Grant Feature


Foundation grant brings workshop with nationally recognized Spanish Teacher to District 230
World Language teachers gain skills to help students become successful beyond the classroom

ORLAND PARK, IL - Nationally recognized Spanish Teacher Ken Stewart recently met with District 230 World Language teachers to share insights and strategies to help students be immersed in the languages and cultures they study.  Supported by a District 230 Foundation Grant earned by Sandburg teachers Jill Erdman and Michael Erdman, the World Languages teachers took part in professional development focused on increasing students’ speaking, reading, listening and writing in the target language.

“In today’s global society it is imperative that world language students possess the skills to help them to be productive, successful citizens in the 21st century,” said Jill Erdman. “They need to be able to think critically, problem solve, and communicate effectively in the target language. Students are challenged to make connections between the themes studied in class to the world around them.”

The 2006 National Foreign Language Teacher of the Year Stewart shared with District 230 teachers instructional strategies, thematic unit design ideas, assessment strategies and specific information related to Advanced Placement exams that will prepare students to be successful on AP exams and well-versed in speaking, reading and writing the languages they study.

“With this training, teachers now possess materials and methods to help their students become successful beyond the classroom,” Jill Erdman said.

Teachers are now taking the lessons they learned back for discussions in their Professional Learning Communities at school to determine how to best implement the authentic materials, techniques and activities.
Stewart currently teaches Spanish IV and AP Spanish Language and Culture at Chapel Hill High School in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where he is department chair.  He has taught middle school through university levels of Spanish. He received his National Board Certification in 2003 and was recertified in 2012. Ken has been involved for many years with the College Board. He was a commissioner for the AP World Language Course and Exams redesign. Currently, he is a member of the AP Spanish Language and Culture Test Development Committee, a question leader at the AP Reading, and has been a national consultant for over 20 years. He has conducted over 100 AP and pre-AP workshops and summer institutes throughout the US as well as in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America.

Both of the Erdmans expressed appreciation to the District 230 Foundation and its supporters to providing the funding that allowed a dynamic, world-acclaimed presenter to empower teachers.