Summer Institute

2017 WAFLT Summer Institute

July 31 – August 2, 2017
Pyle Center
UW Madison

Taking the Lead: Proficiency-Oriented Programs in Practice

Designing and Delivering Effective Instruction

Workshop participants will:

  • Experience how Wisconsin schools have designed Proficiency-Oriented Programs and writing assessments to demonstrate student growth
  • Consider ACTFL Core Practices that promote effective instruction
  • Develop skills to be an educational leader
  • Collaborate to reflect and implement strategies from the Summer Institute workshops

2017 Summer Institute Wiki

Summer Institute 2017 Survey

Course description for Graduate Credit

Summer Institute participants may choose to register for a Graduate Credit option. See instructions at the link above.

New!! Reduced fees.
Lunch is NOT included in registration. Lunch is on your own.


Join WAFLT today and save!

Monday, July 31

8:00 – 9:00 am Registration – Pyle Center
9:00 – 12:00 pm Core Practices for World Language Learning: The Core of Proficiency
– Andrea Behn, French Teacher, Parker High School, 2017 WAFLT Teacher of the Year Nominee. Which Core Practice is your strength? Which needs improvement? What does focusing on the Core Practices mean for your students? Explore and experience ACTFL’s Six Core Practices, while setting goals for yourself and developing tasks for your students to advance their proficiency. The Six Core Practices are research-based and could play an important role in Educator Effectiveness, as well as department and district goals. Monday’s focus includes:

  • Planning with Backward Design Model
  • Facilitating Target Language Comprehensibility
  • Guiding Learners through Interpreting Authentic Resources
12:00 – 1:00 pm Lunch on your own (NOT included in workshop registration)
 1:00 – 4:00 pm Moving Along the Road to Proficiency: Greendale’s Journey K-12
– Theresa Kruschke Alfonso, Spanish Teacher & Curriculum Facilitator, Greendale High School; Helena Curtain, Associate Professor (Emerita), University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; Jessica Bradley, k-5 Spanish Teacher, Highland View Elementary School; Carol Hartmann, Canterbury Elementary. Schools and school districts with highly effective world language programs include four components in their planning and implementation. They a) set proficiency targets for each grade level and/or each course in the program, b) design learning pathways and curriculum that will help students meet those targets, c) assess both internally and externally to ensure that the targets are being met, and finally, d) analyze the resulting assessment data with the goal of improving learning.  This workshop will provide details on the Greendale School District’s progress and continuing process in applying these four components, and will especially focus on how they are creating and using thematic units as the learning pathway to support students in developing proficiency. Presenters will share sample elementary and secondary unit plans and will support participants in designing implementation plans for their own contexts.

Tuesday, August 1

9:00 – 12:00 pm Core Practices for World Language Learning: The Core of Proficiency
– Andrea Behn, French Teacher, Parker High School, 2017 WAFLT Teacher of the Year Nominee. A continuation of Monday’s introduction to ACTFL’s Six Core Practices. Tuesday’s focus includes:

  • Designing Oral Interpersonal Communication Tasks
  • Teaching Grammar as Concept and Use in Context
  • Providing Appropriate Oral Feedback
12:00 – 1:00 pm Lunch on your own (NOT included in workshop registration)
 1:00 – 4:00 pm Curriculum Under Construction: Taking the Leap from Performance to Proficiency
– Kathy Varda, Spanish Teacher, Stoughton High School; Amber Little, German Teacher, Stoughton High School; Erin Nienas, Spanish Teacher, River Bluff Middle School; Stephanie Krenz, German Teacher, Stoughton High School.

Have you moved to performance based assessments and thematic units in your district, and aren’t sure where to go next? Want to focus on what your students can do in the target language? We will walk you through our journey of rebuilding our curriculum to focus on performance-based assessments and the process of moving from performance to proficiency. We will look at the differences in assessing proficiency and performance, especially in writing. Discover new strategies for teaching and assessing writing. Learn how to measure student growth on the ACTFL Writing Proficiency Scale, and how to incorporate proficiency assessments similar to the ACTFL WPT (Writing Proficiency Test) assessment into your curriculum.

Wednesday, August 2

9:00 – 12:00 pm World Language Teachers = World Language Leaders
– Lynn Sessler Neitzel, Curriculum and Assessment, Blackhawk Technical CollegeIn World Languages, it is more important than ever that we have strong leadership at multiple levels within our discipline, our schools, our state and beyond. Every educator can be a leader and should strive to be highly effective in all they do. How then, do you take this to the next level and truly “lead” through Core Practices? This workshop will help you examine who you are as a leader within your department/division, school and larger school community. You will analyze your sphere of influence for implementing and supporting change and engaging your colleagues. You will create the beginnings of a plan to grow in your effectiveness as a leader and transform your programs while continuing to foster high expectations for language learning and a growth mindset across your teams.
12:00 – 1:00 pm Lunch on your own (NOT included in workshop registration)
1:00 – 4:00 pm Unconference and Collaboration Time
– Josh LeGreve, Spanish Teacher, Green Lake School District Unconference – Meet in small groups to discuss targeted topics of your choice from Monday and Tuesday’s presentations. Collaboration Time – Work with colleagues to apply the Summer Institute presentations and plan for the upcoming school year.

Registration – New reduced fees for 2017!
Lunch is NOT included in Registration. Lunch is on your own.

WAFLT Member Non-Member Special:WAFLT members only – Full-time students and Retired teachers.
TWO DAY Conference: Core Practices / Greendale and Stoughton Programs (Jul. 31 – Aug. 1, 2017) $120.00  $170.00 $95.00
THREE DAY Conference:
Core Practices / Greendale and Stoughton Programs / Leadership / Unconference and Collaboration (Jul. 31 – Aug. 2, 2017)
$145.00 $195.00 $120.00

*See special registration instructions*


* TEAM DISCOUNT: Before registering as a TEAM, contact Lisa Hendrickson at for special instructions.

  • Bring a TEAM of two teachers or more from your school district and receive a 20% discount on registration.
  • All teachers on your TEAM must be WAFLT members to qualify for the group discount.
  • After contacting Lisa Hendrickson, each TEAM member will receive a coupon that entitles him or her to the TEAM DISCOUNT.


New reduced fees for 2017!
Lunch is NOT included in Registration. Lunch is on your own.

PAYMENT PROCEDURES After making your selections on the online registration form, you may choose to pay by:

  • MC/Visa
  • Mail-in check payment. Print registration receipt (generated online) and mail with check to: Kellie Michels, Treasurer, 1438 S. 81 Street, West Allis, WI 53214
  • Purchase orders are NOT accepted
  • Late or on-site registration: additional $10.00


  • WAFLT Summer Institute refund requests must be made in writing by July 5, 2017, and sent to and .
  • A service charge of $25.00 is applied to all refunds unless the request is made within forty-eight hours of initial registration.

LODGING: The following facility has set aside a block of rooms with workshop pricing.

The Lowell Center
610 Langdon St., Madison, WI 53703-1195
Phone: 608 256-2621
Group name: WAFLT
Cut off date: June 30, 2017 (Rooms are released from workshop block after this date.)
To reserve a room on-line:

PARKING: Parking fees are not included in workshop registration. The closest ramp is the Lake Street Campus Garage, 415 N. Lake Street. Parking available for Lowell Center guests.

QUESTIONS? Contact Lisa Hendrickson at

2016 Summer Institute Content Wiki

You can check out previous summer institutes here…