Proficiency Talks

Join us for instructional strategy sessions during ACTFL 2018
11-13-2018  All News, Events

What is interculturality? How do you maximize the impact of authentic resources? How exactly do you teach grammar in context?

Our Proficiency Talks sessions during ACTFL 2018 will provide you with answers and you will walk away with ready-to-implement strategies for your classroom. You can also find out about our latest products, including the only truly proficiency-drive French language program, EntreCultures, as well as the new edition of the respected AP Spanish bible, Triangulo.

Download the full list of sessions here

Stop by booth #1137 on Friday and Saturday for quick demos on can-do statements and the power of self-assessment (Friday at 10:50 a.m. and 12:50 p.m.) and on how to leverage technology to teach grammar in context (Saturday at 10:30 and 10:50 a.m. and 12:50 p.m.)


5 ACTFL 2018 conference hacks

We asked our instructional strategists and veteran conference goers to share their best tips
11-01-2018  All News, Events

Attending a large conference can be overwhelming. So many sessions! So many exhibitors! So many new people to meet! To help you out, we collected five  great tips from our instructional strategists. Deborah Espitia, Cristin Bleess, and Jay Ketner are veteran conference-goers and know how to get the most PD bang out of a large event like ACTFL.

Have a plan

Wayside booth at ACTFLThe more planning you do ahead of time, the better off you will be once you get to the conference. It’s a good time to decide: do you want to go narrow and deep on one or two topics, or wide and varied on many? Focus your attention on what you want to learn and base it on the direction you are going with your teaching. Take the time to really study the program (it’s available online weeks ahead of the event) and figure out which sessions will fill your needs.

Pro tip: Download the ACTFL 2018 App and build your schedule there. Remember, if you build your schedule through a web browser, you’ll have to recreate it on the app, so why not just use the app to start with?

Get inspired

One of the best ways to start ACTFL is to attend the orientation session for first-time attendees early Friday morning. Then stay for the ACTFL Opening General Session with the featured keynote and the announcement of the Language Teacher of the Year. It’s an inspiring and energizing way to kick off your conference experience.

Pro tip: Be sure to attend sessions by the current and former Teacher of Year winners, as well as the “best of” sessions from regional conferences.


Just think—all of these people who attend sessions with you or wander the exhibit hall around you are there for the same reason: to learn to become better language teachers. So don’t be shy to strike up conversations during sessions, breaks, or at various other events during ACTFL. Make connections that will help you become a better teacher. Stay connected after the conference on Twitter or via email. This is a great time to build an online professional learning community.

Pro tip: Have business cards handy for networking purposes. No cards? Take a picture of your new friend's name badge so you can look each other up later. 

Don’t skip the exhibit hall

Be sure to spend some time in the exhibit hall. People at the booths will be happy to chat with you about ways you can help your students learn a language. And you just never know what conversation might spark a great idea that you can take straight back to your classroom.

Pro tip: Don’t by shy to ask for free resources, samples, or catalogs to browse later for ideas or to remind you of products and services that caught your eye.

Plan to share with your colleagues

Professional development does not end at the end of ACTFL. Plan to share what you have learned with your colleagues back home and see what new directions or ideas come from those conversations. It’s a great time to re-energize not just your own teaching, but those around you as well.

Pro tip: Whether in a notebook or on a laptop or iPad, be sure to take good notes at all sessions. Many presenters will also upload their PowerPoint presentations or handouts to the ACTFL website or app for easy access later.

Do you have tips to share? Tweet to us using #followtheowl and #ACTFL18.


The Wayside summer webinar series is starting

The four-part series will focus on EntreCulturas for Spanish 1, 2, 3
07-18-2018  Teacher Resources, Events, All News

It's summer, and that means it's time for Wayside Publishing's annual summer webinar series on EntreCulturas: Communicate, Explore, and Connect Across Cultures. 

Wayside Publishing Instructional Specialists Debbie Espitia and Cristin Bleess will present the webinars throughout July and August, providing an opportunity for all educators curious about how EntreCulturas works. 

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2018 fall conferences

Join Wayside as we attend a world language conference near you!
07-10-2018  Events, All News


Wayside Publishing is hitting the road!


Come see us in the exhibit hall... 

Wayside Publishing is still a new kid on the proficiency-based world language block. Come see what all the fuss is about! Meet our friendly staff, sign up for digital trials of available titles, preview chapters of upcoming titles, grab an owl sticker or magnet, and more!


... and check out an Instructional Strategy Session!

Instructional Strategy sessions by Wayside Publishing are focused on the professional development of educators in the room, and are not product-focused. Presentation objectives will connect proficiency-based principles to strategies you can implement in your classroom. Your presenter will be an Instructional Strategist with classroom experience in both the US and abroad, extensive administrative experience, and leadership experience in a state association. If you would like to request one of these trainings in webinar form, please email


Upcoming conference dates and locations:

Date Conference Location
September 20-22

Kentucky World Language Association (KWLA)

Instructional Strategy Session: "Starting Off on the Right Foot"

Lexington, KY
October 4-6

Foreign Language Association of Virginia (FLAVA)

Preconference Workshop: "Taking the First Steps to 90% Target Language Use"

Instructional Strategy Sessions: "Starting Off on the Right Foot: Focusing Student Attention", "A Better Way to Vocabulary Acquisition"

Williamsburg, VA
October 11-13

WAFLT-COFLT Bi-State Fall Conference

Instructional Strategy Sessions: "A Better Way to Vocabulary Acquisition", "Teaching Grammar in Context"

Portland, OR
October 11-13

Pennsylvania State Modern Language Association (PSMLA)

Instructional Strategy Session: "Teaching Grammar in Context"

Pittsburgh, PA
October 13 Rhode Island Foreign Language Association (RIFLA) Smithfield, RI
October 18-20

Florida Foreign Langauge Association (FFLA)

Instructional Strategy Sessions: "Starting Off on the Right Foot: Focusing Student Attention", "See It, Say It, Know It - Maybe Not: A Better Way to Vocabulary Acquisition"

Orlando, FL
October 19-20

Maryland Foreign Language Conference (MFLA)

Instructional Strategy Sessions: "Taking the First Steps to 90% Target Language Use", "Keeping it Authentic: Teaching Grammar in Context"

Arnold, MD
October 19-20

Foreign Language Association of North Carolina (FLANC)

Instructional Strategy Sessions: "Starting Off on the Right Foot: Focusing Student Attention", "A Better Way to Vocabulary Acquisition"

Durham, NC
October 19-20

New York State Association of Foreign Language Teachers (NYSAFLT)

Instructional Strategy Sessions: "Starting Off on the Right Foot: Focusing Student Attention", "A Better Way to Vocabulary Acquisition"

Rochester, NY
October 21-22 Connecticut Council of Language Teachers (CTCOLT) Cromwell, CT
October 25-27

Texas Foreign Language Association (TFLA)

Instructional Strategy Sessions: "A Better Way to Vocabulary Acquisition", "Teaching Grammar in Context"

San Antonio, TX
October 25-27

Massachusetts Foreign Language Association Conference (MaFLA)

Instructional Strategy Session: "See It, Say It, Know It - Maybe Not"

Springfield, Massachusetts
October 26-27 Minnesota Council on the Teaching of Languages and Cultures (MCTLC) Brooklyn Center, MN
October 26-27

Illinois Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ICTFL)

Instructional Strategy Sessions: "Starting Off on the Right Foot", "A Better Way to Vocabulary Acquisition"

Naperville, IL
November 1-3 Wisconsin Association for Language Teachers (WAFLT) Appleton, WI
November 2-3 Tennessee Foreign Language Teaching Association (TFLTA) Franklin, TN
November 9-10 New Hampshire Association of World Language Teachers (NHAWLT) Manchester, NH
November 16-18

American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL)

Full details on Wayside Publishing's participation at ACTFL

New Orleans, LA


Immigration & changing demographics strengthen french programs

06-11-2018  Featured Post, Teacher Resources, Author Spotlights, All News, Events

By Elizabeth Zwanziger

June 11, 2018


Five weeks to AATF!

AATF in La Pointe-du-Bout, Martinique is only five weeks away! Here is the convention website. This will be my first time there, and I’m excited to celebrate Francophone language and culture in a new venue.


The French language has traveled from its birthplace in France and settled in many places around the world. We all know about Francophone Africa, Polynesia, and the Caribbean, but do you know that more and more French is being spoken in the U.S. thanks to immigration to many states across the country? Quebec is not the only place in North America where you’ll find French. In this post, I’ll be sharing a bit about the French language situation in what may seem an unexpected location: Iowa.


The Iowa flag resembles the French flag and reflects Iowa’s history as part of the French Louisiana Territory.


Iowa and French language and culture

Iowa has a significant French and French Canadian heritage. French has been the second most commonly studied world language in Iowan schools for many years. However, approximately 20 years ago, many French programs found themselves in danger and were even discontinued due to budget cuts for non-core courses considered as low hanging fruit. Many French teachers who still had positions advocated, promoted, and recruited to fill French classes. Little did we know that things were about to change.

In recent years, there has been an influx of French speakers from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Togo, and Angola immigrating to many of the larger metro areas in Iowa. They have come to start a new life, and are enriching ours. A local school has begun a French-English dual immersion program. Banks, hospitals, and grocery stores want to better serve their customers by offering French language translations for their services. Thus, people are seeking ways to study French in order to communicate with our new neighbors, and French programs are holding steady or even seeing growth.


What an exciting time to be a French teacher!

Let me tell you more at my presentation at AATF on Saturday, July 21 from 8:20 to 8:50 in the Fort Desaix room au Carayou. 

Participants will take away knowledge of newcomer Francophone populations around the U.S. and ideas for partnering with members of their own communities to promote linguistic and cultural diversity as well as to bolster French language programs that mutually benefit both existing and newcomer populations.





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