IF you didn’t know, the Central States Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages was this past weekend. It’s hard to not know with the ample tweets, blog posts, and presentation Pinterest pins that overtook my own feeds. I wanted to take a few moments to sit down and reflect on the whole conference.
First of all, I am usually a “fly on the wall” kind of girl; however, it was SO nice to “have people.” The Concordia Master’s cohort VIII represented, and many faculty members were there as well. It was enjoyable and yet strange to be having conversations face-to-face! I also met many previous cohort members, and it was interesting to hear what their experiences had been like. If I wasn’t busy catching up with my colleagues from the program, I was hanging out with some of the cooooolest tweeters and bloggers around! It was a bit surreal to be taking selfies with some of the teachers that I admire most.
Secondly, Twitter reinvented the way I attended the conference. Last time, I took notes using pencil and paper. This year, I tried my best to tweet out my thoughts and the information that was being shared. I loved how connected it made me feel to the conference and other attendees, but to be quite truthful it was a bit overwhelming! At one point, I had 20+ Twitter notifications. Ay, ay, ay!
Thirdly, this conference really made me realize I have two kinds of sessions I like to attend: (1) sessions in Spanish where I learn something about the target culture; (2) TPRS/CI sessions. As great as it is to branch out, I was also very frustrated and felt like I wasted some time going to other kinds of sessions. I already have my beliefs about language learning and what works best for me. Plus, have you ever been to a Carol Gaab or Mira Canion presentation!? I love how excited they are and how they walk you through step by step instead of talking at you. They make me want to be their student – so why wouldn’t I attend their sessions?
I really hope to attend next year’s conference in Ohio, as this was an amazing experience, but I do not know if it is realistic as it is so far away. Time will tell! If you are still with me, thank you for reading this far! I will be sharing some of my favorite activities over time.