Alison Kerr, a French teacher at Heath and Runkle, applied for and received a Brookline Education Foundation Collaborative
Grant in 2022. She was one of 33 educators to attend the ACTFL Conference at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center that took place on November 18-20 of 2022. 29 of the 33 educators in attendance were classroom teachers representative of all eight Brookline K-8 schools and Brookline High School, covering all K-12 grades. Alison applied for the grant because it was a good opportunity for teachers to get to know each other and to work together. It was clear from Alison Kerr’s presentation that she and her peers have had the opportunity to collaborate. They participated in a pre-convention workshop on November 17 and following the conference, they spent 6 hours collaborating over four 90-minute meetings. Alison created a folder of all the materials from various sessions at the conference, so that others would be able to return for guidance.

In a presentation to the BEF Board, Alison explained that this was a very fulfilling experience and everyone was very appreciative of the opportunity to attend the ACTFL conference. They all learned about the modern proficiency model. Some important aspects of this model include maximizing a student’s internal interest/drive to learn, bringing authentic resources from around the world, changing the way students are graded considering what’s expected of them in the context of the amount of time they are exposed to the specific language, and learning how to give feedback to encourage learning rather than marking every single mistake.

The opportunity to share this learning experience together was transformative for Brookline’s World Languages faculty – the BEF is so excited to see where they take their new learning next!