which pathway will you explore this summer?Participate in a PEARLL summer institute to explore effective practices and start the new school year energized!

Effective language learning experiences are possible because of the work done by the teacher, but you can’t do it all and there is never enough time. PEARLL has offered summer institutes since 2019 and helped hundreds of teachers focus their practice in order to discover what it really means to teach with the learner in mind.

PEARLL summer institutes provide busy educators with unique opportunities to focus on an area of personal growth of interest to them. Join other educators to acquire new knowledge on the most essential proven practices, collaborate to process new learning in small group discussions, and apply new skills with the help of an experienced educator. This summer, PEARLL invites you to explore effective practices and start the school year more energized and ready to embed practices that keep the focus on the learner.

choose a focus

Teachers collaborating on a poster board

PEARLL summer institutes address different aspects of the student learning experience, providing busy educators with the opportunity to focus on a high-priority area of personal growth. Discover practical advice for implementing strategies identified in the TELL Learner Pathways.

learn from & with teachers

PEARLL summer institutes are facilitated by highly experienced educators who have a demonstrated history of classroom success. They bring a passion for supporting other educators to identify and reach their own professional goals through sharing of resources from their own practice.

grow your effectiveness

All 2024 PEARLL summer institutes are designed as online professional learning experiences that allow you to connect with other educators from the comfort of your home. Each institute will provide a mixture of synchronous presentations and discussions as well asynchronous processing tasks.

what previous participants said

The instructor was amazing. She helped me understand what is essential in terms of designing a thematic unit, and performance-based/proficiency-focused assessments. She helped me broaden my perspectives and insights when using authentic resources.

The scheduling of the synchronous and asynchronous sessions was perfect! I loved being able to hear the facilitator present and share and then having time to absorb on my own as well as take care of life happening here around me in my home.

I am very excited to get started teaching life-like tasks. I feel as though I have been caught in between former ways of teaching (worksheets, etc.) and this way of teaching, but never quite knew how to make the shift.

Thanks to PEARLL’s summer institute, I am motivated to continually improve my lesson plans to help students to be more engaged and productive in learning.

I really enjoyed the online format of the class. The asynchronous time provided an opportunity to digest the material and the group time was helpful.

It was brilliant – I got to meet with 15-20 colleagues from around the world without leaving my living room.

schedule & descriptions

Each institute provides 15 hours of online professional learning by combining synchronous presentations, time for small group processing, as well as independent, asynchronous activities. Each will take place via PEARLL’s Learning Management Platform and Zoom. All institutes are scheduled for 11 AM – 4 PM (Eastern Time).

June 11-13

Why do we say that we should use the target language at least 90% of the time? In this institute, you will learn how to focus less on the number and more on how to engage learners in the target language. You will see and learn how to use a variety of verbal and non-verbal strategies to make the target language comprehensible. Find out what role checks for understanding play in order to modify your input as necessary. After participating in this institute, you will  eliminate the need to ask students “Do you understand?”

The most important idea was actual strategies that were practical for motivating students to stay in target language besides having a sign hung up.

Institute Facilitator:
Meiching Chang
Glastonbury Public Schools (CT)

June 25-27

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could eliminate the need for students to ask why they are doing something? In this institute, you will learn how to bring a clear purpose to your lessons so that your learners have a clear picture for the next class. You will learn how to develop can-do statements that create a roadmap for learning and consider how they are the glue that holds a lesson together. After participating in this institute, you will implement strategies that increase student motivation and engagement as learners meet clearly defined daily learning targets.

Institute Facilitator:
Rosalyn Rhodes
North Academy for World Languages (NC)

July 9-11

How can we make lesson planning easier by keeping what we know about the science of learning in mind? In this institute, you will learn how to implement strategies that maximize student learning and retention. Explore ways to capture your learners’ attention at the beginning of a lesson, before planning a sequence of activities that ensure learners can demonstrate that they have met your learning target. After participating in this institute, you will bring a routine to your lesson plan that will make planning easier and maximize learning for your students.

I gained many resources and strategies to help develop more effective lesson cycles in my classroom.

Institute Facilitator:
Katrina Griffin
North County High School (MD)

July 16-18

Do you want to ensure that the language input you provide your students will lead to meaningful language production? In this institute, you will learn how to select authentic resources appropriate for the theme and the goals of your units. You will experience and plan cognitively engaging activities that offer opportunities for learners to process language in the interpretive mode before expecting them to produce language in the interpersonal and presentational modes. After participating in this institute, you will easily cycle from input to output and back again in your lessons.

I plan on adding more tasks in my lesson plans, incorporating non verbal checks, and making sure there are learning checks that directly tie in my unit goals.

Institute Facilitator:
Rebecca Blouwolff
Wellesley Middle School (MA)

July 23-25

Move beyond assessing and grading as a means to compel learning. In this institute, you will explore ways to integrate a variety of assessments that allow learners to demonstrate how well they are meeting the goals of a lesson or a unit. You will examine practices for providing actionable feedback and engaging learners in reflection on their personal progress. After participating in this institute, you will be able to help your learners understand what they can do now and what they need to do next to grow their language skills.

I learned ways to improve and enrich my curriculum that provides more meaning and purpose for my students in order to increase their engagement.

Institute Facilitator:
Mike Travers
Wellesley High School (MA)

July 30 - August 1

Too much content to cover this year? If yes, it may be time to embrace a “less is more” approach. Focus on what matters. In this institute, you will learn how to establish purpose for your units (and lessons) with an essential question and clear goals. You will plan learning experiences based on specific texts and determine how learners will demonstrate their learning. Create space for deeper learning and the recycling needed to retain new learning. Participating in this institute will provide you with access to model curricula designed to support your own curriculum development work.

I learned ways to improve and enrich my curriculum that provides more meaning and purpose for my students in order to increase their engagement.

Institute Facilitator:
Laura Terrill
PEARLL Consultant

institute facilitators

PEARLL summer institutes are facilitated by highly experienced educators who have a demonstrated history of classroom success. They bring a passion for supporting other educators to identify and reach their own professional goals through sharing of resources from their own practice. PEARLL is honored to be able to offer a series of online institutes with such a highly qualified group of educators.

Rebecca Blouwolff

Rebecca Blouwolff has taught French at Wellesley Middle School in MA since 1998, but fell in love with teaching middle schoolers while serving as a Fulbright teaching scholar at a collège in Saint-Omer, France. Novice students inspire her to create engaging, age-appropriate lessons focused on global awareness. Together with her husband, she speaks non-native French at home to her own two children. She earned a B.A. magna cum laude in American Civilization and Judaic Studies at Brown University, and an M.Ed. in Teacher Leadership at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She is a National Board Certified Teacher, 2019 MaFLA and NECTFL Teacher of the Year, and 2020 ACTFL Language Teacher of Year.

Meiching Chang

Meiching Chang teaches Mandarin Chinese in Glastonbury Public Schools after starting her teaching career at elementary schools in Philadelphia and Chinese heritage schools in Pennsylvania. Meiching was named the 2020 Teacher of Year by the Connecticut Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. She has been involved with the Glastonbury STARTALK program for over a dozen years.

Katrina Griffin

Katrina Griffin is a German teacher and department chair at North County High School in Glen Burnie, Maryland.  She was named the ACTFL Teacher of the Year in 2017 and received the ACTFL Leo Benardo Award for Innovation in K-12 Language Teaching in 2017. Katrina is also a founding member of the STEM magnet program at her high school, where she initiated an annual German STEM Immersion Day for local students and developed STEM resources for language teachers. She holds a Master’s degree in German from Middlebury College, a B.S. in Secondary Education from Bloomsburg University, and B.A. degrees in International Politics and German from Penn State University. Additionally, Katrina is an AP College Board Consultant, an AP German Community Moderator, and a workshop presenter and keynote speaker on topics such as proficiency-based language learning, student engagement strategies, and developing leadership skills.

Rosalyn Rhodes

Rosalyn Rhodes is a sixteen year Spanish teacher in Charlotte, NC. She is the World Languages Master Teacher for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, and a frequent presenter at district, state, regional and national-level conferences. She is also the Program Director for PDS STARTALK, a Chinese teacher training and student language program, where she works with teachers on best practices in lesson planning and delivery. She has served on the board of FLANC (Foreign Language Association of NC) and was their 2015 K-12 Teacher of the Year.

Laura Terrill

Laura Terrill is a nationally recognized independent consultant who recently worked as the senior associate for professional development for the National Foreign Language Center at the University of Maryland. She taught French at all levels for 21 years before becoming the coordinator of foreign language and English as a second language and then director of curriculum for a school district in Missouri. She has taught methods courses in St. Louis and Indianapolis and continues to present at the local, state, regional, and national levels. She has served on the board of directors for the Central States Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages and ACTFL. She coauthored the second edition of The Keys to Planning for Learning: Effective Curriculum, Unit, and Lesson Design. Ms. Terrill holds a BA in French from the University of Missouri and an MA in secondary administration from Northeast Missouri State University.

Mike Travers

Mike Travers is a Spanish teacher at Wellesley High School in Massachusetts and has taught learners both Spanish and French at the novice and intermediate levels. Mike is very active in professional learning communities through MaFLA, NECTFL, and ACTFL, where he presents, facilitates or participates in conferences and workshops to continue learning more about proficiency-based teaching. Mike is a member of the MaFLA Board of Directors and NECTFL’s advisory board and the winner of multiple awards for his presentations at MaFLA and NECTFL.


Be sure to review all registration policies outlined on this page BEFORE completing your registration!

Each institute has a unique registration link. Be sure to choose the link that aligns with the title of the institute you are hoping to attend. If you plan to register for more than one institute, you will need to complete registration for each separately.

June 11-13Institute #1

make it comprehensibleengaging learners with the target language


June 25-27Institute #2

why are we doing this?creating purpose for learning and lesson planning


July 9-11Institute #3

starting and ending strongdesigning effective lessons


July 16-18Institute #4

don't skip a beat!moving from input to output


July 23-25Institute #5

more than a gradeintegrating assessment tasks to helps students grow


Jul 30-Aug 1Institute #6

creating focusentry points for curriculum (re)design


registration policy

– All participants for a summer institute must register online using the links above.

– If you plan to register for more than one institute, you will need to complete registration for each separately.

– Registration will close three business days before the start of each institute (on Thursday of the previous week).

– All registrations must include payment via credit card. Registrations via purchase orders cannot be accepted by the University of Maryland.

–  PEARLL will confirm your institute registration upon receipt of full payment.

– All registrations are on a non-credit basis. A professional development certificate for 15 hours will be made available upon completion of all tasks at the end of each institute.

cancellation policy

If you must cancel:

If a participant chooses to cancel their confirmed registration or does not attend the institute, the following refunds will apply:

– The registered participant may invite another person to substitute their place in the institute in which they are registered at any time at no charge;

– If a cancellation request is received 3 or less days from the scheduled starting date, no refund will be offered; and

–  If a cancellation request is received 4 or more days from the scheduled starting date, a full refund will be offered.

If PEARLL must cancel:

If PEARLL has not received sufficient confirmed registrations 3 days in advance of a scheduled starting date, the institute may be canceled. In the unlikely event that the institute is canceled, PEARLL will notify all confirmed participants immediately, and all participants will receive a full refund.