PEARLL Summer Institute 2019: Effective Unit Design

Professionals in Education Advancing Research and Language Learning

A Title VI Language Resource Center

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2019 PEARLL Summer Institutes

Session 1: Effective Unit Planning

A thematic curriculum allows teachers to create meaningful, real-world contexts for standards-based teaching and learning. By building on learners’ interests and life experiences, their attitudes, skills and knowledge are developed in meaningful ways. What real-world contexts will guide what students will have to know and be able to do by the end of a unit? Participants will explore how the NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements provide a focus on performance and language functions which are used to guide the development of thematic units while allowing teachers and learners to monitor and document student growth. Participants will have time to develop a thematic unit and will receive feedback at each stage of the development process. Access to model curricula in multiple languages will be provided.

June 25-27

The institute will meet from 9:00 AM until 4:00 PM. Lunch, snacks and refreshments will be provided each day. Participants are encouraged to bring their own water bottle.


The institute will take place at the National Foreign Language Center (NFLC) which is located at 5600 Rivertech Court, Suite K, Riverdale, MD 20737. There is free parking in front of the center. Get directions!


Early/Regular Registration rate. In order to provide each participant time to receive individualized feedback on the work, space for this institute is limited. Be sure to register early.

Register today!

Lead Facilitators

Laura Terrill is a national consultant who 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. She is currently the Senior Associate for Professional Development for the National Foreign Language Center at the University of Maryland.

Thomas Sauer been described as a visionary thinker, designer and change facilitator and applies those traits in his current role as Director of PEARLL and Senior Associate for Professional Development for National Foreign Language Center. He holds an MA in Germanic Languages and Literatures from the University of Kentucky as well as an MA in Instructional Leadership and School Administration from Bellarmine University.  He previously worked as an independent consultant for multiple years after serving as World Language Specialist for school systems in major urban areas such as Louisville, Kentucky. He served on the Board of Directors of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), as President of the Kentucky World Language Association (KWLA) as well as on the Board of the National Association of District Supervisors of Foreign Languages (NADSFL) and the Central States Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (CSCTFL).

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Professionals in Education Advancing Research and Language Learning

National Foreign Language Center
University of Maryland
5600 Rivertech Court, Suite K
Riverdale, MD 20785

(301) 405-9828