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Monterey Bay Foreign Language Education Symposium Logo

The 2018 Symposium will be held on Saturday, November 3, 2018. This year's theme is “Meeting Challenges, Inspiring Success.” 
As teachers, all of us face challenges on a daily basis -- everything from in-class difficulties (for example, getting the quieter students to talk) to broader issues of advocacy, employment, and inclusion for our learners. Part of our work involves meeting such challenges and inspiring success in our students, colleagues, and communities.  Come share your own experiences and ideas for inspiring success with other committed educators in an exciting day of workshops, networking, and professional development.

The 2018 Plenary Guest Speaker is Ms. Ying Jin (金璎)

Photograph of Ms. Ying Jin
Ms. Ying Jin has more 20 years Chinese language and culture teaching experience in diverse settings. 

"The 5 C’s That Paved My Way: Commitment, Courage, Collaboration, Coaching and Community"

Teaching might be one of the most challenging jobs in the world, and it is even more so for new teachers. Identifying proper resources, struggling with classroom management, and enduring an unsupportive environment are just a few of the challenges language teachers face.

Our plenary speaker, Ms. Ying Jin, will share her journey, commencing with the onset of her teaching career nine years ago as a brand new, rookie teacher, to being chosen the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) 2018 National Language Teacher of the Year. This keynote presentation will explore the opportunities and challenges new language teachers encounter in the 21st century and discuss crucial key components that can help them to survive and ultimately become future leaders in this profession.

With the aspirations of helping new teachers gain a better understanding of the teaching world and better prepare new generations of educators, Ms. Jin will first reflect upon her personal experience to shed light on the importance of being mentally ready to face challenges and obstacles.  More importantly, she will then highlight different practical strategies that have been proven to be successful in her own career in hopes that new teachers will implement these methods in order to survive their first years of the selfless practice we call teaching.

Ms. Ying Jin's background - She is currently a teacher of Mandarin Chinese at the Fremont Union High School District in Cupertino, California. Ms. Jin received her MA degree in Instructional Technologies from San Francisco State University, and BA degree in Chinese Language and Literature from Peking University, China. 
Ms. Jin has received 2018 Teacher of the Year from ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) and 2016 Teacher Of the Year from CLTA (California Language Teachers Association).

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Desma Johnson Photo

Title: Cultural Literacy Through Educational Travel

Bio: Desma Johnson teaches Spanish at Pacific Grove High School. She has a master’s degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages and a Certificate in Language Program Administration from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (formerly the Monterey Institute of International Studies).

Rana Issa Photo

Title: Where’s My Voice?

Bio: Rana Issa began her career in teaching since her migration to the US in 2004. She has extensive experience coordinating language programs, curriculum design, assessment, and teaching Arabic at all levels. Her expertise includes consulting work with DLI, ACTFL, and other organizations. Issa is an advocate of MIIS’s signature pedagogy of "CBI" (Content-Based Instruction), integrating relevant content (international policy, environment, human rights) with the teaching of Arabic.

Benjamin P. Steel, MSgt, USAF Photo

Title: Improving Investment and Learner Autonomy for Air Force Adult Second-Language Learners at the Defense Language Institute

Bio: Master Sergeant Benjamin Steel is the Command Language Program Manager at the 517th Training Group. He is responsible for professional development and language training for over 900 Air Force linguists. He holds degrees in Urdu, Hebrew, International Relations, and a Master of Arts in Translation and Interpreting.

Sisi Wu Photo

Title: Theatre as a Tool to Motivate Young Learners of Chinese

Bio: Sisi Wu is currently working as a Chinese instructor at the International School of the Peninsula (ISTP). She was previously the K-8 Chinese program coordinator and instructor at Robert Louis Stevenson school. Graduated from MIIS in 2012, Sisi discovered her passion in working with young learners and began her career at Stevenson in the same year.