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Our professional development program is a direct outgrowth of CLASE's research, funded by the Institute of Education Sciences, to study the impacts of the Instructional Conversation pedagogy on the academic success of English-language learners.

Instructional Conversation is a research-based model for collaborative, conversation-based, culturally responsive, small-group instruction that is ideal for teachers concerned with how to meet the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse learners. CLASE's model for implementing Instructional conversation, the Arch system for collaborative, conversation-based instruction, focuses on developing students' cognitive and language skills by increasing the rate and intensity of their interactions with peers and teachers. Furthermore, the Arch system positively impacts students' social emotional learning while increasing their academic achievement.

CLASE offers several professional development options for teachers, instructional coaches and districts.

Upcoming Dates

Professional Development Highlights

Offered Throughout the Year

Foundational institutes on the Instructional Conversation pedagogy take place in the summer, fall and winter.

Connect to Learning

Our training and coaching focus on the cognitive, linguistic, and cultural theories behind Instructional Conversation. Receive training on the practical applications of implementing this pedagogy in the classroom.

Strong Partnerships

Your school or district will join partnerships that CLASE has with school districts across the Southeast, as well as the Ministry of Education in Costa Rica.

Supportive Community

Gain entry to an online teacher platform with hundreds of members, where teachers can interact and access resources including lesson plans, webinars, videos, and more.

Foundational Institutes

Are you a Georgia educator interested in learning an innovative teaching model that has been found to positively impact the achievement of all children, especially culturally and linguistically diverse learners?

Join the Center for Latino Achievement and Success in Education (CLASE) for 30 hours of professional development on the Instructional Conversation Pedagogy and its application. Teachers in Georgia who use this pedagogy say they are able to cover more material in greater depth. Our research has shown that all classrooms show academic gains in English-language arts, math, science, and social studies based on state assessments. Learn how integrating the listening and speaking standards into facilitated, conversation-based lessons can better prepare all of your students, particularly culturally and linguistically diverse students, for the Georgia Milestones.

The 30-hour institute is directed at in-service teachers, academic coaches, and administrators. Attending the institute provides teachers with two main benefits:

  1. The opportunity for intensive training and practice in a proven culturally-responsive pedagogy
  2. Inclusion in an extended professional learning community of IC-trained teachers (and school administrators), across Georgia and internationally, to support you as you implement the pedagogy.

This main goals of the institute is to give teachers access to:

  • Linguistic theories of second language acquisition
  • Strategies for integrating language goals into content teaching
  • Tools for encouraging collaborative conversations
  • Ways to make content and language standards real and relevant for all learners while maintaining rigor
  • CLASE's Online Professional Learning Platform

Anyone who is directly or indirectly involved in the teaching and learning of culturally and linguistically diverse students is welcome and we highly encourage those personnel overseeing teachers implementing this model to attend!

Throughout the year, we offer both 3-day and 4-day institutes. Both comprise 30 hours of professional developmentā€”the difference is in the hours we spend together each day.


$800 per participant (housing not included)


You may click on the name of an upcoming institute listed at the top of the page to register, or visit our registration page via the button.

Register Today!

One-Day Trainings

For districts or educators who want to begin to explore the tools and strategies developed through the Arch of Instructional Conversation, or who want to more deeply examine select components of the Arch, we offer intensive one-day trainings. These incude but are not limited to:

Newcomers and Academic Language

This interactive, 8-hour professional learning day offers educators the opportunity to explore and practice research-based principles and techniques developed through the Arch system for collaborative, conversation-based instruction to meet the needs of newcomers and integrate them productively into content classrooms by actively developing their academic language skills.

Contextualizing Content For Meaning

This interactive, 8-hour professional learning day offers educators practical, hands-on activities and tools to intentionally access and activate our students' "funds of knowledge," including their home language skills, background knowledge and content literacy skills, so they can make real and relevant connections to the content standards we are trying to teach.

Additional One-Day Training Topics

  • Teacher facilitation
  • Promoting complex thinking
  • Lesson planning for the Zone of Proximal Development
  • Building a safe classroom environment to promote conversation and collaboration in the classroom
  • Implementing Instructional Conversations in specific content areas
  • Connections between Instructional Conversations and other models of instruction (e.g. SIOP) and integration of instructional Conversations with curricular models (e.g. Lucy Calkins Units of Study, Cognitively Guided Instruction)
  • What administrators need to know about Instructional Conversations to support and evaluate their teachers (including connections between Instructional Conversations and the Teacher Keys Effectiveness System, state evaluation instruments, etc.)

If you are interested in one of these professional learning opportunities but do not see a date or location that is convenient for you, or if your district is interested in exploring other professional learning opportunities, please email Jodi Weber, assistant director of professional development. We'd love to learn with you!


Regularly scheduled one-day trainings in Georgia are $150 per participant. For districts that wish to schedule their own training, prices vary depending on location and are subject to a minimum number of participants.

Depending on location, food and hotel costs are included.

Follow-Up Trainings

Because research shows that the success of professional development initiatives often hinges on sustained support, CLASE provides a wide range of follow-up professional development services for those educators who have participated in one of our Foundational Institutes.

We often collaborate with districts to customize a plan for sustainability that may include:

  • Learning labs
  • Online webinars
  • In-school staff development
  • Day-long workshops
  • Year-long leadership team development

Requests for follow-up professional development services may exceed our capacity, but we regularly form relationships with new schools and districts and are eager to talk with you about that possibility!

For more information about receiving follow-up professional development services from the CLASE Team in your school or district, please email Paula Mellom or Jodi Weber.

Video Resources

Our Arch System for collaborative Conversation-Based Instruction outlines a way of teaching: the "how" of conceptualizing teaching and learning that positively impacts student cognitive and language development and opens the space for formative assessment and differentiation. The power of the Arch system is that it provides a structure for teachers to use so they might more intentionally integrate focused language goals within rigorous content instruction, rather than creating "one more thing" that teachers have to find the time for.


Participants in our professional development workshops gain access to a library of resources to support instructional conversation pedagogy. Here are some sample downloads to familiarize yourself with the types of tools available to educators who have learned the Instructional Conversation method.

You may also download a set of Exemplar Task Cards.

Conversation Starters

Use these phrases to begin a discussion with your students, and to encourage discussion among students.

Goal Cards

Use these cards to challenge participants in a group discussion to remember their personal challenges and goals.

A Diagram of the Arch

Download a PDF of the Arch of Collaborative Conversation-Based Instruction.

What an amazing experience I had at the institute in Athens! It was, without a doubt, the most impactful PL I have ever attended. As someone who facilitates professional learning on a regular basis, I was simply amazed by the way you created such a cohesive learning community in such a short amount of time. Just wow!

Beth McMichael, instructional coach, Barrow County Schools

In my experience with CLASE, this summer and throughout the year, I have never been more supported in any moment of my professional career, graduate school included ... From the week this summer, to the webinars, learning labs, observations and videos with feedback, and renewals. You guys don't just introduce us to your powerful pedagogy and send us out into the world to use it or not. You are there for us every step of the way, celebrating our successes and cheering us on through the challenges. Thank you for that!

Shelly Salom, ESOL Teacher, Jackson County School System

I just had the privilege of attending the Integrating Collaborative, Conversation-based Instruction into your Classroom summer session. It was by far the best professional and personal development instruction I have participated in. To put that in perspective, I've participated in many professional development opportunities as a teacher for 10 years, from conferences to our school's weekly professional learning. It's like your team has thought, "What doesn't work for people who are learning new content, skills, and processes?" and then you removed those things from your training.

Andrea Antepenko, teacher, Franklin County School District

Thank you, thank you, thank you--for making me a better teacher...and a better student! I love what you are doing! You are helping to change the world.

Rita Cevasco, speech-language pathologist, Mason, Ohio

Our Partners

CLASE has grown this professional development initiative and trained more than 1300 teachers in 37 districts across Georgia since 2014.

CLASE partner map

Thanks to our Educational Partners

Barrow County Costa Rica Elbert County Gwinnett County Habersham County Jackson County