Professional Development > Conferences and Workshops

Conferences and Workshops
(Click here for the 2019-2020 Professional Development Series PDF)


Thematic Planning: Meeting the Needs of the World Language Learner
Helena Curtain

Friday, February 28, 2014
9:30 am - 3:00 pm

Courtyard by Marriott Chicago Downtown Magnificent Mile
Chicago, IL

** Registration Update as of 1/28: Registration for this workshop has reached capacity. However, we have started a waitlist. Please select the WAITLIST button and complete the information to be added onto the waitlist. We request that if you are interested, you add yourself and colleagues to the waitlist. ISACS will contact you if space becomes available. Thank you. If you have any questions, please call ISACS at 312-750-1190.

To maintain interest and motivation, world language teachers must organize the curriculum around the needs and interests of students with diverse learning needs. Thematic planning can free the language teacher from the limitations of existing materials and lead to lessons that are cognitively challenging and emotionally engaging for their students. Thematic planning makes instruction more comprehensible, because the theme creates a meaningful context and changes the instructional focus from the language itself to the use of language to achieve meaningful goals.  This provides a rich context for instruction and connects content, language, and culture goals to a "big idea." Teachers will see examples of quality thematic units and will participate in the process of designing a unit.

This workshop is for K-12 world language teachers.

Helena Curtain, PhD, is an internationally known expert on second language teaching methodology, curriculum development, and bilingual immersion education. Her special interest is in teaching language to young learners. She is the co-author of Languages and Children: Making the Match, now in its fourth edition-- a book used in universities throughout the U.S. for preparing language teachers to work in grades K-8.  Dr. Curtain directed the English as a Second Language and World Language teacher preparation programs at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee for ten years.  Previously she coordinated the foreign language and ESL programs grades K-12 in the Milwaukee Public Schools, and taught at the elementary, middle school and high school levels. In the Milwaukee Public Schools she started three full immersion programs in German, Spanish and French, and was one of the pioneers of the immersion movement in the U.S.  She has won several national awards and is the author of a variety of publications. She has broad experience working with schools and school districts, teaching and conducting workshops throughout the U.S. and internationally in 30 countries.
This workshop will take place at the Courtyard Marriott Chicago Magnificent Mile, 165 East Ontario Street, telephone: 312-573-0800.

The Courtyard Magnificent Mile Chicago is located just a one block east of Michigan Ave. Here is a link to the hotel's website:

The Courtyard is conveniently accessible by public transportation and taxis. Click here for directions and parking information.

Hotel Accommodations
ISACS has secured special discounted room rates at the Courtyard: $119/night plus tax (single or double occupancy) for the night of Thursday February 27. To make a reservation, call 1-800-321-2211 and use Group Code "ISH" or "ISACS" to reserve a room.  Click here to make an online reservation. Special discounted rates are available until January 27, 2014. If you have a problem securing the rate, please call the ISACS office at 312-750-1190. 
Daily Parking - If you arrive by 9:00 am and leave by 7:00 pm, there is a special parking rate of $16.00. This is valid Monday - Friday only.  The garage is adjacent to the hotel and has a door to the hotel lobby. This is a self park only option. If you arrive after 9:00 am regular rates, depending on the length of stay, apply. The hotel does not offer valet daily parking. The self parking garage entrance is on St. Clair Street just south of Ontario Street.
There are several other parking lots in the surrounding area if the parking garage is full.
Overnight Parking - The self parking rate with in and out privileges is $49 and is valid from the time of check in until 3pm of the checkout date, and must be arranged through the front desk upon check in. Valet overnight parking with in and out privileges is $62 from the time of check in until 3pm of the checkout date.
Registration Fee
  • $175 Member Fee
  • $225 Non-Member Fee
  • First registrant pays full fee, each additional registrant receives a $20 discount
  • Workshop includes lunch

Cancellation Policy
Cancellations must be received in writing to ISACS by emailing 10 business days prior to the event to receive a 50% refund. Cancellations received within 10 days of the event will not receive a refund. Registration may be transferred to another member from the same school. ISACS reserves the right to cancel the workshop for insufficient enrollment. In this case, participants will be notified and given a full refund.

Questions? Please call 312-750-1190.

Member Cost: $175     Non-member Cost: $225


55 West Wacker, Suite 701 · Chicago, IL 60601 · Telephone (312) 750-1190 · Fax (312) 750-1193
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