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Monster Mayhem: Tech Strategies for Biting into Language Education


Participate and share: Interactive session
Recorded Session
Virtual Session
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Bullis School
Wesley Wood is a middle and high school Latin teacher at Bullis School, a private K-12 school in Potomac, Maryland. He is in his seventh year of teaching, with Master's degrees in Classics from the University of Colorado Boulder and in Foreign Language Education from Miami University in Ohio. ln 2022, Wesley served as Teacher of the Year for the Greater Washington Association of Teachers of Foreign Language and was selected as a Mead Leadership Fellow for the Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.

Session description

Help your students embark on a language journey with the help of monsters! Perfect for K-12 educators, this session integrates monsters, tech tools, and engaging activities/projects. Experiment with dynamic strategies and leave with a toolkit of monster-themed resources to enhance language proficiency through captivating, tech-driven instruction.

Purpose & objective

PURPOSE: This presentation serves a dual purpose: to offer students a fresh window into world cultures and to foster language proficiency through task- and project-based learning, all within the captivating framework of discussing monsters. In traditional classrooms, achieving both cultural exploration and language mastery can be a challenge. We propose an innovative approach that leverages technology and monsters to create dynamic, adaptive learning environments, providing students with a truly immersive and engaging language learning experience. This presentation is the culmination of years of expansion and adjustments across K-12 classes.

OBJECTIVES: Through this session, participants will be able to: 1) explore the importance of monsters and legends in world cultures; 2) discovery ways for monsters to help quickly facilitate language acquisition in their classrooms; 3) access and test out a toolkit of tech tools, online resources, and adaptable templates; 4) reflect on their own programs and identify areas where they can take these strategies and tools and implement them appropriately.

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1. Exploration of Monsters, World Cultures, and Intentionality in Curricula [15 min] — guided discussion, participant opinion/experience polls

2. Language-based Activity Walkthroughs [35 min] — unit overviews, lesson plan guides, peer practice games, tech tool practice/demos (Pear Deck, Gimkit, Flip, Minecraft, AI animation and image creation, etc.)

3. Participant Self-reflection and Open Forum/Q&A [10 min] — individual work time, group discussion, “slow-burn” Q&A via Padlet

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Supporting research

Henshaw, F. and Hawkins, M. (2022). Common Ground: Second Language Acquisition Theory Goes to the Classroom

Krashen, S. (1982). Principles and Practices of Second Language Acquisition. Los Angeles: Pergamon.

VanPatten, B. (2017). While We're On the Topic: BVP on Language, Acquisition, and Classroom Practice. Alexandria, VA: ACTFL.

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Session specifications

Instructional design & delivery
Grade level:
Skill level:
Curriculum/district specialists, Teachers, Technology coordinators/facilitators
Attendee devices:
Devices required
Attendee device specification:
Smartphone: Android, iOS, Windows
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials:
All tools to be used in the session are accessible as web apps or will be viewed through a demonstration.
Subject area:
ELL, World languages
ISTE Standards:
For Educators:
  • Use technology to create, adapt and personalize learning experiences that foster independent learning and accommodate learner differences and needs.
  • Design authentic learning activities that align with content area standards and use digital tools and resources to maximize active, deep learning.
For Students:
Creative Communicator
  • Students publish or present content that customizes the message and medium for their intended audiences.