Pre-Conference Workshops
Thursday, October 26, 2023
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM Morning workshops - Lunch at Noon
4:00 PM - 8:00 PM - Evening workshops - Dinner at 7:00 PM

Cancellations: Any registrant who needs to cancel their registration while registration is still open is able to do so with a 15% fee. Once registration for the event has closed, the amount of the refund is at the discretion of the Program Director.

Morning - 6-Hour Workshops
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM - Lunch at noon

Workshop 1 -Leading with Culture Through Authentic Resources
Presenter:  Leslie Grahn

During this interactive workshop, participants will explore strategies for selecting authentic resources for both cultural and communicative value and design tasks around those resources with a focus on growth in interpretive, interpersonal, presentational and intercultural communication skills. Participants will create lesson sequences that integrate the modes of communication where students investigate cultural products, practices, and perspectives and interact through authentic scenarios in a culturally appropriate way. Time will be allotted for “design time” during which participants will design and plan for embedding cultural explorations into their lesson plans.

Leslie Grahn has twenty-seven years of language teaching experience at the middle and high school levels and twelve years of experience at the central office level, most recently as Coordinator of World Languages for the Howard County Public School System in Maryland. Leslie has been a course instructor on foreign language teaching methods and differentiated instruction, has led both curriculum and assessment development teams, and is a frequent presenter at state, regional, and national conferences, specializing in best practices. She curates and creates resources to support language teaching and learning and shares them through her website ( and on Pinterest (grahnforlang). She has experience in teacher and leadership development and leads training on instructional coaching, mentoring, leadership, and communication skills. Leslie is the co-author of The Keys toStrategies for Language Instruction and has served on the boards of NECTFL, NADSFL and ACTFL.

Workshop 2 - Program Design and Collaboration:  World Languages in the Age of Proficiency
Presenters:  Timothy Eagan & Nicole Sherf

 World languages are the least understood content area and the least funded in districts. In order to align programming with state and national standards, world language departments need to be strong advocates and effective collaborators. This workshop will outline rationale and steps for this important work. Topics addressed include: Designing curriculum, cultivating essential departmental resources, managing, effective meetings, and using data to help the department develop a voice, action steps and tools to build a strong foundation or continue the work on the path to proficiency.

Nicole Sherf is Professor and Secondary Education Coordinator in the Department of World Languages and Cultures at Salem State University.  She has more than 30 years of experience in teaching Spanish and in program coordination, first in K-12 and now to undergraduate and graduate students of Spanish and Spanish teachers in training.  She was a longtime Board member of the Massachusetts Foreign Language Association (MaFLA) where she served in a number of capacities including Conference Chair, President and Advocacy Coordinator.  She is on the Steering Committee of the Language Opportunity Coalition which advocated for the passage of the LOOK Act in November of 2017, and has been co-leading the MA Seal of Biliteracy Workgroup and Pilot since 2014.  She writes articles at the state and national level and presents sessions, workshops and professional development on a variety of topics related to foreign language teaching, assessment and programming at the district, state, regional and national level.

Tim Eagan been a language educator for over 30 years. He currently serves as department head for World Languages in the Wellesley Public Schools, grades 6 to 12, with primary responsibility for curriculum, budget, supervision and evaluation of 25 teachers at the 6 - 12 level and secondary supervision and evaluation responsibility of 7 teachers at the K - 5 level. Prior to Wellesley, he taught French, Spanish, and sometimes Latin at both middle and high school levels in several districts in Massachusetts. He holds a B.A. in French and Spanish and an M.A. from UMass Boston in Critical and Creative Thinking with a concentration in content-based language instruction and second language acquisition. At UMass, he was awarded the Critical and Creative Thinking Award for Academic Excellence. He serves on the executive board of NADSFL and was a member of the MAFLA board of directors for 15 years, serving as president in 2017. He is a frequent presenter at MaFLA, NECTFL, and ACTFL, and has been published in The Language Educator.

Workshop 3 - Cancelled

Workshop 4 - Cancelled

Afternoon - 4-Hour Workshops
4:00 PM - 8:00 PM - Dinner at 7:00

Workshop 5 - Thematic Units for Social Justice and Change
Presenter:  María Datel & Katia Marticorena

In this workshop, you will explore how to develop thematic unit plans that promote social justice while meeting academic standards. You will craft essential questions using global themes such as AP and UN goals to encourage critical thinking, develop can-do statements that focus on real-world contexts, and summative assessments to help students see the relevance of their learning. Come to explore practical strategies to empower students and promote equity, whether you're new to teaching social justice or an experienced educator, and share your expertise with us!

María Datel is a Master Lecturer at Boston University, where she serves as the overall coordinator for the Spanish Language Program, is a fellow in the Designing Anti Racism Curricula Fellowship Program, and co-organizes the Second-Language Learning and Disabilities Conference. She teaches courses in Spanish language, Spanish for heritage learners, and second language pedagogy. With research interests centered around anti-colonial pedagogies, she has devoted the past few years to creating a more inclusive and equitable Spanish-language classroom that is attentive to marginalized cultures, particularly those of Latin America. María has presented nationally and internationally on decolonization, antiracist teaching, and resources.

Katia Marticorena, originally from Lima-Peru, is the World Languages Director at Melrose Public Schools (MPS). Katia has over 10 years of school-based experience in teaching and leadership. Among others, she has been a MAFLA presenter, where she obtained in her first year of instruction the "New Teacher Commendation" award for excellence in the language teaching, and she is on the MAFLA Board of Directors. Katia is also a member of the World Language Frameworks Volunteer Implementation Team and has been supporting educators through the leadership of training webinars. Katia has been participating in the MPS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force, a working group focused on gathering feedback on equity and diversity efforts in the district and has been devoting her professional life to social justice in education

Workshop 6 - Cancelled