The 2024 Agen Workshop
July 22nd -July 27th Agen France
Comprehensible Input Methods for Language Acquisition
Then Teaching with Comprehensible Input could be what you are looking for
At the Agen Workshop we are not promoting any one method or any particular author. We are open and curious about all methods which recognize the importance of putting Comprehensible Input at the center of our classroom practice. Dr. Stephen Krashen’s work on how languages are acquired has inspired teachers around the world to move away from rote work and memorization to exchanging interesting ideas and information, to more authentic communication in the classroom that leads to genuine acquisition.
Dr. Krashen has come to us twice to explain his ideas on Language Acquisition and continues to inspire us. There were 15 teachers in 2013. In 2023 we had 130 language teachers from 24 different countries, including Australia, Thailand, Hungary and Cuba.
It is possible to receive graduate credits from the University of the Pacific for your participation in the Agen Workshop.
We offer 33 hours of Professional Training
Afternoon and evening coaching sessions
Language Labs in Spanish, Breton, Intermediate French, Advanced French, Intermediate English, Advanced English, Arabic and Mandarin with debriefings.
An opportunity to meet and exchange ideas with teachers from Spain, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Korea, Australia, Canada and the United States.
Some new participants have trouble understanding why there is a three hour break for lunch. Agen has a wide variety of cozy, low-priced restaurants that take their food seriously. It’s actually difficult to get in and out in less than an hour without insulting the chef. Over the years we have discovered that the relaxed conversations that take place during lunchtime over a good meal, conversations that allow participants to exchange their ideas and digest all they have seen during the Language Labs and the presentations are an essential part of the Agen experience.
The day starts with a Language Lab where the participant can be a Student interested in Acquiring a new language, or an Observer. After the class, a Facilitator will lead a debriefing session to point out and explain the strategies used by the Lab Teacher.
During the afternoon there are three hours of Presentations and Round Tables on a wide variety of topics. The only difficulty is choosing which three to attend out of the twelve Presentations proposed. Popular sessions are repeated later in the week.
For those who want still more, evening sessions are available at the Stim’otel.
Saturday morning the conference comes to a close with a talk by the keynote speaker and a picnic for all, with plenty of time to say good-bye to all your new friends from around the world.
The Agen Workshop takes place in the Lycée Saint Caprais and is within easy walking distance of the train station and the hotels, restaurants, shops and museums.
We are interested in any method which privileges Comprehensible Input, which favors Acquisition over Learning. Our presenters often have evolved in the TPRS tradition, but we also welcome those who use Story-Listening, Automatic Language Growth, Story Asking, etc.
Learning involves a conscious, mental effort at retaining language in our short-term memory, in the hopes that with enough practice it will become long term. Acquisition is the completely unconscious storing of language in our subconscious where it can be used spontaneously when there is a need. Traditional teaching methods are aimed at Learning. CI teachers use techniques that favor Acquisition.
Dr. Stephen Krashen, Dr. Beniko Nanki Mason, Susan Gross, Laurie Clarcq, Cécile Lainé, Ben Slavic, Dr. Diane Neuabauer, Kelly Ferguson, Michele Whaley, Kirstin Plante, Scott Benedict, Jason Fritze, Teri Wiechart, Hélène Cormier, Jim Tripp, Karen Rowan, Dr. Liam Printer, Margarita Perez Garcia, Alice Ayel, Adriana Ramirez, Hélène Colinet, Janique Vanderstocken, Elicia Cardenas, Carol Bausor and many many more have presented at our conference. Many teach in Europe and are familiar with conditions there. We are happy to welcome new presenters with interesting topics.
We have always wanted to be “family friendly”. Any member of your family may attend the morning language labs free of charge. Currently we have scheduled French, English, Spanish, Mandarin and Breton classes. Latin and German may be added. If you need a baby sitter during the morning sessions, let us know so that it can be arranged. There is a free guided tour offered by the town Wednesday afternoon, and we are planning our own orientation tour Monday morning. Besides the many historical sites in and around Agen, the largest water park in Europe is just across the river, a short bus ride away. Bikes can be rented at the train station.
There are international flights to Paris, Toulouse or Bordeaux. A high speed train (TGV) from either Toulouse or Bordeaux will get you to Agen in an hour. If you fly into Paris, the train trip to Agen will take a little over three hours.
The Stim’otel offers a special price to Agen Workshop participants. Appart’City and Ibis are also within walking distance of the train station. There are many comfortable residences in the town center listed with Airbnb.
Although language classes start Monday at 8:30, you may register at any time before the opening ceremony at 3:00 pm. Language Lab classes are every morning, Monday through Friday. Presentations and Round Tables are held during the afternoon sessions, Monday through Friday. Saturday morning there is a plenary session and a picnic. In all, there are over 35 hours of professional development.
“Our primary purpose as coaches is to provide a safe and comfortable environment for the person being COACHED to practice with the guidance of a Coach and the support of their peers. ” Teri Wiechart. During a Coaching session, you can try out something you’d like to do in class and get helpful, positive feedback. Or you can simply observe others. Or you can help another teacher by playing the role of their student. It’s a safe but powerful, hands-on experience
At the end of each Language Lab session, Observers are asked to sit with a Student of a language they speak fluently and chat with them. These informal conversations allow Students to use the language in an authentic, unrehearsed situation while allowing Observers to put into practice some of the techniques they have seen used by more experienced teachers.
We accept Presentation Proposals at any time between the 1st of January and the 1st of May, 2023. You will be asked to furnish a description of your presentation, a short biography and a list of your technical needs.