Events Led by Irene Brouwer Konyndyk

Irene Brouwer Konyndyk, author of Foreign Languages for Everyone: How I Learned to Teach Second Languages to Students with Learning Disabilities, will be speaking at the following events.   Contact me at irene.konyndyk@gmail.com if you’d like more information or if you’d like to meet to meet in person at the event.

  • I welcome requests for more information about doing a consultation, a presentation or a workshop for your professional group or conference.  I am also delighted to give professional development (PD) workshops for schools and school districts.

Upcoming events:

  • I am currently in discussions with several professional organizations in Texas and New Jersey about possible upcoming workshops in 2018.

Recent past events:

  • I guided prospective foreign language teachers in two presentations (“Culture in the Foreign Language Classroom” and “Foreign Languages for Everyone: How to Include Students with Learning Disabilities”) for the Fire-up Student Teacher Conference at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, MI, on October 23, 2017 and will be doing so again at Grand Valley State University in the spring of 2018. This conference is sponsored by the Inter-Institutional Teacher Education Council of West Michigan and includes schools such as:  Aquinas College, Calvin College, Central Michigan University, Ferris State University, Grand Valley State University, Hope College, Michigan State University and Western Michigan University.  I am invited to give these presentations twice annually.
  • On October 12, 2017, I gave a presentation to the Michigan World Language Association [MIWLA] conference in Lansing, Michigan.  The title was “Helping Students with Learning Disabilities Build Global Competence through Metacognitive Strategies.” The audience members were enthusiastic about what they learned and their feedback indicated that more time was needed for such an important topic.
  • I was delighted to lead a professional development workshop for the Cape Cod Collaborative of foreign language teachers on October 6, 2017.  What a progressive school district looking to meet the needs of struggling students!
  • In early June I led two energizing days of 6-hour workshops [“Foreign Languages for Everyone”] for foreign language teachers of the Northside Independent School District in San Antonio, TX.  Here is a link to a short video clip made of the 2nd day workshop:    https://quik.gopro.com/v/MamRlbYWFY/   {I have also put some pictures on my blog.}  This group is developing a wonderful new initiative called “LOTE (Languages Other Than English) Support” in which a group of 25 dedicated teachers is reading my book, attending my workshop, and then following up with a week of creating materials, collaborating, and aligning their initiative with state and district standards.  I believe their approach could serve as a model for other school districts.  I also look forward to seeing their results presented at foreign language conferences in the future!  Let me know if you would like contact information for the two district leaders on this project.  They have lots of wisdom to share.
  • At the Central States Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages [CSCTFL] in Chicago on March 10, 2017, I did a presentation called “Foreign Languages for Everyone: Providing Possibilities for Students with Learning Disabilities through Direct and Explicit Instruction.”
  • I gave a presentation (“Students with Learning Disabilities: Positive Impact of Metacognition”) at the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages [ACTFL] conference in Boston on November 19, 2016.  It was overwhelming to have 65+ people attend my session — especially since it was scheduled in the same time slot as the session by foreign language ‘giants’ Stephen Krashen and Bill VanPatten!  A keyword search showed that my session was the only one on the topic of learning disabilities and foreign language learning at the entire conference, which was attended by 8,500 people.
  • On  November 10, 2017 I gave a presentation (“Empowering World Language Educators to Teach Students with Learning Disabilities by Providing a Structured Environment”) at the Michigan World Language Association [MIWLA] conference in Lansing, MI.
  • On October 25, 2016 I did a professional development workshop (“Languages for Everyone:  Meeting the Needs of Struggling Students in a World Language Classroom”) for teachers in the Traverse City Area Public Schools.
  • I gave a presentation at the Central States Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages [CSCTFL] held in Columbus, OH on March 11, 2016.  My session was titled:  “Empowering Communities of Students with Learning Disabilities: How a Structured Environment Can Help.”
  • On  February 10, 2016 I did a workshop for the Foreign Service Institute [FSI] in Arlington, VA.  This wonderful and hardworking organization does all the civilian language training for the U.S. government (e.g. embassy staff, etc.).  The title of the session was:  “Foreign Languages for Everyone:  Teaching Adult Learners with Learning Differences.”

Further past events (2015 and earlier):

  • On November 24, 2015 I  made a consultation visit to the Foreign Service Institute in Arlington, VA.  This organization does all the civilian language training for the U.S. government, teaching 70+ languages to thousands of learners every year — people who will be working in U.S. embassies and in other capacities abroad.  The FSI is a wonderful example of our tax dollars at work!
  • I did a presentation called “Foreign Languages for Everyone:  Meeting the Challenges of Students with Learning Disabilities through Direct and Explicit Instruction” at the Language Teacher Education [LTE] conference in Minneapolis, MN on May 15, 2015.
  • On October 24, 2014 I gave two 1-hour presentations at Redeemer University  College in Ancaster, Ontario, Canada, for the EDIFIDE Christian school teachers’ convention.   First session:  “Struggling Students in the Foreign Language Classroom”  Second session:  “Adapting Foreign Language Teaching Practices to Help ALL Students.”
  • I did a presentation (“Celebrating World Languages:  Engaging Students with Learning Disabilities through Direct and Explicit Instruction”) for the Michigan World Language Association [MIWLA] conference in Lansing, MI on October 23, 2014.
  • I was the featured speaker for the Indiana Network for Early Language Learning [IN-NELL]  at their day-long conference in Indianapolis, IN on October 4, 2014.
  • I led a 3-hour workshop (“Foreign Languages for Everyone:  Unlocking the Gateway for Students with Learning Disabilities”) at the Central States Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages [CSCTFL] conference in St. Louis, Missouri on March 20-22, 2014.
  • I gave a presentation (“Multisensory Foreign Language Instruction – Providing Lines of Communication for Students with Learning Disabilities”) at the Michigan World Language Association [MIWLA] conference in Lansing, MI, on November 7, 2013.  This presentation examined the importance of multisensory instruction for struggling students:  auditory, visual, and kinesthetic/tactile.  I explained the multisensory aspects of a larger pedagogical approach designed to meet the needs of at-risk students and provided useful strategies to help students with learning disabilities become successful world language learners.
  • I did a presentation (“Foreign Languages for Everyone: Including Students with Learning Disabilities”) for the Christian Educators Association [CEA] convention in South Bend, Indiana, on Thursday October 24, 2013.
  • I did a presentation (“Multisensory Instruction:  Practices to Help ESL Students Learn More Effectively”) for ESL tutors at Church of the Servant Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, MI, September 3, 2013.
  • I gave a paper (“Foreign Languages for Everyone:  Using Student Self-Reflective Journals to Help Students with Learning Disabilities”) at the 8th International Language Teacher Education [LTE] conference at George Washington University in Washington, DC, May 31, 2013.   This conference was sponsored by the National Capital Language Resource Center [NCLRC ].
  • I did a presentation (“Foreign Languages for Everyone:  Including Students with Learning Disabilities”) at the Michigan Adult Education and Training Conference [MAETC] in Grand Rapids, MI, April 11, 2013.
  • I led a half-day workshop (“Foreign Languages for Everyone:  Including Students with Learning Disabilities”) at the American Council on Teaching of Foreign Languages [ACTFL] conference in Philadelphia, PA, November 15, 2012.
  • I did a presentation (“Be Moved:  Self-Reflective Journals to Help Students with Learning Disabilities Meet the Michigan Graduation Requirement”) at the Michigan World Language Association [MIWLA] conference in Lansing, MI, October 25. 2012.
  • I led a workshop at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, MI, October 13, 2012).  This was an “Outreach” conference for secondary foreign language teachers in West Michigan and GVSU foreign language faculty.  The focus of this workshop was on learning disabilities and foreign language learning.  [For recommendation regarding value of workshop, please contact organizer, Dr. Janel Pettes Guikema:  pettesj@gvsu.edu].
  • I taught a graduate class at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI (July 16 – 20, 2012):  Course descriptionIDIS 602 “Teaching Students with Learning Disabilities Who Struggle to Learn World Languages.”  (2 semester hours of graduate credit).  This workshop helped world language instructors (in all languages and at all levels) learn how to teach a second language to students who struggle due to learning disabilities or other issues.  During the week-long workshop, participants discovered how to incorporate strategies into their teaching practice which are multisensory, structured, and have a strong metacognitive component.  [NOTE:  If you would like to take such a course, please let me know of your interest.]
  • I led a workshop (“Foreign Languages for Everyone: Meeting the Needs of All Students”) for the Detroit Public Schools in Detroit, MI, May 12, 2012. [Sponsored by the Department of Multilingual-Multicultural Education / the Office of Global Languages — Organizer:  Viviana Muriel de Bonafede, Global Languages Supervisor, Email:  viviana.murieldebonafede@detroitk12.org  ].
  • I presented a paper (“World Languages and Global Christianity:  Using Student Self-Reflective Journals to Help Students with Learning Disabilities Acquire a Second Language”) at the North American Christian Foreign Language Association [NACFLA] conference in Santa Barbara, CA, March 22-24, 2012.
  • I led a workshop for World Language Teachers at the Indian Prairie School District Professional Development Day in Naperville, IL, March 2, 2012.
  • I led a workshop for World Language Mini Conference at Saginaw Valley State University in Saginaw, MI–organized by the Bay-Arenac Intermediate School District, February 6, 2012.  [Contact Dr. Millie Melgren — workshop organizer — for recommendation regarding value of workshop:  mellgrenm@gmail.com ].