This page contains an outline of Cherice Montgomery's ACTFL 2010 presentation Preparing Professionally-engaged Practitioners, a copy of the PowerPoint presentation, and links to handouts and resources shared during the presentation.



  • Distribution of Handout
  • My Background
  • Your Interests
  • Preview of Session

Guiding Questions

1) Products: Producing Professional Products - What kinds of assignments might support student teachers in becoming critically reflective practitioners with the mentoring and leadership skills they need to catalyze professional change?

2) Practices: Building Professional Skills - How can methods instructors assist student teachers in implementing best practices in world language teaching and learning?

3) Perspectives: Seeing Oneself as a Professional - How can technology empower student teachers to develop professional perspectives and actively collaborate with colleagues in professional communities?


What do these situations suggest about the roles many beginning teachers are being asked to fulfill as mentors, leaders, and change agents during their first three years of teaching?

My Personal Experiences:

  • Heavily mentored by:
    • Janie Leeth, World Language Dept. Chair at Southeast High School
    • Marcia Rosenbusch & Cindy Kendall, National K-12 Foreign Language Resource Center at Iowa State (NFLRC)
    • Tonya Huber-Warring, Wichita State University
    • Tom Bird, Michigan State University
    • Punya Mishra, Michigan State University
    • Janet Swenson, Michigan State University
  • Asked to provide professional development [accreditation, critical languages (Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew, Japanese), cross-curricular, mentoring, & technology training]
  • Dissertation work re: mentoring, leadership, and change

How do we orient pre-service teachers to the field, cover the content of the methods curriculum, and still help them to develop the mentoring and leadership skills they will need in the long-term?

Task 1: Seeing self as a professional
Task 2: Being perceived as a professional
Task 3: Negotiating professional relationships

Perspectives: Seeing Oneself as a Professional

Teach participation in professional communities

Help student teachers develop professional perspectives by:

  • Communication
    • Asking for their advice and opinions about professional matters
    • Explicitly teaching them how to establish and maintain professional relationships

  • Culture
    • Treating them as professionals (vs. students)
    • Encouraging them to see each other as "colleagues" rather than as peers or fellow students
    • Rewarding their attempts at professional engagement ("el premio profesional")
      • When they share information by sharing links with me or colleagues
      • When they bring in newspaper articles relevant to education, world language teaching/learning, etc.
      • When they Hoot or Tweet things about class or in response to one another's queries

  • Connections -Guiding their attention to relevant resources from outside of world languages
    • Business & Marketing
    • Educational Technology
    • General education news via ASCD Smartbrief
    • Graphic design and other arts-informed pedagogical strategies

  • Comparisons - Explicitly teaching professionalism via contrasting examples
    • Communication
    • Dress
    • Problem-solving

Where do breakdowns occur during student teaching?

1) Contextualization
2) Giving Instructions
3) Scaffolding
4) Student Engagement
5) Professional Communication

How can we guide student teachers' attention to what experts attend to in order to help them address such breakdowns?

How can we prepare student teachers to actively and legitimately participate in professional communities of practice from the moment they step into the classroom?
  • "Legitimate peripheral participation" - (Lave & Wenger, 1991)
  • "Professionally engaged teachers" - (Becker & Riel, 2000)
  • Correlations between technology-using teachers and teachers who teach in the target language (ACTFL, 2009)


ACTFL. (2009, February). Announcing the results of the ACTFL 2009 survey on attitudes toward language education. The Language Educator, 4(2).

Becker, Henry J., & Riel, Margaret M. (2000, December). Teacher professional engagement and constructivist-compatible computer use. TLC Snapshots & Reports - Report #7. Retrieved December 6, 2007, from

Lave, Lave, Jean, & Wenger, Etienne. (1991). Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. In Pea, Roy, & Brown, John Seely (Eds.). Learning in Doing: Social, Cognitive, and Computational Perspectives. Cambridge University Press.

1: Multimedia Metaphors re: Expertise

2: Assignments Grounded in Social Media

Being Perceived as a Professional

3: Cocktail Party

(Preparation for the Professional Conference Assignment)


  • Building Professional Credibility
  • Developing Professional Networks
  • Obtaining Professional Resources
  • Contributing to the Professional Community

4: Elevator Advocacy Role Plays

  • Educate - Give the other person a 30-second bit of information to ponder
  • Advocate - Help the other person understand the significance of the information
  • Integrate - Invite the other person to participate in some way

More thoughts on advocacy:

5: Critical Conversation Simulations

(In preparation for classroom management, parent teacher conferences, working with mentors)

6: Mentoring with Templates in Pairs

Practices: Building Professional Skills

Help pre-service teachers learn and model best practices

7: Analyzing Student Work

8: Mini-teaching Demos with "Fast Feedback"

Froggy se viste (Froggy Gets Dressed)
  • Present formula for giving instructions
  • Distribute activity cards
  • Write instructions in 3 minutes
  • Give instructions in 5 min.
  • 1 volunteer gives mini-demo
  • Fast feedback (validate, listen, focus on 3 ABCs of Effective Feedback)
  • Scaffolding
    • I plan the activities (Froggy Activities)
    • They teach
    • Scaffolding templates (contextualization, key cognitive skills, board game template, writing activities)

9: Quickfire Challenges with Lesson Planning Manipulatives

Products: Producing Professional Products

Teach ethical participation in professional communities of practice

Final Thoughts

Question & Answer Time