Friday Afternoon Workshops
October 27, 2023

Workshop 11 - Make it Stretch! How to Sustainably Design Instruction by Getting the Most Out of Text Sets
Presenters:  Mike Farkas & Heidi Olson

Join us to learn how to build a rich text set that can be used for a unit of study at different proficiency levels! Presenters will share insights on how to leverage text sets to drive instruction at varying language proficiency levels and get learners communicating while at the same time fostering educator sustainability.

Michael Farkas is a Spanish teacher at Canton High School in Canton, MA. Since 2019, Mike has been a member of the MAFLA Board of Directors and serves as the Needs & Policy Committee Chair. During his tenure, Mike has facilitated various virtual webinars and workshops on pedagogy and DE&I. Most recently, Mike has co-designed and co-implemented an additional MAFLA offering called MAFLA Meets, which aims to connect MAFLA members and create a social space for fellow world language educators to connect and collaborate.  In addition, Mike is an ACTFL LILL (Leadership Initiative for Language Learning) Advocate from Cohort 4. Mike has co-presented at MAFLA and ACTFL with his friend and colleague, Heidi Olson. Mike is excited to continue collaborating with Heidi through this pre-conference workshop. Furthermore, he looks forward to sharing how text sets are used to create units that empower learners to communicate meaningfully and support them in developing their intercultural proficiency.

Heidi Olson is a Spanish teacher and the Pre-K-12 World Languages Coordinator for the Canton Public Schools in Canton, MA.  During her career, she has taught elementary, middle, and high school Spanish and English and has presented at MAFLA, RIFLA, NHAWLT, and ACTFL.  From 2019-2020, Heidi served as a review panelist for the 2021 Massachusetts World Languages Framework (Communities).  Since 2021, she has been on the DESE Elementary World Languages Volunteer Implementation Team as a Unit Planner and Webinar Facilitator.  Heidi is excited to share her passion for unit planning in this pre-conference workshop with her friend and colleague, Mike Farkas.

Workshop 12 -  Tap Into Your Students’ Superpowers: With Great Performances, Comes Great Proficiency
Presenter:  Bárbara Barnett

Calling all proficiency allies!  Are you ready to unleash the superhero potential of your language learners? Join this workshop to discover how to embed Social Emotional Learning (SEL) into their path to proficiency. With the power of NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements, CASEL's SEL framework, and Learning for Justice's Social Justice Standards, your students can develop superhuman empathy, responsibility, and positive relationships in real-world situations.  Let’s create exciting performance tasks that challenge their language skills and SEL competencies, keeping them engaged and motivated throughout their superhero journey to proficiency. Don't miss out on this opportunity to empower your language superheroes!

Bárbara Barnett is a passionate Puerto Rican with Cuban background who firmly believes in providing high-quality language programming to all children starting at the earliest age possible, regardless of learning needs, race/ethnic origin, socioeconomic status, home language, or future academic goals.  With this objective, she has taught Spanish in K-12 grades, supervised K-12 programming, and led professional learning on various topics such as proficiency-based instruction, SEL, social justice, and equity for all. Bárbara is committed to giving back to the language community, as evidenced by her roles as NNELL's treasurer, a member of MAFLA's Board of Directors, and her participation in several language community committees. Bárbara currently lives her dream as the K-5 Department Head for World Languages at Wellesley Public Schools, where she leads the development of a thematic curriculum that focuses on proficiency.