Growing CI Interest

Last week was the Foreign Language Association of VA’s (FLAVA’s) annual fall conference. In the past, when I put anything CI related in my session titles, I suspect it had a negative advertising effect. One year, I had about 20 people come, the next year was even fewer. But the times have changed, people! I had CI in all 5 of my session titles this year, and it was bonkers! 2 out of the 5 sessions had people sitting on the floor, and the other 3 were still well-attended: 30-40 people each.

Here are all the slideshows:

Chonko’s FLAVA Fall 2019:


People want them some CI! Let’s give it to them! Let’s spread the love! Let’s spread the joy of working with students who get swept up in how compelling the language usage in class is, whether listening to a captivating retell of a scary legend, or acting out a heroic story in which a cat was saved by oncoming traffic, or interviewing a student who is learning to fly planes, or diving deep into a cultural inquiry like the devastating fires burning in the Amazon right now (all conversations I have bubbling away in my Spanish 2 classes right now!)

How do we spread the joy?

  • By having more practitioners present at the local and state levels. I had the real pleasure of joining Amy Fowler of Manchester MS in her first ever training at FLAVA 2019 about student interviews, AND SHE KILLED IT! And the attendees gave us rave reviews for how useful the presentation was! You can check out the slideshow here.
  • By supporting each other as our CI communities take root and grow! The best thing we’ve done here in Chesterfield County, VA for CI is start meeting once a week to share ideas and talk issues out. It’s a support group! The consistency of meeting once a week has really helped us turn the corner!

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