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CLASE Professional Development

Seminars, workshops, and classes offered to professional educators by the Center for Latino Achievement and Success in Education.

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.

Visit the CLASE homepage

Upcoming Dates

Professional Development Highlights

Offered Throughout the YearFoundational institutes on the Instructional Conversation pedagogy take place in the Summer, Fall, and Winter.
Connect to LearningOur 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 PartnershipsYour 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 CommunityGain 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.

The main goals of the institute are 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 that personnel who oversee teachers implementing this model to attend!

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


$850 per participant (housing not included)


You may find out more about and register for a particular upcoming institute by selecting from the Upcoming Dates or by visiting our online “store”.

Find and Register for a Course/Event

Follow-Up Trainings (Post-Institute)

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 .

Workshop Series

Workshops are designed for K-12 general education/content area educators, English as a Second Language educators, World Language educators, Title I educators, paraprofessionals, as well as ELL coordinators, administrators, and school personnel/related service providers. These highly interactive workshop series are aimed at practical application and include synchronous meetings, which utilize small group engagement, and asynchronous activities, where online coaching support is available.

EL Virtual-Engagement Workshops

The goal of the workshop is to provide targeted and applied opportunities for teachers to practice tools and develop strategies to engage ELs in content instruction in virtual and social-distanced spaces.

The workshop will:

  • Model synchronous and asynchronous tools for building community, fostering productive collaboration, and providing authentic opportunities to use and practice language
  • Provide opportunities to plan practical virtual lessons and to practice strategies to engage ELs in content instruction in a virtual and/or social-distanced space
  • Foster a community of practice among participants to plan with, during, and after the workshop

The EL Virtual-Engagement Workshops are broken into grade levels, with an option for PreK to 5th and for 6th to 12th, each with 8 hours of asynchronous and synchronous engagement. All asynchronous engagement includes online coaching support and all synchronous engagement will be conducted via Zoom. The cost of the workshops is $200 per participant.

EL, Dual Language, & World Language Virtual Collaboration Workshop Series

This 5 week, 20-hour, synchronous and asynchronous virtual workshop series will focus on how to engage the growing number of language learning students from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds as they work to acquire a new language while succeeding in the classroom.

During this highly interactive 20-hour synchronous and asynchronous workshop series, participants will examine such topics as:

  • How to create a safe instructional environment virtually and face-to-face;
  • How to encourage and build listening and speaking skills;
  • How to develop language and literacy across the curricula;
  • How to contextualize lessons and help their students make real and relevant connections;
  • How to maintain challenge and complexity while differentiating for individual student needs; and
  • How to build and maintain a community of practice to support teachers of dual language learners.

Participants will also review and practice with virtual tools and structures while discussing their benefits and limitations. Participants will create a community of practice with colleagues and other teachers within and across grade levels, content areas, and school districts. The cost of the workshop series is $500 per participant.


You may find out more about and register for a particular upcoming workshop by selecting from the Upcoming Dates or by visiting our online “store”.

Find and Register for a Course/Event

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 training sessions. These include 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 for small group instruction
  • Promoting complex thinking: Lesson planning for the Zone of Proximal Development
  • Building a safe classroom environment to promote conversation and collaboration in the classroom
  • Integrating language goals into content instruction
  • Administrator “look-fors” and tools to foster teachers’ implementation of the Instructional Conversation pedagogy and its component strategies to support ELs (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 training sessions in Georgia are $250 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.


You may find out more about and register for a particular upcoming workshop by selecting from the Upcoming Dates or by visiting our online “store”.

Find and Register for a Course/Event

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 (PDF) .

  • Conversation Starters (PDF)
    Use these phrases to begin a discussion with your students and to encourage discussion among students.
  • Goal Cards (PDF)
    Use these cards to challenge participants in a group discussion to remember their personal challenges and goals.
  • A Diagram of the Arch (PDF)
    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, the 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

Partner Map

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

Bartow County

Costa Rica

Elbert County

Gwinnett County

Habersham County

Jackson County

Oconnee County

Social Circle City Schools

Walton County Schools

© University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602