LaTeS is a biannual in-person workshop at which K-12 language teachers can share ideas and issues that are specific to their community, and leave with methods and materials that they can implement into their own classrooms. Arizona Continuing Education is available. There is limited travel funding available for participants who wish to participate from outside the Tucson area. See all the details below!

Creating an LGBTQ+-Inclusive Learning Environment for All Learners in the Language Classroom and Beyond

Presented by Ben Fisher-Rodriguez (Seattle, Washington)

April 27, 2024

9:00 am to 3:00 pm (includes lunch)

In-person at The University of Arizona, Tucson. (There are no remote access options for this event.)

Registration is FREE! Deadline is April 24th at 11:59 PM. Limited spaces are available!

Limited funding for travel is available. The application deadline has been extended to April 19th. Details about eligibility and the application are below. Thank you to the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Center for Middle Eastern StudiesCenter for Latin American Studies, and Arizona International for their contributions to these awards!

About the Presenter:

Ben Fisher-Rodriguez is a high school German and Spanish teacher located in Seattle, WA. He has presented at national, regional, and local conferences on lesson planning, high-leverage teaching strategies, and issues of LGBTQ+ inclusion. Ben is a German Embassy Teacher of Excellence, the Washington Association for Language Teachers (WAFLT) Teacher of the Year for 2022, and the Pacific Northwest Council for Languages (PNCFL) Teacher of the Year for 2023. He was among five finalists for the ACTFL 2024 Teacher of the Year. He blogs at and is on Twitter @mrfishersays.


Abstract for the Spring 2024 LaTeS event: 

More than half of LGBTQ+ students nationally hear negative remarks about their gender and/or sexuality at school, according to a survey by GLSEN. Bullying, harassment, and intimidation compromise a student’s ability to flourish academically, socially, and personally. And LGBTQ+ students are 4 times more likely to commit suicide than their straight-identified peers.

And: All students, no matter who they are, benefit from an inclusive learning environment. The choices we make as educators can help prepare learners to meet the challenges of the “authentic” world, as their authentic selves.

We, as teachers, work our hardest to make complex topics and language comprehensible to our students. For some teachers, the present discourse about genders and sexualities is brand new and – incomprehensible. In this workshop, definitions, clarifications, and suggestions will be provided for creating an inclusive classroom environment for all students. Ideas will be applicable from daily interactions to bigger picture curricular decisions.

Participants will identify areas where they want to learn more about how issues of gender and sexuality are handled linguistically and/or culturally in their Target Cultures, and make a plan to fill in gaps in their knowledge. In addition, they will reflect on the inclusivity of the learning environment in their classrooms in writing or in a discussion. Finally, participants will plan to modify at least 2 units they already teach to be more inclusive of LGBTQ+ people, communities, and issues.

See what Arizona teachers had to say about LaTeS!

“The questions for discussion and the discussion part was very beneficial.”

“Helpful resources and networking!”

“The facility was impressive, especially with the 4 screens, the presenter was knowledgeable, organized and sensitive to his audience. The materials was important as were the activities he used. The staff involved in supporting the presentation were friendly and helpful and, I must add, the lunch was very impressive! Thank you for providing this opportunity to educators in Arizona. Sadly, it should be required of all educators to have this experience.”

“Incorporating LGBTQIA+ stories into the curriculum.”

“Knowledge about inclusive language.”