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Workshops on Methodological Developments in Teaching of Spanish

Methodological Developments in Teaching of Spanish as a Second and Foreign Language

A Workshop for Teachers, XIV. Language Programs and Methodology


April 25th, 2020
Room TBA
Barnard College

10:00am – 1:00pm
Guadalupe Valdés
Stanford University


Teaching and Learning Spanish in an Age of Shifting Theories, Ideologies, and Policies

3pm – 6pm
Marta Antón
Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis


Organized by the Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures, Columbia University, and the Department of Spanish and Latin American Cultures, Barnard College.

Co-Sponsored by the Institute of Latin American Studies, Columbia. Co-sponsored by ILETC.

Registration is free.

RSVP to Guadalupe Ruiz Fajardo gr2250@columbia.edu

New York State Seal of Biliteracy: Leveraging growth for CUNY language programs

Room 9205
The Graduate Center, CUNY
2:00pm – 4:00pm

Dr. Jennifer Eddy
Associate Professor of World Language Education at Queens College
The New York State Seal of Biliteracy (NYSSB) recognizes high school graduates who have attained at least an Intermediate High (ACTFL scale) level of proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing in one or more languages, in addition to English.
The New York City region represents 17% of all NYSSB students, with participating schools increasing each year. Students have earned the Seal in 47 languages.
These students represent growth opportunities for our CUNY programs.
Dr. Eddy will explain the NYSSB and described strategies to leverage this large pool of candidates into our programs for growth of CUNY language minors and majors.

ACTFL Convention & Expo Experience 2019

Two CUNY professors who attended the ACTFL Convention and Expo 2019 have shared their experience below.


Aine Zimmerman

Doctoral Lecturer of German

German Department, Hunter College

I had an excellent experience at ACTFL. I was able to see German colleagues old and new from around the country and discuss pedagogical innovations we are all undertaking, as well as the challenges of being in a small language department. I attended numerous panels and have been reinvigorated in my teaching. I have already started adjusting syllabi to be taught next semester, as well as editing/changing sections of a third-year language and culture e-textbook I have written.


Lamees Fadi

Arabic Language Lecturer

Department of Modern Languages & Literatures, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

We as teachers need to educate ourselves and update our materials and knowledge. ACTFL gives me the chance to get in touch with highly professional expert educators who dedicated their experience through the sessions and workshops. Among the most beneficial sessions that I attended was Grading to Promote proficiency; the facilitators introduced different strategies to motivate students through a grading style that accurately reflects their performance and academic progress. ACTFL exhibition was a great chance to know about the most recent publishing and some other valuable chances for both educators and their students, such as studying abroad, languages scholarships, teacher trainings and workshops. I had the chance to meet the ACTFL project representative, and we talked about the ACTFL ILR testing program. All in all, it was very beneficial experience.

ACTFL Workshops

The Institute for Language Education in Transcultural Context (ILETC) along with the Office of Academic Initiatives and Strategic Innovation (AISI) invites language instructors to participate in two workshops.

Workshop 1: Modified OPI Assessment Workshop (MOPI)

This two-day workshop is focused on the Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) and introduces the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) rating scale, the structure of the OPI and techniques for administering and rating the OPI including its applications in the language classroom. Participants will observe and conduct live practice interviews at Novice and Intermediate proficiency levels. Participation in a MOPI Assessment Workshop is the first step toward becoming an ACTFL Certified OPI Tester with Limited Certification.

Workshop 2: Developing and Assessing Academic Reading Proficiency

This one-day workshop will address current research in foreign language reading proficiency with respect to the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Proficiency Guidelines 2012 – Reading. Questions that will be considered include:

  1. What is the role of reading in world language curricula?
  2. How does reading proficiency influence—and how is it influenced by—listening, speaking, and writing proficiency?
  3. How are academic reading requirements different from everyday reading requirements?

The workshop is comprised of three interrelated issues: text typology; defining comprehension tasks; and building a reading proficiency program that includes the development of formative and summative assessments for departments of languages and literatures in higher education. The ACTFL Reading Proficiency Test (RPT) will be introduced as an example of a valid and reliable summative assessment.

Both workshops will be conducted in English for a mixed-language group, and will be led by Dr. Cynthia Martin from the University of Maryland. Further details on both workshops including cost, dates, times, and how to register can be found on the drop-down menu below.

This program is offered by the CUNY Institute for Language Education in Transcultural Context, in partnership with the CUNY Graduate Center’s Office of Academic Initiatives and Strategic Innovation.


ACTFL Workshop: Modified OPI Assessment Workshop (MOPI)

Workshop Cost

  • Instructors affiliated with CUNY: $50 non-refundable fee
  • Non-CUNY instructors: $175 non-refundable fee

Workshop Meeting Information

Meetings will take place at The Graduate Center, CUNY on the following dates and times:

  • Tuesday, January 21, 2020 9:00am – 6:00pm
  • Wednesday, January 22, 2020 9:00am – 6:00pm

To register please click this link.

ACTFL Workshop: Developing and Assessing Academic Reading Proficiency

Workshop Cost

  • Instructors affiliated with CUNY: $25 non-refundable fee
  • Non-CUNY instructors: $75 non-refundable fee

Workshop Meeting Information

The workshop will take place at The Graduate Center, CUNY on the following date and time:

  • Thursday, January 23, 2020 9:00am – 6:00pm

To register please click this link.

ACTFL Convention and Expo 2019

Presentations by CUNY Faculty



Eckhard Kuhn-Osius and Yoko Sakurai, (Hunter College), Jennifer Eddy, (Queens College), Evelyn Duran Urrea, (Lehman College), and Alberta Gatti (The Graduate Center) will be presenting in DC next week.

For details on their presentations, see below.



The research on L2 grammar teaching, learning, and acquisition is vast. This panel will present how-to approaches to implementing the practical and theoretical research in classroom teaching, focusing heavily on the link between the development of grammar abilities and the development of literacy.

Session Presenter

Scott Windham, Elon University


Eckhard Kuhn-Osius, Hunter College, CUNY
Marianna Ryshina-Pankova, Georgetown University

View Proposal



This session focuses on EdTPA Commentaries, in which teacher candidates must justify planning, instruction, and assessment decisions using SLA and educational theory. Research data from all stakeholders on research and practice as well as strategies for preparing and mentoring candidates for the edTPA will be shared.

Session Presenter

Jennifer Eddy, Queens College CUNY


Dr. Mary Curran, Rutgers University

View Proposal



This paper presents results of a pilot study intended to gauge the writing proficiency development of Spanish heritage learners through a four-semester heritage Spanish college course sequence. The study used an assessment tool modeled after the ACTFL Writing Proficiency Test, and had the goal of delineating recommendations for curriculum design.


Alberta Gatti, CUNY Graduate Center
Evelyn Duran Urrea, Lehman College

View Proposal



Have you tried to use Can-Do Statements, but can’t figure out where to start or how to implement them effectively in your class? This session will help you explore the possibility of redesigning activities based on real life situations and with an authentic and meaningful communicative purpose.

Session Presenter

Yoko Sakurai, CUNY, Hunter College


Takami Taylor, University of West Florida
Mrs. Eiko Williams, University of Miami
Naoko Komura, Florida International University

View Proposal

Lecture and Conversation with Guadalupe Valdés, Ph.D.

April 24th, 2020  
Skylight Room, 9th floor
The Graduate Center, CUNY
4:00pm – 7:00pm

Open to the public

The Institute for Language Education in Transcultural Context (ILETC) invites Dr. Guadalupe Valdés for a lecture and conversation on an online program developed for college-age volunteers to prepare to work with adult English learners in a nearby community. 

Dr. Valdés will speak on the theory and practice involved in supporting adult learners who have enrolled and attended traditional adult ESL 1 courses over many years. She is currently revising the online course to emphasize that students view themselves as language “coaches” rather than as “teachers” or “tutors” who curricularize language.

Dr. Valdés is the Bonnie Katz Tenenbaum Professor of Education at Stanford University. Her research explores many of the issues of bilingualism relevant to teachers in training, including methods of instruction, typologies, measurement of progress, and the role of education in national policies on immigration. Specifically, she studies the sociolinguistic processes of linguistic acquisition by learners in different circumstances–those who set out to learn a second language in a formal school setting (elective bilingualism) and those who must learn two languages in order to adapt to immediate family-based or work-based communicative needs within an immigrant community (circumstantial bilingualism). Her research in these areas has made her one of the most eminent experts on Spanish-English bilingualism in the United States.

Teaching & Learning of Heritage Languages Seminar Series

The Institute for Language Education in Transcultural Context (ILETC) invites language instructors who teach heritage or mixed L2/heritage courses to participate in a year-long seminar series aimed at exploring issues related to the teaching and learning languages.

This seminar series offers organized spaces for participants to work collaborately while learning from one another. Discussions are geared toward understanding heritage learners and their languages with the goal of supporting curricular a pedagogical improvement. This professional development activity will be led by ILETC Director, Dr. Alberta Gatti, with the participation of Maria Carreira, co-director of the UCLA National Heritage Language Resource Center.

Seminar Cost

  • Free for CUNY instructors and graduate students.
  • $110 (includes $10 registration fee) for those not affliated with CUNY.

Class Meeting Information

Meetings will take place at The Graduate Center, CUNY on Fridays from 4:00pm to 6:00pm. Dates of the courses and topics are as follows:

  • September 20, 2019 4:00 – 6:00pm – Heritage Learners and Heritage Languages “in the Wild” and “in the Classroom.”
  • October 18, 2019 4:00 – 6:00pm- Sociolinguistic Profile of Heritage Language Learners and Critical Pedagogy.
  • November 15, 2019 4:00 – 6:00pm- Proficiency and Literacy.
  • February 28, 2020 4:00 – 6:00pm- Pedagogical Approaches I: Teaching mixed L2/heritage classes
  • April 3, 2020 4:00 – 6:00pm – Pedagogical Approaches II: Successful Pedagogies for Heritage Language Education.
  • May 1, 2020 4:00 – 6:00pm – Placement and Assessment.


The Graduate Center, CUNY
365 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10016

Registration is now closed for this event. Please email iletc@gc.cuny.edu or agatti@gc.cuny.edu about any questions.

Linguistic Diversity in Higher Education Symposium

The CUNY Graduate Center
365 5th Avenue
New York
Room 9204/9205

May 2, 2019
9.00 am—6.00pm

The symposium is an opportunity for scholars, practitioners, administrators, and students to engage in conversations about the ways in which multilingualism shapes access to higher education and to start collaborative projects such as scholarly publications, teaching materials, and educational programs. Students are particularly welcome.

The symposium is free, however registration is required for lunch. The deadline for registration is April 26th. We will not be able to provide lunch for those who do not register or those who register after April 26th.

Please register at the bottom of this page.


9.00-9.15 | Coffee

9.15-10.45 | Session 1: Language Learning and Identity 

The expansion of dual language bilingual education programs: The case of Hebrew in New York City 
Sharon Avni, Borough of Manhattan Community College (CUNY); Kate Menken, Queens College (CUNY)

Ideologies, identity, and investment in a diverse and multilingual Spanish classroom
Beatriz Lado, Lehman College & The Graduate Center (CUNY); Carmín Quijano, The Graduate Center (CUNY)

10.45-11.00 | Coffee Break

11.00-12.30 | Session 2: Policies for Linguistic Equality in a Globalized World 

The use of the minority language at the university level: Between revitalization and internationalization at the University of the Basque Country
Jasone Cenoz, University of the Basque Country, UPV/EHU, Spain

Status planning for language equality: The case of African languages in teacher education
Christa van der Walt, Stellenbosch University, South Africa

12.30-1.00 | Lunch*

*Registration is required for lunch. Participants must register by April 26th. We will not be able to provide lunch to those who do not register or those who register after April 26th. Please register using the form below, or register here (https://forms.gle/FSZEVCQeiPmyh8vp8).

1.00-2.30 | Session 3: Pedagogical Solutions: Questioning Assumptions

Linguistic diversity and language ownership in Nigeria: Implications for access to higher education.
Kingsley Ugwuanyi, Northumbria University, Newcastle, U.K.

Addressing linguistic diversity in South Africa through defamiliarization, critical language awareness, community-building and bilingual practices in teacher training
Liesel Hibbert, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa

2.30-2.45 | Coffee Break

2.45- 4.15 | Session 4: Pedagogical Solutions: Learning from Our Students

Reciprocal learning – teaching and epistemic access
Rosemary Wildsmith, North West University, South Africa

What happens when we try to learn our students’ language?
Andrea Parmegiani, Bronx Community College (CUNY)

4.15-4.30 | Coffee Break

4.30-4.45 | Concluding Remarks

4.45-6.00 | Exploration of Collaborative Projects in Special Interest Groups

Register here: https://forms.gle/FSZEVCQeiPmyh8vp8

Educating Toward Advanced Performance Levels

April 29, 2019
Room TBA
The Graduate Center
10:00am – 1:00pm
Registration required: http://tiny.cc/1eiu3y

Presenter: Heidi Byrnes, Georgetown University

Workshop description:

In this workshop, we will consider how to enhance L2 instructed learners’ ability to attain advanced levels of ability through educational action. We will follow a three-step approach: First, we will lay out broad characteristics of ‘advancedness’ that differentiate that performance level from  intermediate levels of ability; second, using a functional, meaning-oriented approach, we will further specify advancedness in terms of register and genre in order to arrive at broad principles for curriculum construction and pedagogical action; finally, we will locate advancedness within the long-term development process of instructed learners and how programs might conceptualize and facilitate that extended movement. While the workshop will focus on writing, discussion will include all modalities of language use.

Heidi Byrnes is George M. Roth Distinguished Professor of German Emerita at Georgetown University. Her research focuses on adult L2 literacy acquisition, particularly at the advanced level. She has edited and co-edited books and special journal issues on the development of advanced literacy and the link between languaging and thinking, particularly in writing. She is a past president of AAAL, past editor of The Modern Language Journal, and is the recipient of numerous professional association awards, including the Distinguished Scholarship and Service Award of AAAL.