Nicole Naditz, Technology Tools that Build Language and Interculturality; and Laura Terrill, Planning for Learning: Effective Unit and Lesson Design.

Fall 2015: Technology Tools that Build Language and Interculturality

Participants joined an award-winning world language teacher in an exploration of online tools that allow teachers to use authentic video more meaningfully with her students, and tools that help teachers curate the web to design rich, multimedia experiences grounded and authentic materials that also facilitate communication among the students and potentially with native speakers around the world.

Participants saw examples of how each of the tools have been used in the presenter’s classroom, learned step-by-step how to create their own learning experiences for students using these tools, and had time to design their own activities for their own classes using each of the tools. Because the activities they designed are grounded in authentic materials, they saw how easy it is to tailor the activities and lessons they created to all levels of language learners and to any theme of study.


Nicole Naditz achieved National Board Certification in 2003 and earned her M.Ed in 2006. She has taught French to grades 3 through 12, including AP French Language since 1993. She currently teaches French at Bella Vista High School in Fair Oaks, California.

Winner of the ACTFL National Language Teacher of the Year award announced in 2014, Nicole was also named SWCOLT Teacher of the Year in 2014, and an Outstanding Teacher by both the Foreign Language Association of Greater Sacramento and the California Language Teachers’ Association. In 2012, she was named San Juan USD Teacher of the Year and Sacramento County Teacher of the Year, and became a Google Certified Teacher. She was also named the 2011-2012 San Juan Teacher of the Year, and received the 2010 Jane Ortner Educating through Music Award.

Nicole is webmaster and advocacy chair on the FLAGS board, is on the Leadership Team of the Capital World Language Project and she served on the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages interview committees for the first National Foreign Language Teacher of the Year and for the Florence Steiner Leadership in K-12 Education Award. She was invited to join the Subject Matter Advisory Panel for Languages Other than English in 2004, and is the founder of the Read Around the World Program and organizes additional opportunities for students to experience languages and cultures outside of the classroom. She has presented on a variety of topics at local and state workshops since 1999 and has received several grants for study in France and Canada.


Presented by Nicole Naditz (ACTFL Language Teacher of the Year, Bella Vista High School)

Spring 2015: Planning for Learning: Effective Unit and Lesson Design

Presented by Laura Terrill


Laura Terrill holds a BA in French from the University of Missouri — St. Louis and a MA in Secondary Administration from Northeast Missouri State University. She taught French at all levels for 21 years before becoming the Coordinator of Foreign Language and English as a Second Language and then, Director of Curriculum. She has taught methods courses in St. Louis and in Indianapolis and continues to present at the local, state, regional and national levels. She has served on the Board of Directors for Central States and ACTFL. She is the recipient of the Founders Award for Central States, has been named as the NADSFL District Supervisor of the Year and has received the ACTFL Florence Steiner Award for Leadership. She recently co-authored the ACTFL Keys to Planning for Learning: Effective Curriculum, Unit and Lesson Design. Laura is currently working as an independent consultant.


Participants considered the principles of backward design as they analyzed a thematic unit designed to be taught at the novice level and considered the impact that performance assessment has on unit design and on daily instruction. They collaborated to design or modify an existing unit and considered effective lesson planning strategies designed to enhance student engagement and maximize student learning.

Focus Questions

  • How do I plan for student learning? What must be considered in thematic unit design?
  • How do I make my students aware of their targeted learning goals?
  • How do I use authentic text to develop skills in all 3 modes of communication?

Part 1 — Components of a Thematic Unit

  • AP Theme / Topic
  • Essential Question
  • Unit Goals – World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages
  • Summative Performance Assessment Tasks
    • Integrated Performance Assessment
    • Alignment of Tasks with 21st Century Skills
    • Role in common assessment
  • Language Functions
    • Key Structures/Patterns
    • Vocabulary
  • Learning Experiences / Formative Assessment
  • Resources
  • Integration of Technology

Part 2 — Lesson Design Considerations

  • Setting lesson goals
  • Cycle of Input – Performance and Feedback – Closure
  • 90% + use of target language
  • Use of authentic text in each mode of communication