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NYSED-ACTFL Virtual Learning Workshops

NYSED and OBEWL are proud to present a series of Virtual Learning Workshops aligned to the proposed revisions to the NYS Languages Other Than English (LOTE) Standards. These workshops for NYS educators created by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) were originally offered as in-person events from January-March of 2020. About half of these events had to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. In response to this, OBEWL commissioned ACTFL to create online versions of these workshops that could be accessed by all World Language educators and administrators from schools within our state.

The three Virtual Learning Workshops are:

1. Focusing Learning through Standards and Can-Do Statements - How can we be as effective as possible in planning for language learning?  The World-Readiness Standards answer the “what” of language learning, balancing the development of Communication with the meaningful exploration of Cultures, Connections, Comparisons, and Communities.  What really counts to move along the proficiency continuum?  Unpack the major levels of proficiency by closely examining the NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements organized by the three Modes of Communication and Intercultural Communication to fill in the “how well” to guide learners forward.  Use the lens of Standards and Can-Do Statements to analyze key shifts for learners and educators.

2. Developing Proficiency through High-Leverage Teaching Practices - How can I be the most effective language educator to guide my learners to higher levels of proficiency?  High-leverage Teaching Practices are research-based strategies to answer that question.  Experience and analyze specific instructional moves to implement the vision of the World-Readiness Standards and to develop proficiency as detailed in the NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements.  Deconstruct and reflect on how to apply in your classroom “what works” to facilitate target language comprehensibility, support the development of the Interpersonal mode through pair and small group conversations or discussions, and access and discuss authentic resources to develop the Interpretive Mode.  Strengthen your core practices!

3. Designing Effective Units of Instruction - How can I focus each unit to effectively develop and assess learners’ performance?  Using the principles of backward design (UbD), plan one unit of instruction:  identify the goals (from Standards and Can-Do Statements), determine acceptable evidence (design assessment of each Mode of Communication), and plan the instruction (what learners need to know and be able to do).   The heart of the unit design is envisioning what success looks like as you create the assessments for the end of a unit of instruction.  Integrate the assessment of the three Modes of Communication and measure growth in what learners can do with what they know.   Build your repertoire for the effective design of tasks in the three Modes of Communication targeting Novice, Intermediate, or Advanced levels of proficiency.

Each Virtual Learning Workshop consists of a processing guide, videos, presentation slides, activities, supporting documents, and a culminating application activity. Registration for all Virtual Learning Workshops is now available through the following online form.  Educators need only register once to get access to all three workshops.  Those previously registered for workshop #1 are automatically registered for the entire series.  Participants can complete one, two, or three workshops in any order they wish. Four (4) hours of CTLE credit can be earned for each workshop upon completion of all required workshop activities and earning a score of at least 8/10 on a multiple choice post-assessment.

Registration process - World Language educators and administrators must provide a valid work email from a New York State school, college, or university to register. All schools in our state—public, private, charter, religious and independent—are eligible. Registrants will submit a registration form and create a free ACTFL account*.  Please allow for one week from the time of completing the registration form to receiving the link to access the workshop(s).  

For more information on these Virtual Learning Workshops, please contact Candace Black at

* To create a free ACTFL account, visit the ACTFL website.  Enter your contact information, including your school email (not your personal email).  This does NOT require you to become a member of ACTFL. All this does is set up a username and password for you to use in order to log into ACTFL’s learning management system to access the content.  Once your username and password are created, you will receive a confirmation email and will use these credentials to login into the workshop.

(Updated 12/16/20)