ACTFL 2022 Reflection
ACTFL 2022 Reflection

ACTFL 2022 Reflection

I’ve been carefully formulating a reflection on ACTFL for the past few days, but it’s so hard! How do you condense all you learned, all the people you met, and all the experiences you had into one, short post?

Two days prior to attending the Convention, I had the worst case of Imposter’s Syndrome ever. Do I have enough to offer in a presentation? Will people actually see value in the work that I’m doing? Luckily, the second I stepped into the convention center, it all melted away.

I met people that I’d been following online and fell into a rhythm. Big conventions like this are so intimidating to me. I tend to find my people and stick with them. However, this time around, I tried to extend myself. I walked the exhibition hall, attended presentations, and networked with other educators across the country, all on my own. I finally felt like I stepped out of my comfort zone a little bit!

I attended several presentations that offered advice and practical strategies and activities to integrate into instruction right away. These are just a few of the many wonderful sessions I attended:

  • Mike Travers’ “Who’s Doing The Heavy Lifting?”
    • Explained the Gradual Release of Responsibility framework and gave really great, practical examples of each phase: “I do, we do, you all can do, you can do independently.” I’ve learned about this framework in a general way, but it was refreshing to see how it applied to world languages and in every mode of communication.
  • Leslie Davison’s “Zero to Hero: Using Classroom Novels with Loads of Success!”
    • Provided many examples on how to backwards plan when introducing a novel and how to differentiate in your classes. I learned that it’s OK to move on from a novella if it isn’t working for students and to use many different activities to engage all students. 
  • JJ Epperson’s “Why is Teaching So Hard?”
    • Provided knowledge of brain science and how we have fight, flight, freeze modes. I learned that the only way to “unfreeze” is to BREATHE. There are so many breathing techniques to practice with students that can be integrated into almost any class environment.

On Friday, Wesley Wood and I presented our NECTFL Mead Fellowship work: “Casting a Wider Net: How to Better Reach and Support Neurodiverse Language Learners.” As people entered the room, I was pleasantly surprised. By the time our presentation started, it was standing room only! And the reception to our talk was beyond our wildest dreams.

After the presentation, we received dozens of affirming and appreciative messages from our fellow educators who expressed a desire to learn more. Ultimately, Wes and I walked away knowing with unwavering certainty that the work we’re doing to include ALL language learners is critically important. This is work that cannot wait; we need to reach all of our students and make learning a world language approachable, fun, and a priority. 

Wes and I are VERY lucky that our schools fund our professional development experiences. We understand that many educators do not get funding from their schools and cannot afford to pay out of pocket. If you missed our presentation, please view the slides here: Krause-Wood ACTFL 2022.pdf. If you’d like to help us on the journey or have any questions, email us here: