Message from the President


Lesley Chapman, OFLA President 2019-2020
French Teacher, Sycamore High School

Are you considering coming to the OFLA Conference in Cincinnati on April 2-4?  We are planning three days of excellent workshops and sessions for Ohio’s teachers and hope to welcome as many of you as possible.  I would like to take an opportunity to introduce our invited guests.

Keynote Speaker and Guest Presenter:  Laura Terrill  

Laura is without doubt one of the most influential world language experts in the country.  She holds a B.A. in French from the University of Missouri and an M.A. 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, followed by Director of Curriculum, in the Parkway School District in St. Louis, Missouri. 

Laura has graciously agreed to come to Cincinnati to share her expertise with us in multiple ways. 

She will be offering a workshop on Thursday entitled Purposeful Lesson Planning: Making Every Minute Count.  Here is a brief description of her workshop: 

“Multiple factors impact the quality of a lesson and consideration of what we know about how the brain learns and what causes learning to stick is critical. Participants will consider each part of the learning cycle from gaining attention and providing input to performance with feedback in order to design lessons that are learner-centered. Teachers will engage in easy to implement instructional strategies that move learners from input to output using a variety of texts to bring culturally-rich and cognitively-engaging content into the lesson.”

Laura will also be offering a 50 minute session on Saturday morning entitled Focus on Proficiency, and she will also be speaking at our Awards Dinner on Friday evening.  We are incredibly lucky that she is joining us this year. 

Guest Presenter:  Greta Lundgaard

Greta Lundgaard has been involved in world language education for over 30 years, with 15 years as a German/Biology/English teacher and 15 years as a district supervisor. As the world language supervisor in Plano, Texas, Greta led a multi-language curriculum revision that resulted in a proficiency-focused, performance-based curriculum with an embedded literacy plan and provided professional learning experiences to a staff of 125 teachers in support of this shift. She has served both on the Board of Directors and as president of the Texas Association for Language Supervision, the National Association of District Supervisors of Foreign Languages, and the Southwest Conference of Language Teaching.

Greta will be presenting a half day workshop on Thursday, April 2, entitled 3 for of 1: Embedding Grammar & Vocabulary in Communicative Activities.  We asked her to present something related to bridging the gap between CI and grammar and vocabulary, and based on this description, it is clear that her workshop will deliver: 

“It’s a core practice: Teach grammar as a concept and use it in context. Even if we figure out what that means, we suspect there is more to it than one catchphrase. Key structures, language chunks, and target vocabulary are lifeless without meaning, purpose, and intentionality. What language our learners use to communicate is a cornerstone to proficiency growth. How do our learners acquire language they need while they participate and communicate? This workshop explores how to design activities that embed key structures and target vocabulary into communicative activities and tasks.”

Greta’s ideas and expertise are very timely, as more and more of us are searching for ways to find more contextual ways to introduce grammar and vocabulary in our lessons.

Guest Presenter:  Donna Tatum-Johns

Donna is a well-known speaker in the worlds of TPRS and CI. She has agreed to come and share her expertise with us, giving us new ideas and insights to encourage reading in the target language. She will present a full-day workshop on Thursday, April 2, entitled Oh The Places You’ll Go: Reading in an Acquisition-Driven Class. Here is a description of her workshop:

“Reading is a crucial component in any classroom. Reading can provide an abundance of comprehensible input and play an important role in helping students become confident in the target language. In this interactive workshop, learn tips and tricks for creating a backwards lesson plan, for creating anticipation when setting up a reader, for inserting a bit of play in class discussions and for actually getting your learners to want to read. From start to finish, this workshop will give you practical tips for inspiring young readers that you can immediately use in your classrooms.”

Invited Guest:  Leila Kubesch

Leila is the Ohio Department of Education’s Teacher of the Year for 2019-2020. She has graciously agreed to conduct a session for us at OFLA.  To learn more about Leila, this information was taken from the ODE website: “Leila teaches Spanish and English to speakers of other languages at Norwood Middle School. Having committed to teaching in high-need schools, she became resourceful in securing unique opportunities for her students. With the goal of empowering all youth in the same manner as those in affluent communities, she fosters community partnerships, writes grants for innovative learning and instills a mindset of dreaming big through large-scale service learning projects that stem from youth initiatives. The work of her students has landed in museums around the country and won national recognition.”

“Her passion for equity and social justice extends beyond the classroom. She served as an advocate for emancipated foster youth in Ohio by raising awareness of the plight of these youth. She has presented to large audiences, including TEDx Cincinnati, where she won the Audience Choice Award for her talk. She spoke with politicians and dedicated her effort until House Bill 50 passed, enabling foster youth in Ohio to have homes until age 21.”

“She places a high value on learning and has studied in eight countries. She earned a Master of Science in Educational Leadership from Purdue University and a Master of Arts in Secondary Education from Ball State University. She is a certified yoga instructor and her fellowships include Fund for Teachers, Christa McAuliffe, and Fulbright Hays.”

Leila will be presenting a session on the subject of co-teaching on Friday, April 3.

This is just a sampling of the experts throughout the state and country who will be joining us at OFLA 2020 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  We hope you will join us, too. To register, simply go to our website. We look forward to seeing you in April!


This entry was posted in Executive News, Letter from the President, Winter 2020. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s