Arco Books 2016) and co editor of Using Language Learning Materials: Theory and Practice (Cambridge Scholars, in press).

Workshop Sessions:

Cecile Nedellec

Using Authentic Materials to Create Interpretive Activities at All Levels of Proficiency

Britta Kallin

Transgender and Non-Binary Gender Pronouns and Expressions in Foreign Language Classrooms

Natalia Valencia

Yours, mine, and ours: Community Building in the Language Classroom

Liliana Paredes & Sandra Valnes Quammen
‘Quienes somos / qui sommes-nous?’: From collaborative projects to translanguaging in introductory language classes
Valentina Morello

The use of songs as a tool to teach culture in the WL classroom

Reyes Morán & María J. Barros

Developing the Intercultural Communicative Competence of Language Learners


Saturday 1st Oct

9:00 am


9:30 am

Welcome speech

10 - 10:45 am

Speaker 1

"Teaching heritage speakers for social justice", plenary session by Kim Potowski (University of Illinois Chicago)

10:45 am

Coffee break

11:15 am

Speaker 2

"Be Bold: Cultivating Leadership Skills and Advocacy Strategies for Strong Language Programs", plenary session by Toni Theisen (Thompson School District World Language and Dual Language Specialist)

12:00 pm

Lunch break (included)

1:00 - 2:15 pm

Speaker 3

"Teaching students to use the language: What gets in the way?", plenary session by Claudia Fernández (University of Illinois Chicago)

2:15 pm

Coffee break

2:30 - 3:45 pm

Round table

"Reflections on post-pandemic education: Takeaways for future innovations in teaching and learning", round table/Q&A moderated by Denise Bouras (Northwestern University)

4:00 - 4:20 pm

Closing Presentation

Saturday 2nd Oct

Session 1

9:15 - 10:15 am

Room 1: Cecile Nedellec
Room 2: Natalia Valencia
Room 3: Valentina Morello
Session 2

10:30 - 11:30 am

Room 1: Liliana Paredes & Sandra Valnes Quammen
Room 2: Britta Kallin
Room 3: Cecile Nedellec
Session 3

11:45 am - 12:45 pm

Room 1: Natalia Valencia
Room 2: Liliana Paredes & Sandra Valnes Quammen
Room 3: Reyes Morán & María J. Barros
Session 4

2:00 - 3:00 pm

Room 1:Reyes Morán & María J. Barros
Room 2: Britta Kallin
Room 3: Valentina Morello
*Please join us following the final session for closing remarks and the presentation of your certificates of professional development.

Stay in the Loop...

Order before August 17 to receive 25% off your ticket!

Klett World Languages If I were a Reportero/a/e contest

We at Klett World Languages value heritage, culture, and community. Our series, REPORTEROS, upholds these values by inspiring students to be at the very center of language learning as doers and creators.

We’re looking for an educator of K-12 Spanish to step into the role of a Reportero/a/e and show us the empowering process of exploring a community and experiencing culture firsthand.

We are offering a 6 day trip to Costa Rica to the educator who shows us what it is to be a true Reportero/a/e.

What is a true Reportero/a/e?

In order to show us that you have what it takes to be the KWL Reportero/a/e, we ask that you send in a 3-minute video including the following:

  • (1-minute) Why you want to be the KWL Reportero/a/e: How will you make the most of your time in Costa Rica? Why are these values important to you?
  • (2-minutes) Show us your Reportero/a/e skills in your own community: Give us a look into where you live and where you see culture. Relate it to your own roots and heritage.
  • Really let your creativity flow!

How will we choose our Reportero/a/e?

  • Stage 1: We have assembled a KWL committee of Reportero/a/e experts to review your video.
  • Stage 2: Final contestants will be posted on our social media and website. Make sure you follow us to see if you advanced to the next stage.
  • Stage 3: Our followers will get a chance to use their voice to vote for their favorite videos amongst our finalists! Have your fellow educators subscribe to vote for their favorite!
  • Stage 4: We announce our KWL Reportero/a/e at our Klett World Languages Inaugural Conference in Chicago, October 1st and 2nd.

What will we ask of our new Reportero/a/e?

First, they must enjoy a free trip to Costa Rica! We will pay for their travel, hotel, and scheduled itinerary. There will be free time for them to explore at their own expense.

Second, as our Reportero/a/e we ask that you document your trip. This can be done in several predetermined ways. Some examples of this is through social media posts, blogs, vlogs, live streams, ect. Tag @KlettWL in your posts or send us a link to your pages/livestreams so we can promote it!

Third, relate your experience to correlating chapters in our REPORTEROS book. Each scheduled activity correlates with a topic in a chapter of our book. We can help you plan this part 😉

Think you have what it takes?

Get inspiration from our sample video here!

Send us your video at marketing@klettwl.com with the subject line: SEND ME TO COSTA RICA! The submission deadline is September 4, 2022.

Don’t forget to follow us on social media to see if you make it to the finals! If you have any questions please contact our marketing coordinator Camila Wede at marketing@klettwl.com.

We look forward to hearing from you

Your KWL Team

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