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You are there to help your students grow and we are here to help you grow.

Wayside Publishing wants to help you become a leader within your department, district, and state! Spend the day with nationally recognized experts to gain more knowledge on proficiency-based teaching and the skills, materials, and confidence to share what you have learned in a workshop that you present to others in your area.

Leading the Way to Proficiency in Florida Workshop

This workshop, sponsored by Wayside Publishing, will be presented in two parts on Thursday, September 26, 2024. In the morning, we will focus on topics within the realm of proficiency-based teaching. In the afternoon, we will spend our time developing presentation skills to present the same topic to another audience and develop an action plan for that presentation.

Morning session: The focus is on performance assessments. We will walk you through an Integrated Performance Assessment (IPA) and then break it down, looking at the tasks in the different modes of communication. We will discuss how our assessment practices impact how we teach. The morning will end by creating performance tasks to be used in assessments.

Afternoon session: During this time, we will focus on helping you gain the skills needed to successfully present to adults and the resources to do so, along with time to put those skills into practice. We will end our time together by coming up with an action plan for your future presentation.

How to Participate

Middle and high school world language teachers from across the state will be able to attend this FREE workshop. At the conclusion of this workshop, participants will be prepared to present the same workshop to other teachers in their area and will receive a $100 stipend upon doing so.


Not Included

  •     FREE full-day workshop
  •     Training from nationally recognized experts
  •     Digital resources in a ready-to-use format for your future presentation
  •     $100 stipend upon completion of presenting your workshop to other teachers
  •     FFLA conference registration (required)
  •    FFLA membership (required)
  •     Travel or lodging expenses
  •     Lunch on the day of the workshop (Lunch tickets are available for $61.44)

Teachers from each of the sixteen regions will be able to participate in this FREE workshop in conjunction with the 2024 FFLA Conference in Kissimmee on Thursday, September 26, 2024. Our goal is to have teachers from all 16 regions participate. Applications are open to all middle and high school world language teachers in the state of Florida and will randomly be chosen. Apply for this FREE workshop at: are due by Friday, August 23, 2024.

Questions? Contact Michelle Olah at or Cristin Bleess at


Michelle Olah



Cristin Bleess

NOTE: Attendees of the free sessions sessions from Wayside Publishing, Klett World Languages, or Vista Higher Learning, may purchase a luncheon ticket with our presenters and special guests at cost ($61.44 - $48 + 25% Service Charge).

Educators attending two paid half-day sessions will receive a complimentary ticket to the pre-conference luncheon.

HALF-DAY MORNING SESSIONS, 8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.


Debbie Simoes

The Gap-Closer: Connecting Multilingual Learners in the Wake of The Great Disconnect

Presented by Debbie Simoes, Vista Higher Learning

SUMMARY: At the very heart of providing equity and a culture of belonging, connecting also generates buy-in and closes the gap between language learning and language acquisition. In this get-up-and-go transformative experience, you’ll discover practical, research-based strategies and resources to cultivate a culture of deep connection that transforms the school experience for you, your scholars, and their families. Whether you are a classroom teacher, a school or district leader, this is the session for those who are ready to leverage today’s challenges to create tomorrow’s breakthroughs!


-Participants will identify three ways a classroom leader can harness the power of connection to multiply student outcomes.

-Participants will create their own three-point Classroom Leadership action Plan to upgrade students’ sense of belonging, engagement, and growth in all three modes of communication.


Fun Formative Assessments in the Second Language Classroom

Presented by Heather Sweetser, 2024 FFLA Keynote Speaker

Have you ever heard, "We have to be more entertaining than an iPad," - without any solutions as to how to do this? It’s becoming more challenging than ever to keep and hold student engagement throughout class time.

Simultaneously, there is pressure building nationwide to bring students to unprecedented levels of language acquisition within short amounts of time as second language programs across the country are having to justify their program’s existence and worth to parents, administrators, and students themselves.

What are second language teachers supposed to do?! 

One solution is to bring a little fun into the classroom, on a daily basis. This session will focus on ways to have fun while also assessing student abilities in the target language. Special emphasis will be placed on fun for the instructor – not just the students. Attendees will leave the session with fun formative assessment ideas for their classroom that can be used as early as Monday.

Comprehensible Input and Grammar Instruction: Can They Get Along?

Presented by Bryce Hedstrom, Colorado Congress of Foreign Language Teachers

When should you teach grammar, how and why? How will our students fare when they go on to classes that use legacy methods of teaching grammar? When students go to another school or level, they may be in a grammar-based classroom. How do you prepare them? Can both proficiency and grammar approaches be used in the same classroom? Can these approaches be reconciled? Is there a way to do some combination in our classrooms to ensure that students are prepared?

This workshop provides in-depth instruction and demonstrations on methods that can make the transition to grammar-based classrooms easier for students. Teachers will leave the session with ideas and resources to teaching grammar efficiently, naturally and meaningfully.

All session attendees will receive several examples (Spanish) of materials to teach and reinforce grammar communicatively and meaningfully.

How to Open, Fill, and Grow a Successful Online Curriculum Store

Presented by Erin Austin, Colorado Congress of Foreign Language Teachers (CCFLT) 2023 Teacher of the Year

This session examines leveraging content area expertise to create passive income all while professionally contributing to the field of World Language education. First, participants explore the ins and outs of opening an online curriculum store (e.g., or related platforms). Next, they will dig into the nitty gritty of how to fill a store in a way that is profitable, ethical, and benefits students. Lastly, attendees will dissect possibilities to “level up” an online World Language business. Selling original resources online ensures the availability of high-quality, teacher-reviewed, easily accessible resources for all students, teachers, and schools, regardless of ability, status, or location. This session is best suited for those who are brand new or in the beginning stages of building an online curriculum store.


Heather Sweetser

Bryce Hedstrom

Erin Austin

HALF-DAY AFTERNOON SESSIONS, 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.


Bertha Delgadillo



Presented by Bertha Delgadillo, Klett World Languages & 2024 SCOLT Teacher of the Year

Looking to explore innovative strategies to not only assess but truly enhance and showcase the language skills students have acquired? In this workshop, you will dive deep into a variety of creative, engaging, and effective assessments that evaluate student progress across communication modes. Purposefully examine scaffolding techniques tailored to support student output that will lead you to construct a supportive learning environment that encourages risk-taking, enhances communication confidence, and fosters deeper connections focusing on the growth of each student.


Fun with Artificial Intelligence

Presented by Heather Sweetser, 2024 FFLA Keynote Speaker

Curious about AI?  Nervous? Scared? Excited? Are you an absolute pro with AI or a beginner?

No matter where you are with AI or how you feel about it, you will find something useful in this three-hour workshop. We will explore what different AI programs can do for you as a language teacher to help with lesson prep as well as what it can do for your students to help their language acquisition, no matter what language you teach. Time for hands-on work with AI is incorporated into the session, so you will leave with something you can use in class as early as Monday.

Hi-Impact Reading Strategies: How to Accelerate Fluency and Proficiency with Reading

Presented by Bryce Hedstrom, Colorado Congress of Foreign Language Teachers

Based on his book with the same title, this session is for language teachers--world language teachers, heritage teachers, ELL teachers, and EFL teachers. It was born out of over 30 years of teaching in classrooms from middle school to college, and it is meant to be both inspiration and practical--a way to get students engaged with reading and keep them there. The focus is on real application and real understanding of how to teach reading and justification from research and classroom experts. 

Everyone from new teacher to veterans will benefit from the hands-on approach. Research from scholars in second language acquisition will appease curiosity and convince skeptical colleagues and administrators that high-volume reading works. 

The two key precepts are: 1) Reading is an important part of language learning, and 2) only by reading do students become better readers. Neither of these are startling ideas but teachers do not hear enough about the effectiveness of a steady schedule of regular reading in the classroom--and they don't have a plan to make it work. Too often, world language teachers are missing training on this crucial aspect of acquisition in their university methods courses, and even authors and teacher trainers may not spend enough time explaining the day-to-day routines that make reading work.

Learning loss can be compensated by a regular multifaceted reading program. This session will explain the what, why, and how to implement four key reading strategies that will revolutionize your students' acquisition and enjoyment.

Reshaping the Future of Foreign Language Education: Focusing on Making Global Citizens!

Presented by Dr. Geraldine Blattner, Florida Atlantic University

SUMMARY: This presentation initiates participants into the multifaceted concept of global citizenship and its profound relevance within contemporary society, particularly in the context of foreign language education. It emphasizes global citizenship as a robust mindset transcending geographical constraints, recognizing the intricate interconnectedness of our world and the attendant responsibilities.

Moreover, the presentation delves into the pivotal role of intercultural competence within language classrooms. Beyond mere vocabulary and grammar acquisition, language learning is depicted as a conduit for comprehending diverse cultures and fostering meaningful cross-border connections. Through the integration of intercultural competence into language instruction, educators furnish their students with indispensable tools to adeptly navigate cultural variances while concurrently enhancing their knowledge across geographical, historical, political, sociological, psychological, and linguistic domains.

With a strong emphasis on practicality, the presentation also delineates a series of dynamic activities aimed at fostering the development of global citizenship among foreign language students. These activities include interactive discussions, collaborative projects, and experiential learning experiences, all of which expose participants to various cultures, social issues, and global challenges, incorporating the utilization of diverse artificial intelligence platforms. The main goal is to nurture empathy, foster open-mindedness, and encourage a broad perspective on current issues, empowering students to take proactive steps as compassionate global citizens while gaining a deeper understanding of the role of AI in our society.

In conclusion, the presentation underscores that global citizenship transcends mere moral obligation, emerging as an imperative for thriving in the contemporary landscape. Through the embracement of diversity and fostering of connections, individuals embark on a transformative journey, shaping a cohort of globally conscious and socially responsible citizens poised to lead purposeful lives in our interconnected world.

Learning objectives:

  • 1.    Understanding the Concept of Global Citizenship: Participants will be able to define the concept of global citizenship and explain its significance in contemporary society and recognize their responsibilities as global citizens.
  • 2.    Recognizing the Role of Intercultural Competence in Language Learning: Participants will understand the importance of intercultural competence beyond language acquisition in language classrooms and will appreciate how language learning can facilitate understanding diverse cultures and fostering connections across borders.
  • 3.    Application of Intercultural Competence in Education: Participants will be able to identify strategies to incorporate intercultural competence into language teaching and how integrating intercultural competence enhances their ability to navigate cultural differences respectfully and effectively.
  • 4.    Engagement in Activities Fostering Global Citizenship: Attendees will participate in dynamic discussions, collaborative projects, and experiential learning activities designed to nurture global citizenship, cultivating empathy and open-mindedness.
  • 5.    Embracing Diversity and Connection for Personal Growth and Global Contribution: Participants will recognize global citizenship as a practical necessity for personal and professional success in the modern world and appreciate the transformative potential of embracing diversity and connection and understand their role as proactive and compassionate global citizens in shaping a better world.

Mindfulness and Well-Being in Schools

Presented by Lei Cohen, Mindfulness Coach, Yoga Practitioner, Educator, & Social-Emotional Learning Advocate

According to CDC, in 2021, more than 4 in 10 (42%) students felt persistently sad or hopeless and nearly one-third (29%) experienced poor mental health,  more than 1 in 5 (22%) students seriously considered attempting suicide and 1 in 10 (10%) attempted suicide.

The findings indicate that the overall prevalence of depression, anxiety, and stress among teachers was 35.4%, 43.7%, and 6.6%. It is high time to bring mindfulness to schools.

According to Harvard research, mindfulness helps reduce stress, ease depression and help people become more self-aware and improve general wellbeing. Mindfulness also helps students to unwind, and can help educators practice self-care. Experts say that we can “train” our brains to improve both mental and physical health.


Heather Sweetser

Bryce Hedstrom

Dr. Geraldine Blattner

Lei Cohen


The Florida Foreign Language Association, Inc. is registered as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Contributions to FFLA are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. 

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