QFI Sponsored Sessions at ACTFL 2020

Each year, on the weekend prior to Thanksgiving, ACTFL hosts its annual convention. QFI always has an engaging booth and a strong presence presenting educational sessions and convening teachers for social events. This year, due to the pandemic, the conference was held virtually. Our virtual booth was a place for people to visit online and learn about some of the resources that QFI offers. Additionally, we sponsored four Simu live sessions.

Learning Goals First, Technology Second

“Very useful information for teachers reaching out to students virtually.” – Hyunjoo Kwon, session participant.
In this fast-paced engaging session, Georges Chahwan examined the multitude of ways teachers can use Zoom, a cloud-based video conferencing platform.

Zoom is a relatively common and user-friendly video conferencing system that teachers can use to virtually facilitate peer-to-peer interaction during this period of distance learning. Chahwan walked participants through all the different features teachers can utilize on Zoom, such as scheduling secure meetings and creating breakout rooms.

Designed for both novice and experienced Zoom users alike, this session allows participants to become more comfortable with the popular education platform.

Familiarizing Yourself with the STAMP 4Se

“Knowledge gained from this session will help students who speak less commonly taught languages.” – Kimberley Winfield, session participant.
This session was hosted by Aziz Ebinghannam from AVANT. Ebinghannam walked participants through the basics of the STAMP proficiency assessment and what students can expect while being assessed.

This session explains what differentiates proficiency assessments from other forms of language testing, and why proficiency exams are important for understanding a student’s productive language skills. The STAMP 4Se (STAndards-based Measurement of Proficiency) test is an online proficiency assessment used to measure a student’s ability to communicate in the language, as well as a tool to monitor and measure student progress, growth, and program effectiveness.

This session is designed for educators who want to learn the ins and outs of the STAMP test, including how the test’s multistage adaptive algorithm creates and scores questions, what the test looks like for students, and what the results mean.

Language Learning Through Multilingual Digital Storytelling

“I just watched the presentation, and I am impressed.” – Simone Britz, session participant.
Hosted by Saleh Patel, an Arabic language teacher at Horton Park Primary in the U.K., this session takes an integrative and inclusive approach to modern language learning through the planning, creating, sharing, and evaluating of multilingual digital storytelling. Through multilingual digital storytelling, students are encouraged to:
• Use both the target language they are acquiring and their mother tongue.
• Use a diverse range of digital platforms to aid in putting their ideas forward.
• Creatively and freely express their opinions and narratives.

Multilingual digital storytelling recognizes that language development is a dynamic process, influenced by social and political forces, and is inseparable from culture and identity. As a result, multilingual digital storytelling blends together languages, drama, media, and art to create a learning environment safe for self-expression and performance.

This session focuses on how teachers can implement and integrate multilingual digital storytelling in their classrooms, and how multilingual digital storytelling positively impacts student’s language comprehension and critical thinking skills.

Cross-Cultural Learning and Language Acquisition Via Virtual Exchange

Hosted by Courtney Diranieh, Catherine Del Valle, Hadiya Ahmed, Pavel Corro, and Danica Harootian, this session teaches participants the value of hosting virtual Conversation Partners (CP) with the purpose of strengthening student language and cultural interests, while also accelerating fluency in the target language.

This session introduces participants to NaTakallam, a start-up that provides quality language learning, cultural and virtual exchange programs, and classroom conversation partners The CPs are displaced persons from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Venezuela, Burundi, the DRC, and more!

By integrating CPs into the classroom, teachers can facilitate more 1:1 time with students, while also introducing students to the social and cultural aspects of the targeted language. This session is designed for teachers who want to become equipped with the tools needed to tangibly engage students through virtual cultural exchange.

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