Professional Growth

FLAVA Workshops

A Survey to Get You Started

In order to better serve the professional development needs of our world language educators, please respond to a brief survey from the Virginia Department of Education.

The survey will ask you to identify your professional development goals based on the Teacher Effectiveness for Language Learning (TELL) domains and criteria.  Your answers are anonymous and will be used to help determine what professional development topics FLAVA will be offering to its members.  More information about the TELL project is available by clicking the icon below.
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FLAVA Interactive Teachers Workshop Series for 2017/2018

The Foreign Language Teachers Workshop Series (FLTWS) continues across the Commonwealth in an effort to provide useful, professional development opportunities to as many Virginia world language educators as possible. The FLTWS is partnered with the Foreign Language Association of Virginia (FLAVA) through its Professional Development Network (PDN).

As is always the case, the FLAVA/FLTWS workshops can be used for receiving points toward K-12 teacher certification renewal at the discretion of the local school division with the presentation of the certificates, which participants receive after each workshop. For those at the post-secondary level in their teaching, participation in these workshops indicates a desire for self-improvement.  Recognition of such by college and university administrators is congruent with necessary supplementary faculty activity and can be used in the reporting process.

All workshops originate at Washington and Lee University (W&L) in Lexington, Virginia, and are broadcasted live via the Internet to numerous host schools and divisions across the state. These locations are known as FLAVA/FLTWS workshop host sites.  Each host site has a volunteer instructor who is a logistical coordinator and is an extension to the workshop leader at the broadcast location. If you are interested to serve as a host site/host site coordinator, please contact

Click here to view the list of current FLTWS host sites.

These workshops are free of charge, open to members and non-members. Registration for the workshops will begin October 1st.

Please click here to register for the workshops.

FLAVA Workshop #1, Oct 26th : ¿ Hablas Minecraft? Gamification in the World Language Classroom

Description: Have you thought about using Minecraft in your world language classroom but are struggling to figure out what you would do? This session will give you practical, standards-based lessons you can implement immediately. Students will be inspired to create not only in the Minecraft worlds, but also with their second language. Minecraft is available in many languages, not just Spanish.

Presenter: Glen Irvin has taught Spanish for the past 13 years at Wabasha-Kellogg High School (19 years overall). Not only is he a full-time Spanish teacher, but he also serves as the half-time Technology Integrationist for the school district. Glen is an avid gamer! His classroom is a gamified, quest-based, mastery learning environment where his students are given the time and opportunity to succeed! Glen and his students have created a MMRPG in MinecraftEdu! It is a place where students can practice and grow in their Spanish language skills. Follow Glen @irvspanish and Subscribe to his YouTube channel for MinecraftEdu Teaching Tips and Tricks

His website:

FLAVA Workshop #2, Dec 7th :  Can-Do Statements for Intercultural Communicative Competence: Investigate, Interact, Reflect.

Description: How can educators help learners develop their intercultural competence and communication skills while maintaining use of the target language? Explore the new Can-Do Statements for Intercultural Competence and the updated Can-Do Statements for Language and learn how they provide a framework for goal setting, lesson building and student reflection. Self-assess your own intercultural competence in a target language and reflect on how you integrate cultural opportunities for your learners. Collaborate by using the new Can-Do Statements to create sample cultural lessons and reflections in the target language, aligned to your learners’ proficiency level.

Presenter: Kathy Shelton has been a World Language Education Program Specialist at the Ohio Department of Education since August 2013.  She offers a wide variety of professional development sessions for world language educators on topics such as Backward Design, Can-Do statements, intercultural competence, language proficiency, rubrics, authentic resources, target language, and best practices for instruction and assessment.  Prior to coming to ODE, Kathy taught French for 25 years in public, private and online schools, as well as at the university level while completing her M.A. in French Language and Literature.

FLAVA Workshop #3, Feb 15th : Integrating STEM Topics in the World Language Classroom

Description: This session will show how science, technology, engineering, and math topics can serve as the content and discussion framework for world language classes. Research shows that students learn language best when engaged in hands-on activity. Content-based language teaching simultaneously promotes language acquisition and advances content knowledge. By selecting STEM topics, world language teachers can foster language learning by engaging students in important, real-world projects, while having students utilize their second language knowledge, skills, and abilities to complete the work. Project-based learning integrates all four language skills (listening, reading, speaking, and writing), incorporates collaborative teamwork, and challenges learners to use the target language in different capacities inside and outside the classroom.

Presenter: Nathan Lutz is the Global Learning Coordinator and Primary School French Teacher at Kent Place School, an independent school for girls in Summit, New Jersey. Nathan is also the national World Languages Teaching Community Coach for Teach for America. He serves the world language professional community in many capacities: he is the Vice President of Programs and Social Media Coordinator for Foreign Language Educators of New jersey (FLENJ), the President of the National Network for Early Language Learning (NNELL), and a board member of the Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (NECTFL). Nathan is a 2007 NYSAFLT Leaders of Tomorrowfellow, a 2012 UPenn STARTALK Excellence in Leadership fellow, and a 2014 NECTFL Mead Scholar. Nathan is a frequent conference presenter as well as a consultant and writer for various early language programs. Follow Nathan on Twitter @nathanlutz.

FLAVA Workshop #4, Mar 22nd : Arts in the World Language Classroom

Learn how to incorporate the arts in your language teaching. Be it painting, music, or poetry, art can be a fun and memorable tool when learning languages. From quick tips to full activities, you will discover how easy it can be to add the arts, even if you are not an artist yourself.

Presenter: Allison Carneiro da Silva teaches French and Spanish in Hanover County, VA. She has taught in France and the USA. A National Board certified teacher, Allison studied at Virginia Commonwealth University, the Sorbonne, Virginia Tech, and the University of Buenos Aires. She serves on the Teacher Advisory Committee at the Virginia She serves on the Teacher Advisory Committee at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and earned the David Cox Award for Excellence in Teaching (FLAVA Teacher of the Year) in 2016.

FLAVA Workshop #5, May 3rd: Using Technology to Enhance Your Comprehensible Input Classroom 

In this session, you will learn some useful technology programs that you can implement to help deliver more comprehensible input to your students and to help students demonstrate what they have learned in class.  We will look at programs such as ActivelyLearn, EdPuzzle, PearDeck, Seesaw and Flipgrid and learn how to incorporate these into your classes.  Each program is extremely engaging for students, and they frequently comment how much they enjoy using these platforms.  In addition, these programs are all free to use for educators, so you can start using them the next day!

Presenter: Maris Hawkins is a Middle and Upper School Spanish teacher at Bullis School in Potomac, Maryland.  She has taught all grades from 1-12.  Maris has taught a blended class for four years which meets virtually for half of the class periods.  Her passion is integrating technology into her classes through various programs.  She has presented about incorporating technology successfully into the classroom at both NECTFL and GWATFL.  She is also a big proponent of edcamps and has been on the steering committee for edcampMetroDC and edcampCIVa. She blogs at and ,and is also on Twitter @marishawkins.