by: Maria Fontimayor
Myrna Ablana, Grace Almazar, Maria Fontimayor, Jacquilin M. Lapid, and Analyn Thomson attended the annual conference of California Language Teachers Association (CLTA) on February 28 to March 3, 2019 at DoubleTree Hotel in San Jose, California with its theme “Innovate with Languages.” The conference was attended by 700 members and was full-packed with different sessions. For the Saturday plenary session, the keynote speaker was Francisco Jimenez who delivered a speech on “The Transformative Power of Multilingual and Bilingual Education: A Personal Perspective.” His speech was so inspiring and empowering because he related his own transformation on how he learned to speak in English, what made him be inspired to become a teacher, and why he embraced his advocacy in multilingual and bilingual education.
The sessions that were attended by the CTFLC participants included Utilizing Centers in the World Language Classroom, How Do I Award the Seal of Biliteracy?, Keep them talking in the TL, the RLRA way! REAL LANGUAGE right Away, Unpacking the new World Languages Content Standards for California Schools: Overview and Focus on the Communications Standard, Performance vs Proficiency Assessments and Why You Should Care, How to Engage Students into Writing from Day One While Using Online Available Tools. The day ended up at 6:30 with a lot learned.
For every session break, the exhibit hall provided a lot of books, magazines, and new materials for classrooms and teaching. LARC of SDSU provided a table for learning materials and training. This picture is with Shahnaz Ahmadeian, LARC-SDSU Director of Programs.
Sunday sessions were a different experience. Instead of going to the morning sessions at the conference, the group decided to take the morning as a personal group session. The thought that the remaining morning sessions were mostly session that the group is already familiar of, they created a group empowerment session instead. It was a sharing of personal experiences. Sharing about classroom experiences were the different ways of how a teacher will overcome difficulties at school and in the classroom, how they deal with challenging students and give them encouragement, how they make their classes more engaging and not boring, what they do on their “low moments,” and what they do when things become overwhelming. On their personal sharing, they talked about professional development, personal empowerment and advocacy, colleagues’ mentorship, and teacher relaxation. The sharing ended with the group dancing to the music “Dahil sa ‘Yo (Because of You),” an upbeat Filipino music of a young man. The song becomes an inspirational move the group enjoyed. It can be a motivational song for a teacher to become always positive of everything.
Araw araw ikaw ang gusto kong kasama
Ikaw ang tanging inspirasyon
Dahil sa'yo ako'y matapang
Pagmamahal ko sayo'y tapat
Gagawin ko ang lahat para lang sa'yo sinta
Minuminuto naghihintay ng tawag mo
Ikaw ang tanging inspirasyon
The Sunday Gala Brunch ended the conference. At the brunch, we were able to meet more language teachers and CTFLC very good friend, Mr. Duarte Silva, who is one of the most important people that made CTFLC accomplish a lot. We had a picture taking with him and have expressed our happiness seeing him. He is now retired as the Executive Director of the California World Language Project (CWLP) in the Stanford University Graduate School of Education, but will still be working with Stanford University. The awardees were given certificate and plaques and were honored as outstanding teachers and teacher-leaders.
It is the group’s hope with CTFLC that next year, members of CTFLC will also be receiving the outstanding teacher and outstanding teacher leaders’ awards.
The conference for next year will be held on April 2-5, 2020 in Disneyland. It will be the 50th anniversary of CLTA. It is with great hope that more CTFLC members will join the conference.