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Team posing in front of PowerPoint Presentation
Bronxville, NY

Bronxville High School teachers Denise Flood and Toby Gillen and a group of students presented their work on foreign language curriculum during the Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, held virtually on April 27.  
During the conference, Flood and Gillen discussed how the foreign language department designed a thematic unit across the 6-12 continuum, which allows students to analyze evidence of the complex nature of the concept of “home,” including geographic, economic, religious, power and gender influences. Flood said she hoped attendees gained skills to construct and implement a reimagined, vertically aligned unit of study. 
“In transforming a common thread, such as the home, we hope that other educators find their own means to engage all language learners through authentic cultural experiences and texts, as well as through receiving feedback from authentic audiences,” she said. “The unit was vertically aligned, 6-12, so the hope is that this could serve as a model for other disciplines to connect their units across the grade levels, create a portfolio, and, as a culminating experience, to share their growth in knowledge, understanding and complexity of the concept over time.” 
As a capstone project, students design a reflective portfolio demonstrating their growth in language over time and their deepening understanding of the concept of home. This scaffolded, thematic approach embraces technology and encourages reflection, metacognition and critical thinking. Bronxville High School juniors Elizabeth Burnell, Lucy Clark, Rory Denning, Teresa Markola, Shay Sipple and Alice Vranka also presented during the conference. Sipple said the conference provided the students with a platform to share their projects and an opportunity to share their interest in foreign languages.  
“It was great to be able to see how the theme of ‘home’ was utilized not only throughout my years in French, but also in Latin and Spanish classes in different ways,” Burnell said. “This experience also gave me a greater appreciation for the preparation and creativity that goes into creating an effective language curriculum.” 
The six students are part of the World Language Fellows cohort, which was created thanks to a generous grant from the Bronxville School Foundation. The two-year-long, advanced, interdisciplinary program was designed for students to engage more deeply in solving real-world global challenges and connect with the larger community of global scholars.  
Over the past few years, Flood and Gillen have presented on foreign language curriculum and technology topics at national, regional and local conferences, including the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages Annual Conference, the AP National Annual Conference, the New York State Association of Foreign Language Teachers conference, the New York State Education Department conference, the Putnam Northern Westchester BOCES Tech Expo and The New York State Association for Computers and Technologies in Education conference. The annual Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages was designed to provide world language educators with professional development and the chance to interact with colleagues. 

Team posing in front of PowerPoint Presentation