Express Fluency Teacher Training: August 2017

Rated 4.83 out of 5 based on 6 customer ratings
(6 customer reviews)


August 7th-10th| Brattleboro, Vermont

Are you a language teacher interested in helping your students gain proficiency quickly and easily? Are you interested in a way of teaching that dramatically reduces your planning time while simultaneously increasing your students’ engagement and success? Our teacher training programs help you gain skills and confidence in Comprehensible-Input-based teaching (including TPRS- Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling). Teachers new to CI/TPRS® will leave ready to begin their school year using this approach. Teachers who already have experience will deepen their practice and build upon their skills. This August training features Latin, Spanish and French classes combined with teacher workshops. Instructors include Annabelle Allen, Justin Slocum Bailey, Grant Boulanger, Elissa McLean, Tina Hargaden and others TBA. Register by June 1st and save $25.  Learn more…



Teacher Training in Brattleboro, Vermont
 August 7th-10th, 2017
Brattleboro Union High School- 131 Fairground Road, Brattleboro, VT

Join us for four fun and learning-filled days in beautiful Brattleboro, Vermont this August.

Over the course of these four days you will:

♦ Participate in a language class as a student and/ or observe other students learning the language you teach. Spanish, Latin and French classes offered. (Participants will be elementary, middle, and high school students as well as adults.)

♦ Engage in hands-on workshops (options for beginner and experienced TCI teachers)

♦  Gain confidence in your ability to teach delightfully engaging classes that get your students understanding and speaking your language with ease (with limited planning time required of you!)

♦ Connect with a new group of friends and colleagues to support you in your adventure using TPRS/CI in the coming school year and beyond.

We are thrilled to announce our all-star team this summer!
 Justin Slocum Bailey of Indwelling Language joins us from Ann Arbor, Michigan to teach Latin. Annabelle Allen (la maestra loca) from New Orleans, LA will teach Spanish for elementary and middle school students, Grant Boulanger, ACTFL Teacher of the Year finalist and Minnesota Teacher of the Year will teach beginner Spanish, and Rebecca Lynch Nichols from Portland, Maine will teach intermediate Spanish. Tina Hargaden of Portland, OR will teach French. Teacher meetings in the afternoons will provide context and greater understanding of the skills involved in this way of teaching as well as guided practice and coaching. Latin teachers will have a special track of workshops with Justin Slocum Bailey.

All teachers will have the opportunity to practice skills and techniques experienced in the classes.

The schedule can be found here.

Send us an email if you’d like to get updates as they develop. Or join or mailing list.

Graduate-level credit is available through the University of the Pacific for an additional fee of $62/credit and writing 3-page paper per credit.  For University credit questions/information please contact Dr. Lifson, University of the Pacific , Program Coordinator, 800 479 1995.

Interested in teaching Express Fluency classes in your town? Contact us.

Training includes:
Morning language classes (Latin, Spanish (beginner + intermediate), French). (We are offering language camps for local elementary, middle and high school students so that teachers can observe real students and teachers. Teachers are also welcome to participate in the classes as a student.)
Afternoon teacher workshops (including special sessions for teachers of Latin.)
Access to online database of resources
Large doses of laughter and fun

If you would like to eat lunch in the high school (rather than go to town during the hour lunch break) you can sign up for our delicious lunch plan here. There is an additional fee of $65 for 4 lunches – Dim sum, Indian, Mexican, and Thai. All meals offer a vegetarian and GF options.

Before June 1st: $400
After June 1st: $425

Groups of 3 or more from the same school get a $30 discount each. Enter code “grouprate” when registering and then send us an email with the names of the others in your group.

*** Special 1-day workshop with Tina Hargaden August 6th is only $50 if you are participating in the 4-day workshop. Register here.

Would you like your child(ren) to participate in our language camp? This fee is only $30/child when you are enrolled in the 4-day workshop. To register, visit this page and enter coupon code “teacherworkshop” as a coupon code.

Visiting from out of town?
Express Fluency students receive a special rate at the Latchis Hotel. Contact the Latchis directly at 802-254-6300. They have reserved a block of rooms for our group, but if you go online it appears that they are full. Other downtown Brattleboro lodging suggestions can be found here.

The closest airport is Bradley International (BDL) by Hartford, CT. We can try to coordinate ride sharing from the airport. Contact us. Boston and Burlington are other options. They are both 2+ hours away. Thomas Transportation offers van service from Boston and Bradley (Hartford) to Brattleboro. Sometimes the most economical way to get here is by renting a car. Southern Vermont is not the easiest place to fly to. BUT it is worth the trip!

Beautiful trails, swimming holes, great restaurants, wonderful people… Learn more about Brattleboro here.

Read what teacher participants from 2015 and 2016 have to say.

For more information:
Contact Express Fluency

6 reviews for Express Fluency Teacher Training: August 2017

  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    I learned so much about TPR and TPRS in three days thanks to Express Fluency. By participating in the classes as a student and then as an observer, I was able to witness firsthand the language learning process and later reflect on the method with other language educators. All three teachers were phenomenal: clear, organized, and engaging. I also appreciated the warm classroom environment, especially when participants were given the opportunity to try out the method on each other. Thank you!

  2. Rated 5 out of 5

    I am so glad I attended Express Fluency’s Latin teacher training and stayed an extra day to participate as a student in the French class! Justin ignited his Latin class and demonstrated so many TPRS skills for us to learn. During teacher debriefs it was wonderful to discuss with other teachers the application of this method to our beloved ‘dead’ language, with all the expectations that are placed on Latin teachers. During the French class, I was able to get a taste of being on the other said as Sabrina utilized the same techniques with her own personal variations. Being able to both watch and then participate was crucial, because I now understand not only the techniques being employed but what it feels like to be the student. This will affect how I interact with my students and make sure I’m maintaining comprehensibility. I must also add that Elissa was a great facilitator, available for questions and offering resources to us. For three days I was in a great community. I hope to be able to attend next year to continue to develop my CI and TPRS skills.

  3. Rated 4 out of 5

    The teacher training was an exciting introduction to TPRS and a community of learners and teachers. Being able to experience it as a student, and then review that experience with other teachers was a brilliant way to internalize the theory and practice. Shortly after the training I had the chance to try out the methodology in a week-long language class that I taught. My students knew something new and exciting was going on and they were engaged and energized. We all had a great time, and learned some Irish to boot.

    Learning the methodology works regardless of the language you teach. In my case it’s Irish (one of the Gaelic tongues) and it has proven to be immediately applicable, even though most of the literature, examples and other written resources are demonstrated using Spanish, French or Mandarin.

    I am fortunate to live in Brattleboro where I have easy access to the Express Fluency gang. I’m very much looking forward to where we go with this.

  4. Rated 5 out of 5

    This past spring, I observed another language teacher use TPRS/CI and instantly wanted to use it in my classroom, but didn’t know where to begin. Luckily, I found Express Fluency! I attended the August teacher training and was astounded at how much Spanish I knew after the first day. The method is fun, engaging, and teaches you without actually realizing you are learning. All the trainers were wonderful and so helpful. I also thoroughly enjoyed the methodology part of the training. It gave me the confidence to integrate TPRS on day 1 of the new school year. I highly recommend Express Fluency for teachers and students alike!

  5. Rated 5 out of 5

    I had seen and read about the TPRS and comprehensible input method of foreign language teaching, and was interested in the weekend program. It was incredible to me how much Spanish I learned and was actually able to use on just day one! Our classroom was filled with people from all different backgrounds, all ages, together in one comfortable learning community. All of the teachers at Express Fluency are amazing and it is obvious from the first minute that they love what they do. During the teacher training portion of the program, they practiced with us and answered all of our questions. There is no doubt that they are excited to bring the TPRS/CI method to as many teachers as possible!
    The weekend was so energizing for me as a French teacher! I have been able to share this enthusiasm with my students and have been using TPRS/CI ever since. My students report that they are having fun, look forward to more stories and that I should “keep it up!” I will definitely be looking into more training at Express Fluency.

  6. Rated 5 out of 5

    I learned about CI/TPRS last summer when I was desperately looking for a different way to teach Spanish to my 8th grade students. I read all I could find but needed some face-to-face training. That’s when I came across Express Fluency and Elissa. What a find! I participated in the weekend program in August and the Follow-Up Workshop in the fall. The teacher training allowed me to experience firsthand what my students must feel when confronted with a new language, when I was a student in Sabrina’s French class. And I had the chance to observe Elissa and Laurie using the same techniques (movie-talk, readers-theater, etc) with their own personal touches in their Spanish classes. The Follow-Up Workshop was an excellent opportunity to learn and share experiences with other language teachers as well as to learn and practice new and known techniques. Both experiences were awesome and left me feeling energized and if not ready (lots of trepidation as to “will I be able to pull it off”) to try it out on my students.

    I can report that this school year has been a totally different experience for me and my students. They are spontaneously trying to speak Spanish both in class and outside. They are having fun and acquiring the language without even realizing they are doing so.

    I highly recommend Express Fluency teacher training.

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About the Instructors

elissa.mclean.expressfluencyElissa McLean
Founder, Director, and Spanish Instructor

Elissa founded Express Fluency in 2012 to bring Comprehensible-Input based language classes to adults. Tired of hearing (almost) everyone say “I studied (fill in the blank) language in school for 4 years and I can’t speak a word now” – she decided to be part of a movement to change that. She holds a Masters degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and has taught Spanish to students from preschool to college and adults. Prior to teaching Spanish full-time she co-founded two innovative expedition-based high schools. She loves to travel, meet new people, hang out with her 12-year old daughter, and help bring more joy and multilingualism into the world.

JSB B+W close Justin Slocum Bailey
Latin Instructor

Justin Slocum Bailey, a longtime learner and teacher of Latin and other languages, operates Indwelling Language, a collection of resources and habits for boosting joy and success in language learning and teaching. In addition to teaching languages rapturously, Justin trains and mentors teachers and learners worldwide while helping schools, publishers, software developers, and nonprofits make the world a better place for language learning. He also serves on the board and faculty of the North American Institute for Living Latin Studies (SALVI), coordinates the Latin Listening Project, and is the translator of TPRS® Publishing’s forthcoming Brando Brown Canem Vult. Justin grew up in Vienna, Austria, and now lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with his wife and two German-speaking children. When he’s not playing with languages, Justin enjoys studying and teaching jujutsu and lolling lakeside with his family.

annabelle allen profile pic Annabelle Allen
Spanish Instructor (elementary)

Annabelle Allen, a.k.a. La Maestra Loca, is a passionate Spanish teacher at St. Martin’s Episcopal School in New Orleans, Louisiana, where she has taught for two years. Annabelle loves teaching middle school but she has taught students ranging from 2-82 years old. She taught for a year in China in 2014-15 and before that taught for 4 years in public schools in Denver, Colorado, where she learned from a community of brilliant CI (Comprehensible-Input) teachers in the area. Since then she has developed her own unique style, which her students call “loca” or “crazy”. She enjoys helping students of ALL ages acquire the Spanish language. Her goal for her students, children and adults, is communication and joy. In her free time Annabelle enjoys traveling the world and blogging about her travels. She also loves eating! Anything and everything, even duck tongue and sheep brain! Her favorite thing in the world is spending time with her family, and picnicking with her boyfriend Paul and bonus-daughter Isla Rose who just turned three and LOVES all things magical like unicorns, fairies, and mermaids, just like La Maestra Loca.

Boulanger.Grant.ColorGrant Boulanger
Spanish Instructor

Grant Boulanger is an innovative public educator living in St. Paul, MN. He is a 2017 ACTFL National Language Teacher of the Year Finalist and co-founder of the Comprehensible Midwest Conference. He holds a BA from Gustavus Adolphus College and an M.Ed. in Second Languages and Cultures Education from the University of Minnesota. He has taught in and directed innovative language acquisition programs since 1997. His joy is pioneering equitable, engaging and effective classrooms where EACH student belongs, acquires confidence and competence, and sees themselves as a natural language learner.

Tina HargadenTina Hargaden
French Instructor

Tina Hargaden is a middle school French and Spanish teacher in Portland Public Schools (Oregon).  She has taught middle school for twelve years, and she has enjoyed (almost!) every minute. She loves the creativity, community, and smiles that comprehension-based teaching brings to her classroom each day.  Tina has presented at several conferences and is organizing the Cascadia CI conference in June 2017. Recently Tina collaborated with Ben Slavic on a book called A Natural Approach to Stories – the Invisibles. She recently worked with Beniko Mason on The Bite-Size Book of Story Listening.  A video series to accompany the books is available online.  She is really excited about helping other teachers find the fun, ease, and happiness that comprehension-based teaching has brought her.  Tina has a firm belief that everyone can be successful with CI strategies, teachers and students alike.  Tina also enjoys riding her bike, yoga, theatre, drawing, reading, taking walks with her dog, Max, and listening to music.  

Rebecca Lynch Nichols>Rebecca Lynch Nichols Spanish Instructor

Rebecca started teaching Spanish (and art) in Boston Public Schools in 1998 where she taught high school students with social-emotional disorders.  She then moved to Maine in 2005 where she taught middle school Spanish for almost ten years at Greely Middle School. While at Greely in 2007, she discovered the Comprehensible Input (CI) methodology and worked in a team of 5 teachers to develop the art of teaching with CI.  In October of 2013 she moved to Portland Public Schools and is now teaching at Casco Bay High School.  She is also the World Language Acquisition Specialist for Portland Public Schools and continues to support teachers as they learn to implement Comprehensible Input in their classrooms among many other programs and initiatives across the district.  
Rebecca is passionate about language learning and has lived in Costa Rica and Spain and has traveled extensively in Latin America including spending time in a rural village in Guatemala.  She enjoys bringing the culture of Latin America and Spain into her teaching through music and dance.  She holds a Master’s Degree in Spanish literature and language from Middlebury College.

ben wang photoBen Wang Mandarin Instructor

Ben teaches Chinese using CI/TPRS strategies at Vermont Commons School in South Burlington, Vermont. He also ran a language-learning software company and taught the first Chinese courses offered at Saint Michael’s College and the Community College of Vermont. Ben has also brought students to China and hosted groups from China, performed translation and interpretation services, and studied, worked, and traveled in China and Taiwan, where he was born. Since moving to the U.S. at the age of ten he has always been fascinated by the nexus of American and Chinese world views. Ben led the transformation of the World Languages Department at Vermont Commons School to CI, and is excited to share its magic with teachers and students. Ben is also a seasoned wilderness guide and embarks on many adventures with his students and his family.