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Teach for Acquisition and Assessment for Acquisition Two-Day Workshop Hosted at Notre Dame High School

Teach for Acquisition and Assessment for Acquisition Two-Day Workshop Hosted at Notre Dame High School

Chattanooga, TN – Notre Dame High School recently hosted a two-day workshop for language teachers in the region, including participation from 50 teachers representing 14 area schools. The 16-hour workshop, co-hosted by Chattanooga School of Language, featured comprehensive sessions on Teach for Acquisition, and Assessment for Acquisition, and was offered to the area teachers for free. Led by Elicia Cardenas, the Director of Training for The Comprehensible Classroom, an organization which equips language teachers with training and resources that are proven to foster language acquisition, the workshop focused on Proficiency Oriented, Comprehension-Based™ teaching and its practical application. 

Teachers attending the workshop gained valuable insights and left with newfound confidence in their instructional decisions, underpinned by experience, expertise, and a deeper understanding of language acquisition. 

"This workshop gave our teachers the facts and tools we need to give us the courage to break away from traditional methods of language teaching and use techniques that facilitate language acquisition instead,” said Michelle Bertani, Spanish Instructor at Notre Dame High School and director of the workshop. “The hope is that we will reach all students, rather than only students who love all things grammar. If students are fluent in their first language, English for example, that means they are capable of learning a second language as well. Our brains are wired for it! We just have to teach in a way that is conducive to acquiring the language." 

"I was both encouraged and challenged in my practice,” Ruth Ann Graham, an attendee and Chair of the World Languages Department at her school, said of the workshop. "(I left) with concrete strategies I can try immediately in my classroom, both with my novice and intermediate learners.” 

"We are so grateful to have had the opportunity to consider the way that the brain actually acquires language and strategies that can aid in that acquisition," said Ruth Stimart, who teaches Spanish at her school. "Our department is now more unified in understanding and objectives."

About Notre Dame High School: Born of its vision and defined by its Catholic character since 1876, Notre Dame High School knows how to develop high school students into motivated, prepared and compassionate young adults. While setting the bar high, we meet students where they are academically, socially, spiritually, artistically, and athletically. As a top-rated, co-educational private high school, we cultivate each student's strengths and Christian faith, while nurturing their self-confidence. Each student is prepared to be their personal best and make a positive difference in the world. Our historic mission has changed the lives of thousands of high school students for over 147 years. 

About Chattanooga School of Language: Founded in 2011, Chattanooga School of Language exists to create a more aware, educated and inclusive community through the teaching of language and culture. Driven by a belief that language is the key to connection, everything we do at CSL is about bringing people together. Our purpose is to foster community through connection, whether in-person in the Chattanooga area, or virtually across cities, states and borders. 

For media inquiries, contact Will Musto, Director of Communications for Notre Dame High School, at

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