Summer 2016 - Connecticut Council of Language Teachers


Summer 2016 - Connecticut Council of Language Teachers
Connecticut COLT
World Language News Exchange
Connecticut Council of Language Teachers
Summer 2016
President’s Message
your own classroom. Information about CT LILL can also be
found online at
Additionally, CT COLT welcomed Laura Terrill back to the state
of Connecticut in late June for the annual Summer Institute.
This workshop focused on the Core Practices and focused
teachers on building Integrated Performance Assessments
(IPAs). Laura will be back with us in Connecticut at our annual
Fall Conference at the Radisson Hotel in Cromwell on Monday,
October 24th. We hope you will consider joining us at the
conference. Information about the conference and the
Summer Institute can also be found online at
Dear Friends,
It’s been more than six years since
I received my first phone call
about CT COLT. It’s actually hard
to believe that I was asked to join
such a distinguished group of
educators; after all, what
qualifications did I have? Who
was I to represent an entire region
of the state’s language teachers?
Well, six years later I am proud to say that I have worked with
an intelligent, awe-inspiring group that has continued to push
me in new ways and expand my professionalism and the
techniques and methodologies I use in the classroom. CT COLT
has opened many new and exciting professional opportunities
for me, and I hope that over the next two years as president,
we will continue to help to provide more and more
opportunities for all of our members across the state.
We have many exciting things happening in world language
education in Connecticut, and many wonderful educators who
have helped spearhead them. This past year was no exception.
Although our efforts this past spring did not lead to the
passage of the Seal of Biliteracy, our efforts have not gone
unnoticed! In June, several members of CT COLT met with
officials at the State Department of Education to help move
this initiative forward. We are hopeful to have a committee in
place later this summer, which will help shape the Seal of
Biliteracy in Connecticut and will allow for a permissive pilot to
be in place in the next school year. The Commissioner of
Education, Dianna Wentzell, is supportive of the Seal of
Biliteracy and will be working with officials to bring forward
legislation in the next session, which will hopefully result in the
Seal. You can always visit for updates on the
Seal of Biliteracy.
In the fall of 2015, we launched CT LILL (Leadership Initiative in
Language Learning). This group of individuals has met both in
person and virtually to discuss the Core Practices that ACTFL
unveiled last fall. The meetings are open to anyone who is
interested in leadership, which includes being a leader within
Spring is always a busy time for teachers, and language
teachers are certainly no exception to that rule! At CT COLT,
we spent this spring looking at amazing posters drawn by
students across the state, reading essays, listening to rhymes
performed by elementary students, and recitations of poetry
performed by middle and high schoolers. We have so much to
be proud of! Students’ engagement and excitement for
languages continues to grow and it’s in thanks to their teachers
and the dedication and determination that they have put into
each lesson and unit.
So, on behalf of the students of Connecticut, I would like to
thank you! Thank you for your caring. Thank you for your
determination. Thank you for insisting that learning languages
are important. Thank you for thinking that we should learn
about other cultures. Thank you for using the target language,
even when it would have just been easier to do it in English.
And most importantly, thank you for believing in me!
Summer provides each of us time recharge our proverbial
batteries, and more importantly, to reflect upon the year that
was, and prepare for the year that will be. So this summer, I
ask you – What will you do to engage your students in class this
year? How will you grow professionally? And how can CT COLT
help you?
Where ever you may go this summer, take time to enjoy the
friends and family that you have with you. Relax, rejuvenate,
and rest-up!
Improves chances of college acceptance and
Enhances career opportunities; and
Benefits understanding and security in one’s
community and society.
Why Should Parents Support Foreign
Language Learning?
Yet learning a language takes years – just consider how much
time it takes babies to learn to speak and then become literate
– and not everyone appreciates its importance. Language
programs are often threatened by school budget cuts or
misunderstood as unnecessary due to “Google translate” or
other digital translation services. But learning a language is
about much more than speaking; it’s about communicating
with another person across a cultural divide. Children learn
just as much about other people and their cultures as they do
about the language. Parents, therefore, can play a critical role
in being an advocate inside and outside the classroom by
supporting, promoting and expanding foreign language
programs in local schools and districts.
By Stacie Nevadomski Berdan
Byline bio: Stacie Nevadomski Berdan is the mother of twins
and a seasoned global executive and an expert on international
careers. She is the author of six books on the intersection of
globalization and careers, including the best-selling “A Parent
Guide to Study Abroad” (IIE 2015) and award-winning “Raising
Global Children” (ACTFL 2013).
The world faces global challenges requiring global solutions:
Globalization affects everyone. We can’t ignore it, or hope it
goes away. We must learn to deal with globalization, and help
our children understand that it’s about learning how to thrive
rather than just survive. By taking a proactive role in enhancing
our children’s global awareness, we can teach them to
understand and cope with the challenges of a rapidly changing
world. But we shouldn’t have to do it alone. Our schools must
do much more than produce individuals who can read, write,
and do math and science. We need teachers who embrace
global education, who are prepared to infuse the classroom
with global learning and a diversity of perspectives, to
empower youth by providing them with the knowledge, skills,
and awareness necessary to become responsible global
One of the most powerful components of a global education is
foreign language learning. Although learning a second
language is not a component of the standard American school
curriculum, the argument for teaching foreign languages is
strong and growing stronger. The benefits are clear with
decades of research to prove that learning a second language:
Supports academic progress in other
Narrows achievement gaps between
different demographic student populations;
Aids both basic skills and higher order,
abstract, and creative thinking;
development (especially if done early);
Enhances student’s sense of achievement;
Improves scores on standardized tests;
Parents must also be prepared to support their children’s
language study as an important component of ongoing K-16
education. First, children should begin language study as
early as possible in school (if parents don’t speak a second
language at home or have access to a pre-school language
teacher). Second, children should be encouraged to study
and practice daily as they would any other subject; the more
practice, the better. Third, parents can reinforce the
importance of continuing language study through (or even
beginning in) high school and college. Fourth, parents can
seek out ways for their children to improve and experience
the language outside the classroom, such as through books,
music and movies; conversations with native speakers
(perhaps with a neighbor or relative or in a local ethnic
restaurant); and immersive summer experiences such as
STARTALK, Concordia Language Villages, or study abroad.
Fifth, parents should praise children for their dedication,
celebrate their progress, and show interest in what they’re
learning, even if they, as parents, don’t speak the language.
Monday – October 24, 2016
Radisson Hotel
Cromwell, CT
2016 CT COLT Fall Conference
Foreign language learning can be a transformative
experience, changing the way children think and act with the
world around them. Parents’ involvement can make a
significant difference.
Building Proficiency
in Today’s Digital Natives
Students Say…
Keynote Address
AITE Students Reflect on Studying
Latin and Russian
by Laura Terrill
World Language Specialist
Students in Anna Koltypin’s Latin and Russian classes were
asked to write about studying Latin and Russian. The essays
that follow were written by students in her classes at AITE.
FREE Parking
Buffet Luncheon
A Wide Variety of Exhibits
The Advantage of Latin
(exhibitors and organizations)
by Graham Steinberg
A Wide Variety of Workshops
It was Thomas Jefferson who said, "To read the Latin and
Greek authors in their original is a sublime luxury...I thank on
my knees him who directed my early education for having in
my possession this rich source of delight." Latin is profoundly
enlightening not only to the study of Roman history and the
ancient world; it also expands one’s knowledge of various
fields including science, law and world languages. It is also
important to preserve such an influential language for future
generations and by continuing to study it, we do just that.
(immersion and non-immersion)
Please visit the CT COLT website for information on
the rate structure and dates. The fall conference
brochure will be mailed out during the month of
August. At that time, all conference information
and registrations forms will be online. REGISTER
EARLY, SAVE $$$!!!!
Many forms of academia today can be attributed to the Latin
language and culture. In science, binomial nomenclature, the
words where the test taker can guess the meanings of these
words and they have a higher probability of getting the correct
Additionally, Latin is the fundamental language for other
languages as well including, Spanish, Italian, French, and
Portuguese. So if learning one of these languages is something
that you want to do, then taking Latin is the best course of
action as it will be easier later on. Or, if you already speak one
of these languages and are interested in knowing where some
of the vocabulary comes from, you should still learn Latin.
Moving on, we use Latin in math as well. In Latin, integer
“whole”, thus in English, an “integer” is a whole number.
Furthermore, we use exponents in mathematical equations.
The prefix for “exponent” comes from the Latin ex meaning
“out of”. Therefore, we place the number outside of the
equation. Lastly, we use radicals to find the root of numbers
and the Latin for this is radix which means “root”.
Likewise, Latin is use a lot when it comes to the science world.
It is in periodic table: I always wondered why elements such as
gold, silver, and sodium did not have similar letters in their
symbols. But by learning Latin, I was able to see that each of the
elements take their symbols after their Latin counterparts; so
for gold, the Latin word is aurum, hence the symbol “Au”.
Additionally, silver in Latin is argentum, which is where the
symbol “Ag” comes from.
form by which all life is named, is written in Latin as was done
by Carl Linnaeus. Much of the terms used by the American
judicial system are also in Latin. Most importantly, five of the
world’s most common languages spoken by 791 million people,
stem from the Latin language. Even fifty-eight percent of our
In the same manner, if you look at the “scientific name” for
almost anything, it will most likely have a Latin name to it. For
example, the scientific name for a do is Canis lupus familiaris.
With Latin, you would know that canis means “dog”, lupus
means “wolf” and familiaris means “family”. From this, you can
gather where the English word “canine” comes from. So if you
are studying to become any kind of scientist, Latin is sure to be
one of your best friends along your journey. Correspondingly,
you will find tons of Latin prefixes, suffixes, and derivatives in
medical terminology. To name a few, The Latin adreno refers to
the adrenal glands in English, the Latin ambi “denotes that
something is positioned on both sides”, hence the English word
“ambidextrous”. Additionally, there is the Latin word carpo
means “of or pertaining to the wrist”, which is where medical
phrases and terms such as “carpal tunnel” come from. So again,
if you are studying to become a doctor or nurse (or anywhere
in the medical field), Latin is a major plus.
The Roman Empire has had an incredibly profound impact on
the history of the world. Latin was at the center of that
development and its language, culture and literature shape
much of where we have gone. By maintaining the Latin
language we both preserve one of the world’s most influential
cultures and better understand the knowledge of the presentday.
Why Latin is Important and Pertains to You
By Deeneka Baker
Aside from being one of the base languages for o English, Latin
is a very important language to learn for various reasons.
Although it is deemed “the dead language”, the Latin language
can come in handy when taking the SATs. As said before, Latin
is one of the base languages for the English language and on
the SATs, some may come across a few words that they may or
may not know. Through Latin, it is possible to recognize root
It is possible to go on and on about the many different places
throughout life that Latin can be found and applied. Even those
who say Latin is a “dead language” use it every day. Latin is
already an interesting Language to learn and know, but once
you do get more familiar with the language it helps you further
your knowledge on certain things by giving you a deeper
learning a subject like science or medicine is learning all of the
vocabulary that accompanies it.
Latin is also where the romance languages stem from. The six
romance languages are: Spanish, Italian, French, Romanian,
Portuguese and Catalan. If you have an interest in learning any
of these languages, it is a good idea to learn Latin first. Latin
helps with half of English because it is a hybrid language, Latin
will help with almost 100% of the romance languages because
are directly derived from Latin. Latin helps the mind to think
systematically and critically. Once a student has the system of
Latin fully understood, he/she can easily learn a plethora of
other languages. Also the critical thinking skills that a Latin
student has developed will surely help them in other subjects
in school. Math is another systematic subject and a student’s
performance in math will improve is they have taken Latin. Latin
is not only useful for languages, but it is useful for working a
student’s brain and making him excel in other subjects. Latin is
a cumulative subject and piles on year and year of learning it;
nothing can be forgotten. Getting a student to think in this
mindset helps them in other cumulative subjects.
Why Study Latin?
Paolo Dinglasan
Latin is a great language to learn in High School, or in any level
of school. It is informative, relevant, interesting, compelling,
and lastly, Latin is fun! Many will make the argument that since
Latin is not spoken by any country in the world currently, or in
other words dead, that there is no real reason to learn or take
Latin. However, Latin is actually very relevant to everyday life
and even a basic understanding of it will give any person an
advantage over those who are completely ignorant to Latin.
Latin is a big part of English, which is one of the most spoken
languages in the world today. Half of the English language is
made up of Latin words and roots. Many of the words spoken
in everyday language has Latin roots. Also, Latin will help
English speakers to decipher longer and more convoluted
words. For example, children know what the word ‘father’
means in English. However, many of them do not know that the
Latin root for the word is ‘pater, or patris.’ Without this
knowledge, a child will not be able to give an educated guess of
the word paternalism, or expatriate, or patronize. When
encountering new and foreign words, even in our primary
language, it helps to know Latin so that we may be able to take
the word apart by its roots and guess the meaning of the word.
This skill is helpful in all level of school and in life after schooling.
It is definitely a skill I will take with me to college and to the
workplace, wherever I may be.
Finally, Latin is fun! It is entertaining and it challenges the mind.
It never gets dry because there is always something new to
learn. It also takes a long time to fully learn the language and
even after that it is extremely useful in everyday life. Latin is a
subject that students should take because it is engaging and full
of participation. Personally, I wish I had taken Latin from the
beginning because it has piqued my interest so much.
Why Study Latin?
by Viviane Rivas
Many claim that the Latin language is dead, and in some
context, it is. But little do some realize that Latin is very much
alive- it flourishes everywhere, in everything that we see, say,
and hear. The English language itself is heavily comprised of
this “dead” language, making up half of its entire vocabulary
with either entire words or derivatives. For example, the word
paternal means to pertain to the father figure, but has anyone
ever wondered where it was actually derived from? The Latin
word for father is pater- so someone well-versed in Latin could
paternal is at just a
glance because of
pater (and many
Another great reason to educate people in the Latin language
is that it provides the root words for all of the modern sciences.
The Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields
are extremely popular among students and parents of students
today. Many parents will push their children to focus on science
fields and will push them away from Latin because they believe
it to be impractical. However, Latin is crucial to science. Our
modern understanding of sciences began to develop at the
time of the renaissance, the 1500s; this was a time when all of
the educated people who were making advancements in
science all spoke Latin. A new science means that there comes
a whole new set of words. There were a huge amount of words
that emerged when technology came to the forefront of our
lives. Similarly, there were a huge amount of words that came
from science and medicine; and there are still more words to
come. All of these words have Latin roots and a big part of
“We make many ill-thought-out assumptions about "dead"
languages. People are forever throwing out truisms about the
"logical" nature of Latin while not knowing much about it, or
casually deriding things as "medieval" when they aren't at all
… Do it for the sake of your language skills, do it to connect with
the past – but above all, do it because the literature is
beautiful.” –The Guardian
My Triumphant Year in Russian
by Nicolas Lotti
For all four years I’ve been at AITE, every year has seen me
learning more and more Russian. In freshman year, I made the
decision to have Russian be my foreign language class of choice
while I attended high school. Little did I know what an arduous
undertaking it would be.
Against popular belief, studying Latin isn’t all about the
language either- one mustn’t forget that diction isn’t that only
aspect that connects the modern world to that of the ancient.
Though it may not be noticeable, Roman architecture exists in
all corners of the world and still influences the way builders
construct today. A famous example of this could be the great
city of New York, where buildings tower high and sturdy, and
its aesthetics and decorations go all but unnoticed. When
touring the city that never sleeps, many references to the
strong culture of ancient Rome can be made, whether they’re
in plain sight or subtle- but making the connections can only
be made possible if one is educated in the topic. An extremely
popular example of the connection between these two
different eras is the amazing painting that spans the entire
ceiling of Grand Central Station. Conceived and executed in
1912 by the celebrated French portrait artist Paul Cesar Helleu,
he and a team of other painters created a painting showcasing
an astronomical scene of Roman constellations interacting
with one another via the celestial sphere.
A new alphabet, a complex system of grammar, and a unique
type of enunciation made Russian a truly foreign language.
Nonetheless, I tried my hardest to absorb as much knowledge
as possible from Ms. Koltypin’s lessons. Slowly but surely, I
found myself really getting a feel for the Russian language.
Around the beginning of senior year, it felt like all my years of
studying came to fruition. I could handle all my assignments
with ease and complete every test without trouble. Ms.
Koltypin was in awe. Since she wanted my prospective colleges
to witness my growth, she was kind enough to write me a
letter of recommendation.
Now at the end of my high school career, I can safely say that
learning Russian has changed me for the better. Not only was
I lucky enough to have discovered a new culture, but I was able
to discover it with people who loved it as much as I did.
Learning Russian at AITE was an experience that opened my
mind. I feel nothing but excitement for the experiences that
await me in a world of Russian speakers.
“Roman architecture
experimentation in
construction; it gave
that had never been
seen before, a network of connecting roads which was
marvelously executed, and public structures that could be used
by people from all strata of society just as equally, which added
to their appeal.” –Buzzle
Interview with Abigail Lang
By Stephanie Duchesneau
There are students
who study two
Simsbury High, in
addition to the
classes required for
graduation. Mme
Duchesneau, French
AP teacher at SHS
recently interviewed one of her graduating students about her
future plans after SHS. Next year Abigail Lang will be attending
SUNY Purchase to pursue a major in film production as well as
These few examples are just a fraction of the endless list of
reasons as to why it is in one’s best interest to study the Latin
language and culture. The possibilities are countless- the study
of this presumably “dead” language and culture will only open
many other doors to the path of knowledge. The world is in
one’s hand, encrypted and ready to be solved- what better
way to the path of enlightenment than to study history’s most
universally accepted dialect, Latin!
a second major in languages and culture. During her first
semester she hopes to take an advanced French course and
possibly a beginning Hebrew course. This year in addition to
French, she completed an independent study of the German
language. Abby also competed at the state poetry competition
for CT COLT and came away with a medal!
I’m also taking an elementary Korean course over the
summer. In the future, I’ll definitely be starting
others as well. I even have a “bucket list” of
languages I’d like to eventually study.
What inspired your interest to learn about different
languages and cultures?
From your experience this year, can you name your
top two website or app based language learning
tools and why they were the most useful to you?
I usually use books to learn languages and
supplement that with websites. Two websites that
I’ve found to be useful for learning languages are
Duolingo and Mango Languages.
You started a youtube video series on your channel
Polyglot Progress about your language-learning plan
for German. By the second video, you are speaking
in German. How does your self- taught language
learning differ from a classroom setting?
Duolingo is a great website (and app) for taking notes
and learning vocabulary and grammar. For students
studying French or Spanish in school it can serve as a
supplemental resource for studying terms and
grammar already learned in class. It also provides a
wide enough range of topics that a person could use
to grasp the basics of a language on their own. It has
a translation section on the desktop version where
you can practice translating articles. All of the
activities on the website give you “XP”, and you can
have weekly competitions with friends to see who can
gain the most XP. This makes language learning more
social and provides a slightly competitive motivation
to practice with the language.
Self-taught language learning can feel a bit more
daunting at times because in the classroom setting
you are given the words and grammar structures you
need to learn and are expected to learn them by a
certain time. With self-teaching it is up to you to
structure what you’ll be learning at any given time. I
like to take advantage of this freedom to structure my
language learning and learn words and grammar that
I feel will be most useful or interesting to me at that
stage with the language.
You studied French while at Simsbury high. How did
having one language help you to learn another?
Knowing one language helps as it teaches you
methods of remembering vocabulary and grammar.
It’s also very useful when learning similar languages,
as much of the vocabulary and grammar are similar.
For example, French helped me immensely when I
was learning Esperanto, as much of Esperanto’s
vocabulary is derived from Romance languages. I
recognized and was able to remember many of the
words due to the similarity to the same words in
I’ve been interested in learning and speaking other
languages since I was in elementary school. The
school I attended up until 3rd grade started Spanish
classes in 1st grade, and after I moved I started looking
for ways to learn languages on my own. In between
3rd and 4th grade I was teaching myself Italian, and
after that I dabbled in a lot of other languages leading
up to high school, where I’ve been taking language
learning a bit more seriously and trying to stick with
the languages I have begun. I really like the language
learning process in general, but also like getting to
learn about other cultures through the people, books,
and films.
Mango Languages is another great website, and it’s
free if you create your account with a Simsbury library
card. This website colors each word in both languages
to break down sentence structure and help with
learning grammar and vocabulary.
In your first video, you talk about learning more
languages. Are you currently or planning on
beginning other languages?
I’m planning on learning lots of other languages! At
the moment I’m in the very beginning stages of
learning American Sign Language and Bulgarian, and
How did you team up with your youtube partner to
start this video? Are you a interested in creating
technology and language/cultural resources for
language learners?
and she writes, “Fearmongers put manacles on our
imagination and increasingly encourage us to frame ourselves
as victims. They make us feel as if we can’t trust anybody,
shouldn’t do anything and can’t go anyplace”. This happened
in many school districts after the terrorists attacked innocent
people in Paris. Trips were cancelled and students stayed
home. The bridges that were built were taken down albeit
“temporarily”. In some cases, school administrators cancelled
trips abroad far out into the future and slammed the door shut
on travel altogether. Then, there were the attacks in California
and racial unrest with killing and protests in our own country.
No one told us not to travel in the United States-apparently
that is safe…..
I originally met Matt through another YouTube
project as we both have separate channels where we
post short films and other videos. We both had an
interest in language learning. We decided to create
the channel as a place where we could watch our own
progress with the languages we are learning over
time, as well a way to motivate others. I’m interested
in providing motivation for people to work on
learning other languages by showing my progress and
how I develop in languages over time. I also want to
create videos that stand as resources for learning
another language or about another culture, and
provide resources for helpful websites, books, or tips
for language learning in general.
In April, over 120 music students from my school along with a
small group of parents and 12 chaperones travelled to
Germany and Austria. The decision to go to Europe was not
made lightly but frankly, security was on high alert and there
had been no recent attacks. The parents in the district care for
their children but they are also well educated and world
travelers themselves. As a chaperone and a language teacher
who has been going to places with students for 30 years, I was
asked my opinion. My response, “Let’s go.” Frankly, I
sometimes feel more reticent to travel in my own country.
Abigail’s German diary #1
Recently, I was at a Home Depot buying flowers outside when
a man got out of his car screaming profanities at the woman
he had dropped off. The woman ignored him and walked
toward this part of the store. I glanced at the man next to me
and I think we both wondered if this would lead to violence.
Would this man attack the woman or pull out a weapon?
Should we intervene? That was a defining moment for me.
How sad that this is now how we think in this country. A simple
trip to the store, a visit to a sporting event or a movie theater
or just going to work can mean, well- death. This brief but
unsettling experience stirred something inside of me. I decided
that I would not live in fear. I will travel both in the states and
abroad. There is no moratorium for trips in my district and
although some parents or students may decide to stay home,
we will take those who want to go. We have a group studying
in Spain this summer and we will plan our trips for next spring.
Will there be more horrible events before we go?-perhaps. Is
it possible that a trip will be cancelled?-yes. But we have to
try. We cannot let the fear mongers and those who want to
control our psyche win this battle.
*definition according to Random House dictionary:
1. able to speak or write several language; multilingual.
2. Composed of several languages.
3. A person who speaks, writes or reads several
Travel In a Time of Turmoil
By Stephanie Duchesneau
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” – Helen Keller
I recently read an editorial in the Hartford Courant by
columnist and UCONN English professor, Gina Barreca. She
writes about how, for many, the world is a scary place right
now. But the fact of the matter is, that it has always been
dangerous and frightening-a vast territory of the unknown.
There has never been a time in history without conflict,
disease, poverty or other challenges. These tribulations shift
continents, countries and cities but they are always
somewhere. We can’t even go out the door without reports of
bears in our yards and fox scouting prey in the neighborhood.
Perhaps in the age of technology, we are simply more aware
of them.
Travel warnings are being issued in different parts of the world.
The United States is considered a dangerous place-civil unrest,
demonstrations and killing. Tourists from other countries are
being warned about coming here. Are we scared to travel in
our own country? If we cannot even explore in our homeland
then we are already in big trouble. The students coming for
exchanges seriously considered not coming here. How can we
Gina challenges the reader to overcome the fear that others
try to instill in us. They make us feel afraid to leave the house
assure them that our schools and homes are safe? There are
no guarantees in life and it is too short for us to live in a
cocoon. As language teachers, we must travel and go out into
the world. If we don’, who will? We know that wherever we
are, things can happen but we cannot shut the door and hide.
Life is out there for us to live to its fullest. I have to show my
students that I am not afraid to see the world. I am getting on
a plane tomorrow and I can’t wait to see what adventure is out
there for me.
show how the
development of
Assessment (IPA),
concentrates on
the three modes of communication: Interpretive,
Interpersonal, and Presentational. The IPA helps teachers plan
for communication which is meaningful, and not necessarily
grammar- or textbook-based. Throughout the two-day
session, Laura asked participants to keep the following
questions in mind when preparing a unit:
Laura Terrill Returns for the CT COLT
Summer Institute
by Lisa Urso, Southeast Regional Director
 How do I create functional goals for units and
 How do I design lessons so that the target language is
used at least 90% of the time while ensuring that
the input is comprehensible?
 What is the role of grammar and accuracy when
working with functional goals?
 How do I develop performance tasks using authentic
text in the interpretive mode?
 How do I develop meaningful interpersonal tasks?
 How do I develop real-world presentational tasks?
 How do I develop an IPA and give actionable
All participants
were given an
IPA template to
their units, and
opportunity to
work on them
throughout the session. What followed was not just a
workshop that educated teachers, but provided much
opportunity for networking and collaboration. Teachers
received many ideas and strategies for teaching different
units. There were even one or two Fall Conference workshop
ideas that came out of it!
On June 23rd and 24th, language educator Laura Terrill, coauthor of The Keys to Planning for Learning, returned to
Connecticut to present a workshop for CT COLT members. This
year, her workshop, "Integrating the Six Core Practices into
Your IPA," attracted nearly fifty educators from around the
state, from the elementary to the university levels.
At this workshop, Laura reviewed the Core Practices, which
were first introduced last year by the Leadership Initiative for
Language Learning (LILL). CT COLT Vice President, Lea Graner
Kennedy, organized a series of seminars for CT-COLT members
to help introduce the Core Practices to a wider
audience. Many of those in attendance already had a solid
background on this new initiative thanks to Ms. Kennedy's
Overall, it was another successful summer workshop, and if
you missed this opportunity to see Laura, don't fret! She will
be our keynote speaker at our Fall Conference October 24th,
and will be presenting there, too. Make sure to register soon!
of the target language in a fun manner. Internet websites in
the target language have also provided valuable cultural
contexts for investigatory and interpretive classroom
activities. As experienced digital natives, students are able to
navigate these technology platforms which are constantly
changing and being improved. In their native language,
students are using these technologies to access information,
communicate and connect with others. When applied to
foreign language learning, technology allows students to
perform these same tasks in a different culture context and on
a more global basis.
Announcement of the Winner of the
2016 Essay Contest
This year CT COLT conducted the fifth (5th) annual WORLD
and middle school students first considered the current theme
for ACTFL, which is Building Proficiency in Today’s Digital
Natives. In a written response, students how technology can
be used to facilitate the foreign language learning of U.S.
students, improve their linguistic skills and thus, result in
better communication overall. Lastly, contestants were
required to expand upon how such improved proficiency can
best prepare U.S. graduates for success in 21st – century
careers in our ever-expanding global and technological world.
This year’s committee is proud to announce that the winner of
STUDENT ESSAY CONTEST is Carly Brown from North Haven
High School. The committee applauds Ms. Brown for her
excellent essay which references both fact-based arguments
and personal experiences. In a well-organized and convincing
essay, Ms. Brown writes about the importance of various
usages and applications of technology in the classroom,
detailing why their inclusion has led to her own increased
knowledge and proficiency in learning a world language.
With the above in mind, students addressed their essays to
Boards of Education, discussing how technology can be used
to facilitate and improve foreign language acquisition and
proficiency levels of students in the age of globalization.
Students were required to craft well-organized arguments,
constructed from objective, fact-based information, in
addition to drawing upon personal experience from their own
learning of foreign languages. Many students included
persuasive and relevant reasoning for the increased inclusion
of technology in the foreign language classroom and just how
it has assisted and even improved their knowledge of the
target language. As experience digital natives, proficient in
many forms of technology, this year’s topic proved to be very
appropriate and meaningful to all participants.
We are pleased to present Carly with a $50 award. In addition,
we are happy to provide her teacher, Mrs. Brownell, with a $50
Carlex voucher. Once again, we thank all student and teacher
participants in this year’s contest and look forward to the sixth
(6th) CT
Essay Contest in
2017. Please
visit to download a
copy of Carly’s winning essay.
Christine Dombrowski and John R. Rook, Co-Chairs for the
2016 CT COLT Essay Contest
Organizational News
A committee of four (4) CT COLT members reviewed almost 20
essays submitted by world language students from various
high schools around Connecticut. We would like to take the
opportunity to thank all student writers and their teachers for
participating in this year’s contest,
for providing valuable
insight, for referencing personal experience and for advocating
for increased technology in the study of world languages. All
students who submitted essays for this year’s contest will
receive a Certificate of Participation from CT COLT.
CT AATSP 2016 Spring Conference
By Aileen Dever
The CT Chapter of the American Association of Teachers of
Spanish & Portuguese celebrated its Spring Conference
entitled Puerto Rico Aquí y Allí, Ayer, Mañana y Siempre
(Puerto Rico, Here and There, Yesterday, Tomorrow, and
Always) on April 30, 2016. Prof. Covadonga Arango-Martín, the
CT AATSP President, hosted the well-attended event at
Fairfield University at the beautiful Alumni House in a setting
of true elegance. Conference co-chairs were CT AATSP VicePresident Luisa Piemontese, Ph.D. from Southern Connecticut
State University, Prof. Lourdes Casas from Central Connecticut
State University, and Prof. Aileen Dever of Quinnipiac
In reading the essays, it is evident that the inclusion of such
technologies as I-pads, applications, cell phones and the
internet has all proven to be engaging and beneficial tools that
promote language learning. For example, popular applications
such as Kahoot have allowed students to quickly learn and
assess their knowledge of vocabulary and linguistic structures
h.) Artista Francisco Luis Rivera Marrero (Puerto Rico) ~
“Proyecto Cultural e Histórico sobre la Evolución de la
Puertorriqueñidad: Una Representación Crítica, Artística e
Intelectual del Desarrollo de la Experiencia y el Concepto de la
Session III: Literature
i.) Prof. Michelle Farrell and Student Noelle Harvey (Fairfield
University) ~ “Enseñando Puerto Rico en la Clase de Español
j.) Prof. Liz Hernandez (Fairfield University) ~ “Memoria,
Identidad e Inmigración de una Niña Puertorriqueña en Silent
Dancing de Judith Ortiz Cofer”
k.) Prof. Ricardo Domínguez (Quinnipiac University) ~ “Julia de
Burgos: Vida”
University. The conference was also co-sponsored by Redipe
(Red Iberoamerica de Pedagogía) which continues to publish
CT AATSP conference proceedings. The opportunity to be
published in this peer-reviewed journal is an excellent
incentive to many to participate in the annual conference.
Presenters and their topics included:
l.) Prof. Rosa Domínguez (East Haven High School) ~ “Temática
en la Poesía de Julia de Burgos”
m.) Prof. Luisa Piemontese (Southern Connecticut State
University) ~ “Música para Saborear”
Session I: Spoken and Written Language
n.) Prof. Covadonga Arango-Martín ~ “Y Música para la
a.) Prof. Steven Strange (emeritus, Rocky Hill High School and
Quinnipiac University) ~ “A Word on Language,
Translation/Transference, and Spanglish”
b.) Prof. Sergio Adrada-Rafael and students Ariana Fernández,
and Kelly Villacres (Fairfield University) ~ “Puertorriqueños en
Nueva York: ¿Existe un Estigma Lingüístico?”
c.) Prof. Rocío Fuentes (Central Connecticut State University) ~
“Documentando la Comunidad: El Uso de Crónicas como
Herramienta para Desarrollar las Habilidades de Escritura en
las Clases de Español para Hablantes de Herencia”
Session II: Time & Space
d.) Prof. Antonio Guijarro-Donadiós (Worcester State
University) ~ “El Factor Tiempo en Los soles truncos de René
e.) Student Adriana Lugo Zayas (Worcester State University) ~
“Inmolación femenina como Sublevación en Dos Obras
Puertorriqueñas: Los soles truncos y La pasión según Antígona
A highlight of the conference was the interesting round of
questions and comments that followed each panel. Prof.
Covadonga Arango-Martín did an outstanding job as the
principal organizer of the conference that truly was a lovely
time to meet with friends, colleagues, and experts all united in
their deep passion for Puerto Rico and the Hispanic world. It
was very special, too, to have Drs. Marco and Marquela Arenas
attend the conference as they are founding members of CT
AATSP and have been ardent, lifelong supporters of AATSP.
The conference closed with an exciting raffle for two fullyfunded scholarships for educators to travel this summer to
f.) Student Jenny Lizardo (Worcester State University) ~ “Los
Espacios Opuestos en la Dramaturgia de René Marqués”
g.) Prof. Lourdes Casas and Prof. Antonio García-Lozada
(Central Connecticut State University) ~ “El Viejo San Juan:
Ciudad Emblemática del Pasado, Presente y Futuro”
queens were in the past. In order to find commonalities
between this culture and their own, they compared two
different ways to celebrate a local fair, “La Feria de Sevilla” and
the Durham Fair. Students were surprised by the music,
dancing and clothing, but they were able to adapt by
recognizing familiar values such as friendship and family values.
Colegio Delibes in Salamanca, Spain, generously provided by
Director Miguel Benito.
If you would like to learn more about CT AATSP and joining the
executive board, please contact either President Covadonga
Arango-Martín at: [email protected]
or CT AATSP Vice-President
[email protected]
* The pictures that accompany this piece were kindly shared
by Prof. Ricardo Domínguez.
News From CT Schools
Our Journey to Spain . . . Our Path to
Global Competence
By Juan José Vázquez-Caballero
Haddam-Killingworth High School
Students appreciated the cultural diversity of Spain both past
and present while visiting cities such Toledo, Granada, and
Seville. They learned about the coexistence of people of various
religions (Judaism, Islam, and Christianity) in harmony. They
were also exposed to the newer diversity among people from
Spain, the European community, North Africa and South
America while walking through big cities and small villages.
Haddam-Killingworth- The AP Spanish class at HKHS and three
teachers went to Spain from April 8th to April17th for a
fabulous educational trip. This trip gave students the
opportunity to use their Spanish in authentic cultural situations
as well as further develop their global competency skills.
After four years of working diligently to learn Spanish in class,
students proved their proficiency in the language while
interacting with locals, working in a farm, taking public
transportations, shopping in clothing stores, ordering in
restaurants, and talking with tour guides and with each other.
All of these tasks required reading, listening and speaking in
This experience provided wonderful opportunities for students
to develop international awareness. Through the study of
history while visiting museums and monuments, students
learned how Spain and Europe were shaped by wars and
weddings. Students were surprised to discover that Spain is a
constitutional monarchy considering how powerful kings and
Pottackal  Nicholas Ricci  Brianna Soto  Justin Tat  Aaron
Thomas-Russell Silver Maxima Cum Laude:  Fernando Suarez
 Bruce Lara  Andrew Vivar Magna Cum Laude:  Cyrus
Robinson Cum Laude:  Anthony Carreno Outstanding Awards:
Valery Aguilar, Eliza Ayala, Rebekah Bacon, James Boccanfuso,
Lauren Burkhardt, Michael Conley, Marc Dimartino, Paolo
Dinglasan, Kevin Duffy, Cara Emano, Jonathan Goodman, Javan
Goulbourne, Grant Hedley, Josianne Ladouceur, Anna
Maloney, John Maranelli, Justin Mucelli, Nicolas Navarrette,
Nina Paolini, Viviane Rivas, Nazir Shohan, Daniel Stevens,
Michael Vukelic, Timothy Weiss.
HKHS students were great ambassadors of our community and
country. Their behavior was respectful and appropriate as they
adapted to a variety of culturally-diverse settings. This
experience has helped students move along on their journey of
becoming global-minded people of the world.
Stamford Public Schools (SPS) comprises more than 16,000
students, over 1,500 professionals, and 20 schools, including
six magnet and two International Baccalaureate schools. SPS
has a total of 12 elementary schools, five middle schools and
three high schools. The mission of SPS is to prepare each and
every student for higher education and success in the 21st
century. SPS is proud that our district is as rich in diversity as it
is in talent. We have students from many cultural backgrounds
and geographic locations—as demonstrated by the more than
65 different languages spoken in the homes of our families.
SPS offers our students a learning experience rich in cultural
diversity and reflective of the global society in which they will
work and live.
Three AITE Students Achieve Perfect Scores
on the National Latin Exam
The AITE National Honor Society Induction
Spanish. Students were able to effectively transfer what was
learned in class to authentic situations.
Six Students Earned Gold Summa Cum Laude, Three Silver
Maxima Cum Laude
On Thursday, May 19, various honor societies at AITE welcomed
new members to their orders at the Rippowam Middle School
auditorium. The current societies that exist at AITE include the
National Honor Society, the Latin National Honor Society, the
Science National Honor Society, the Slavic National Honor
Society and the Spanish National Honor Society. The National
Honor Society consists of members who have maintained
consistently impressive grades in all their classes, while the
others focus on academic excellence in each respective subject.
For example, the Latin National Honor Society requires that
students have at least a 90% average in the class to be invited.
Most inductees consisted of juniors and sophomores, while the
senior members received different colored cords according to
their specific society.
Sharon Beadle 203-977-4095 [email protected]
Stamford, Conn.—Each year the American Classical League
(ACL) and the National Junior Classical League (NJCL), sponsors
the National Latin Exam, a 40-question, multiple-choice test
offered to Latin students on seven levels. This year, three
Academy of Information Technology & Engineering (AITE)
students, Cara Emano, Nicholas Ricci, and Brianna Soto, all
students of AITE Latin Teacher Anna Koltypin, received perfect
scores on the exam. Up until now, only one student from AITE
ever received a perfect score. The purpose of the exam is to
promote the study of Latin and to encourage individual
student achievement. An additional 35 AITE students, along
with more than 154,000 students from all 50 states and 19
countries, participated in the exams last month. The other AITE
student awardees, based on scores for the exams they took,
are: Gold Summa Cum Laude:  Justin McArthur  Mia
During the ceremony, the National Honor Society was up first.
Ms. Shauntier Yates, the advisor, spoke about the qualities that
one from that society must possess. This year, she welcomed
38 inductees to the existing 42 members that are leaving.
Student officers of this society include Katrin Nikolova,
Francesca Scotto, Daniel Berger, Brian Fleischer and Stephanie
Woodman, all of whom gave speeches like Ms. Yates. Student
officers for next year, however, will be decided in September.
Slavic Honor Society
was not able to be a
part of the ceremony,
but includes advisor
Mrs. Anna Koltypin,
King, Emily Kurcyzk,
Julia Medina and inductee Mateusz Nowogrodzki. After all
inductees had been formally accepted, everyone headed down
to the cafeteria at AITE and enjoyed dinner while viewing the
Junior Book Awards, wrapping up a great event.
Next, was the Latin
Honor Society. In
addition to the 24
students already part
of it, 13 were
inducted. The advisor
for this society is Mrs.
Anna Koltypin, who,
president Graham Steinberg and co-presidents Sean Maloney
and Samuel Saturne, conducted a symbolic “Passing of the
Torch” from inductee to inductee. Then, to top it off, the
students sang the Latin song “Gaudeamus Igitur,” an anthem to
the scholars of the world about academic life. Next year, it will
be led by incoming president Daniel Lapinski and co-president
Jessica Ulbrich.
Third in the ceremony was
the Science Honor Society,
with advisor Mrs. Danielle
achievement in any science
courses, it was led by current
Scotto and Tanusri Balla, who later let the incoming copresidents Mariam Mohsin, Bharat Misra, Kevin Cheng and
Mollie Rutz call the names of the new inductees. 20 juniors
were accepted into the society, adding to the 18 seniors already
in it.
An “Unconference” for World
Language Educators
The event, organized by CT COLT, is modeled after
“Edcamps,” and allows attendees to propose,
present, or attend any sessions created that day.
After two forty-five minute sessions, attendees will
participate in a “smackdown” where all learning is
shared. Walk-ins welcomed!
Spanish Honor Society.
Advisor Mrs. Raquel
copresidents Tanu Balla
and Daniel Berger. While
also mentioning the
values that its members must possess, inductees were led onto
stage and received lit candles to represent inspiration. In
addition to the 24 preexisting members, 16 were inducted. Mrs.
Bonessi also announced that Carlos Arias Vivas would be the
president next year.
For more information and to register, please visit
Monday – August 22, 2016
8:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
FREE and OPEN to ALL Educators
Lewis S. Mills High School
26 Lyon Road, Burlington, CT 06013
CT COLT Board of Directors 2016 – 2018
Officers/Executive Committee
E-Mail: [email protected]
Glastonbury High School
Stonington Public Schools
([email protected])
PAUL M. ST. LOUIS (2018)
275 Cedar Swamp Road, Monson, MA 01057-9303
E-Mail: [email protected]
Recording Secretary
JOHN ROOK (2018)
Smith Middle School
E-Mail: ([email protected])
South Central (2016)
New Haven Public Schools
E-Mail : [email protected]
Southwest (2016)
Darien High School
E-Mail: [email protected]
East Central (2017)
Southeast (2016)
E-Mail: [email protected]
John Winthrop Middle School (Deep River)
Organizational Directors
Smith Middle School ([email protected])
Alliance Française
([email protected])
KAREN STOJ ([email protected])
South Windsor Public Schools
([email protected])
Ex-Officio Director/Director-At-Large
University Liaison
Quinnipiac University
E-Mail: [email protected]
CAROL CHEN-LIN ([email protected])
Choate Rosemary Hall, Wallingford
SHEILA HOULIHAN ([email protected])
Newington High School
([email protected])
([email protected])
Adult Learning Center, Bridgeport
Joseph A. Foran High School (Milford)
([email protected])
Southern CT State University
([email protected])
([email protected])
Quinnipiac University, College of Liberal Arts
([email protected])
Stonington Public Schools
KATE KROTZER ([email protected])
Glastonbury Public Schools
Corresponding Secretary
Southern CT State University
E-Mail: [email protected]
Immediate Past President
E-Mail: [email protected]
Hamden Public Schools
Coordinator of CT COLT Cadre of PD Trainers
LISA URSO ([email protected])
Social Media Specialist
Portland High School
E-Mail: [email protected]
Regional Directors
Northwest (2016)
North Central (2017)
E-Mail: [email protected]
South Windsor Public Schools
Northeast (2016)
West Central (2017)
E-Mail: [email protected]
Ridgefield Public Schools
CT COLT Web Site:
Non-Profit Org.
U.S. Postage
Hartford, CT
Permit No. 5213
Connecticut Council of Language Teachers
c/o Paul M. St. Louis
275 Cedar Swamp Road
Monson, MA 01057-9303
Connecticut Council of Language Teachers
Serving Connecticut Teachers Since 1968
In This Issue
CT COLT Fall Conference
Building Proficiency in Today’s Digital Natives
October 24, 2016
Radisson Hotel in Cromwell, CT
Keynote Address by Laura Terrill
Buffet Luncheon
Free Parking
Drawings for Themed Baskets
The CT COLT World Language News Exchange, Issue No. 155, July 18,
2016. This newsletter is published four times a year (November,
March, June, and July/August), is distributed only to CT COLT current
members. Advertising in this publication does not represent official
endorsement by the Connecticut Council of Language Teachers, Inc. of
the products and services described or promoted herein. Your
opinions may be sent to James Wildman, Glastonbury High School, 330
Hubbard Street, Glastonbury, CT 06066 or e-mailed to
[email protected] or to [email protected]
President’s Reflections
Why Should Parents Support FL
AITE Students Reflect on Studying
Latin and Russian
Travel in a Time of Turmoil
Laura Terrill Returns for CT COLT
Summer Professional Development
Essay Contest Winner Announcement
CT AATSP Spring Conference
Our Journey to Spain…Our Path to
Global Competence
AITE Students Achieve Perfect Scores…
AITE National Honor Society Induction
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Newsletter Submissions
Deadline for next newsletter: November 1, 2016
Help us keep our membership records updated!
If you have moved or had a name change, please fill out the
Information update form at

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