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VFF 2014-2015

September 2014

    Dr. Heather Weger
“Promoting Student Autonomy: How Authentic Task-Based Activities Can Scaffold Learning In Multi-Level Classes”
Senior Instructor, Georgetown University Center for Language Education and Development

Educators often find themselves faced with classrooms of learners who possess a variety of skills, interests, and goals. How can they individualize activities to provide both sufficient scaffolding and appropriate challenges for students at different levels of ability? How can they ensure that tasks will be stimulating and motivating for all students? And, given the myriad demands on teachers’ time, how can they do this efficiently?

In this session, drawing on principles of student autonomy, authentic materials, and task-based learning, the presenter will outline two media-based projects (one written, one oral) that educators can use to scaffold, challenge, and inspire students toward the development of content-area knowledge, skills, and level-appropriate language use.



October 2014

      Jennifer Forney
“Third Culture Kids and Cross Cultural Kids: Understanding our Highly Mobile Students in the Classroom”
Biology & Chemistry Teacher, Fairfax County Public Schools

Third Culture Kids (TCKs) and Cross Cultural Kids (CCKs) are in all of our classrooms, and their numbers are growing. Who are these global nomads and how can we as educators help them to reach their true potential? Learn the characteristics of highly mobile students, the unique challenges they face, and tools that we as educators can use in the classroom.



November 2014

      Dr. Chuck Cadle
“Imagination, Creativity, and Ego-Strength”
CEO of Destination Imagination

What does the research say about the importance of ego-strength? Einstein said that imagination was more important than knowledge. President Obama said that ideas power our economy. This presentation will discuss why pressuring our students to have a highly conventional behavior is inversely proportional to creativity and innovation. Attendees will learn how Destination Imagination Programs foster ego-strength leading to innovation and leadership. This presentation is applicable to education, business, and any field that requires 21st century skills.



January 2015

Dr. Brantner -Artenie

Dr. Biesenbach Lucas
“Publishing ESL Materials: Opportunities and Challenges”
Senior Instructors Georgetown University Center for Language Education and Development

ESL professionals are often presented with opportunities to collaborate with colleagues for a variety of purposes and in a variety of ways. One common way is for instructors to collaborate on the creation of course materials and conference presentations, and at times these collaborations can lead to more formal projects, such as producing formal materials for a program or for a publisher.  
In this session, the presenters will describe two different publishing experiences: one multi-year project as co-writers of one level of a new multi-level hybrid/blended textbook series, and another one-year project as a team writing one component of a revised integrated skills textbook series. In the presentation, the following questions will be addressed: 

  • How does one find a “way in” with a publisher?  
  • What do you need to do when formally submitting a proposal for a publication? 
  • What should you know about contracts, timelines, and compensation? 
  • At the publisher level, who is involved in your writing and publication process? 
  • What are the challenges of materials writing for publication? 
  • What are the rewards associated with materials writing? 
  • What are the trends in ESL textbook writing today?


February 2015

      Dr. Gorky Cruz
“Teaching Online: Design, Delivery, and Management”
The Center for Language Exploration, Acquisition, and Research and American University


Our guest speaker shared his expertise in teaching online in distance and hybrid learning environments, covering, for example, how to prepare for the transition from face-to-face to online teaching and learning, and best practices in the design, delivery, and management of online courses. 



March 2015

      Mauge Tapia        Escobar

      Huan Vo
“Succeeding after Graduation”
MA TESOL graduates                                                                                     


In an interactive presentation and Q&A session, successful graduates of VIU’s MA TESOL program will share career advice and discuss the opportunities and challenges they have faced as international applicants on the education job market in the US.