Guidelines for Conference sessions

This year’s workshop will be different, for many reasons. We expect fewer participants than in the past, so it will certainly feel more intimate. We want to make that an advantage. We’ve always preferred calling those who come « participants » rather than « attendees ». Let us work together in making the conference at Agen something that we all participate in and create together, rather than something that some people attend.

Robert Harrell asked what the participants will have when they walk out of a session. Ideally, they will leave every session with something tangible, something that they created during the hour, a new skill that they have learned, an address or a contact or an ap that they have discovered and explored.

Sessions should be designed for one hour with a maximum of fifteen participants. If more people sign up, we will repeat the session later in the week with new participants. We are asking presenters to describe their session carefully, so that people will know exactly what they will gain by participating. If a session can be done outside, in a shady spot with good ventilation, we will arrange it.

We are asking those who are planning sessions to bear in mind that the people who come to the Agen Workshop have often been coming for years and usually are familiar with TPRS, Story-Listening and other CI strategies. They have listened to Dr. Krashen, Blaine Ray and Beniko Mason Nanki, along with Karen Rowan, Jason Fritze and Scott Benedict. Newcomers will be guided by Robert Harrell who will introduce them to the fundamental concepts of CI with special coaching sessions.

In the past we featured a number of Round Tables. We are calling them Discussions this year. The goal is to facilitate a real exchange of ideas among equals. Our greatest pride is in seeing how people like Hélène Colinet, Alice Ayel, Cécile Lainé and Rachel Salvi, who were all quite discreet the first time they came to Agen, have become leaders in the field, names that are now well-known far and wide. I am hoping that « Discussions » will help embolden others to speak up and speak out, sharing their ideas and gifts. If you have ideas for possible Discussion topics, please share them with us. If you are asked to facilitate such a Discussion, please remember that you are not there to lead the discussion, rather to ensure that everyone in the room is engaged and no one feels ignored or slighted.

My own lesson plans are usually pretty open-ended because it seems like my best lessons happened when I had to improvise. So please treat these guidelines as a work in progress and let me know if something important is missing or if you have suggestions of your own.

Judith Logsdon-Dubois

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