Creating Focus: Eliminate the Excess

You can’t do it all and there is never enough time! Lessons learned over the past year have surely changed perspective on what is essential when the goal is growth in proficiency. Consider gradual shifts in curriculum, instruction and assessment that keep the focus on learning. Adopt a “less is more” mindset by focusing on unit and lesson goals that are content-rich, culturally relevant and cognitively engaging. Design lessons that address the three modes of communication using brain-based strategies to increase cognitive engagement and result in retention of new learning. Participants in this workshop will: (1) modify or create unit and lessons goals that engage the learner, (2) select an authentic text and create lesson goals that address the essential question of the unit, and (3) design a lesson that incorporates brain-based strategies to increase long-term memory.

July 13 - 15, 2021

The schedule for each day includes varies learning formats. See below for details.

CEU Credit

Participants may receive an optional 1.5 Continuing Education Credits (CEU).


Registration is extremely limited in order to personalize the learning.


The entire institute will take place online. 

  • 10:00 AM — 11:30 AM (ET)
    Small Group Processing & Independent Work
  • 12:00 PM — 1:30 PM (ET)
    Small Group Processing & Independent Work
  • 2:00 PM — 3:00 PM (ET)
    Feedback On Independent Work / Presentation
  • 3:00 PM — 4:00 PM (ET)
    Facilitated Discussion & Reflection

All times are listed as Eastern Time. Please adjust  for your timezone. 

The institute includes synchronous presentations as well as time for independent/small group work. You agree to participate in all learning activities and throughout the day.

The institute will use Zoom for all synchronous learning activities. You will need to make sure to have a computer with a functioning web camera, microphone and headsets.

The institute will use Catalyst to share all institute information including daily zoom links. You will receive an invitation to join a private group on Catalyst prior to the start of the institute. 

institute facilitatorlaura terrill

Laura Terrill

Laura Terrill is a national consultant who currently serves as the Senior Associate for Professional Development for the National Foreign Language Center (NFLC) at the University of Maryland.

Laura holds a BA in French from the University of Missouri — St. Louis and a MA in Secondary Administration from Northeast Missouri State University. 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.  She has taught methods courses in St. Louis and in Indianapolis and continues to present at the local, state, regional and national levels. She has served on the Board of Directors for Central States and ACTFL. She is the recipient of the Founders Award for Central States, has been named as the NADSFL District Supervisor of the Year and has received the ACTFL Florence Steiner Award for Leadership. She recently co-authored the Second Edition of ACTFL Keys to Planning for Learning: Effective Curriculum, Unit and Lesson Design.