Summer Seminar returns to Santa Barbara!

Summer Seminar  Returns to Santa Barbara in  2012

By

Lorraine D’Ambruoso

For one week at the end of July, 2012, 103 teachers of World Languages and Cultures took the time to delve into intense professional development programs. Recently, they returned to their classrooms re-invigorated and renewed, ready to face the challenges of the new school year.

There was a wide range of choices for them while at the seminar. Christine Lanphere and Nicole Naditz led their group’s participants through an intense study of the 21st Century kills Map. Don Doehla led his participants into the fascinating world of Project-Based Instruction. Ivan Bertoux and Thierry Soubrié introduced the French strand participants to French for the 21st Century Learner. Hélène Chan, Margaret Dyer-Peterson, Liz Matchett, and Sally Mearns worked with teams of teacher trainers, which included methods professors, cooperating teachers and supervising teachers who will collaborate to assure quality experiences for teacher candidates.

There was a very special program that took place concurrently, thanks to the generosity of CWLP sites and CLTA members and affiliates. This was the student strand, where, under the guidance of Peter Aguirre, retired teacher of Spanish, counselor, administrator and current Language Methods instructor at UC Santa Barbara and Yo Azama, teacher of Japanese and this year’s ACTFL National Foreign Language Teacher of the Year, led 12 language majors through an in-depth study of World Language Teaching as a possible career. It was truly exciting to see them look at our chosen profession as a possible career choice for them.

The 21st Century Classroom was the theme of the seminar, and each morning, one of our keynote speakers, Tom Welch, Francisca Sanchez and Toni Theisen, approached the theme from different perspectives.

We also offered out participants a variety of evening activities. Sunday night saw them making each others’ acquaintances or renewing old friendships at a wine and cheese reception. On Monday night, we hosted an ice cream social to introduce the students to the participating teachers. This was followed by a showing of a French film, courtesy of the French Consulate. Wednesday evening was devoted to a showing of the provocative film American Teacher and a discussion of the film. At the same time, the French teachers enjoyed a meeting with a French mystery writer from Los Angeles. On Thursday, we held a closing dinner, with awards of certificates and thanks to presenters.

All in all, the summer seminar was more than we hoped. After a hiatus of six years, “Summer Camp for Language Teachers is back!”