Thursday, September 29th at Ada Vista Elementary School

  • Dinner from 5:30-6:00pm

  • Conference from 6:00-8:00pm

Lucia Rocha-Nestler will be presenting on rebalancing and reimagining balanced literacy.


Learning labs will be offered on Thursday, September 29th and Friday, September 30th during the school day.







Spring 2022 Conference at Southwest Academia Bilingüe

Choose 3 of 4 Sessions provided by fellow immersion teachers

#1- Using Kids in Writing Books

#2- Diversity in Classroom Libraries

#3- Spanish Literacy/Lecto-escritura

#4- STEM in the Immersion Classroom

Fall 2021 Virtual Conference

Teaching Grammar through Community-Driven Learning

Speakers: Dr. Michael Pasquale and Brian Pickerd

Michael Pasquale is a Professor of Linguistics and Division Chair of Humanities at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He earned his Ph.D. in Linguistics from Michigan State University. His current research area focuses on the folk linguistics of second language acquisition, particularly studying the beliefs of teachers and students concerning the language learning process. 

Brian Pickerd is an instructor of languages (German and French) and a teacher trainer at Cornerstone University. He also teaches German and French at Rockford High School in Rockford, Michigan. Brian earned a master’s degree from Aquinas College in education with a focus on language acquisition and bachelor’s degrees in German, English, French and international studies. 

Spring 2021 Virtual Conference

Speaker: Clare Chamberlin

Clare Chamberlin is a 7th and 8th-grade Spanish Immersion teacher at Jenison Junior High School. Clare has taught secondary Spanish Immersion for 10 years. She graduated from Michigan State University, specializing in Spanish, English, and Math. She has her master's in Bilingual Spanish Education from Aquinas College. Clare enjoys finding new ways to engage her students with language and classroom content. 


Fall 2020 Virtual Conference

Implementing Dual Language Best Practices During Virtual Learning

Speakers: J-Lin Tamminga and Kelly Alvarez

J-Lin Tamminga has worked in bilingual education for 20 years. She has been a classroom teacher, interventionist, bilingual support teacher and instructional coach. She believes wholeheartedly in the power of Dual Language Education, culturally relevant teaching and learning, and creating equitable opportunities for all students.

Kelly Alvarez is an English Learner Educational Consultant for Michigan Department of Education in the Office of Educational Supports in the Special Populations Unit. She has extensive experience as a dual language immersion teacher, as a principal, and as a director of school innovation focused on getting improved results for students of color and English Learners.

Summer 2020 Virtual Conference


Speaker: Amy Triggs, PhD

Dr. Triggs is a graduate of Northcentral University, specializing in Curriculum and Teaching. Her master’s degree from Aquinas College focused on Bilingual Spanish instruction. For the past 16 years and currently, she is a third-grade teacher at Southwest Community Campus, a Two-Way Immersion school in Grand Rapids. Besides teaching elementary school, Dr. Triggs is an adjunct professor at Cornerstone University for the Professional and Graduate Studies division in the TESOL department. 

Fall 2019 Conference  


Speaker:  David Rogers

David Rogers is the Executive Director for Dual Language Education of New Mexico (DLeNM), an educational nonprofit whose mission is to promote the effective design and implementation of dual language education ( in New Mexico, and beyond.   

Spring 2019 Conference 

Continuing Language Training for Immersion Teachers: How do we build a language-rich learning environment?

Speaker: Gerry Lee Lukaska is a retired immersion teacher and principal with over 20 years of experience from Edina, Minnesota. Her own teaching experience and observation of other non-native and native speaking teachers convinced her that a significant amount of student engagement rests on the instructor’s language fluency, vocabulary and delivery. 

Fall 2018 Conference: Maximizing Immersion Education with Technology

Speakers:  Sean Duffie and Eric Nephew

Sean Duffie is a career immersion educator and Fulbright scholar who teaches high-school SI social studies as well as AP Spanish Literature at FHPS.  

Eric Nephew has served as a teacher and leader for the past fourteen years at Rockford Public Schools.   

Spring 2018 Conference: Oracy

Speakers:  J’lin Tamminga and Kelly Alvarez

J-Lin Tamminga is the Bilingual Support Teacher at Southwest Community Campus, a two-way immersion school in Grand Rapids.  

Kelly Alvarez is an English Learner Educational Consultant for Michigan Department of Education in the Office of the Special Populations Unit.



Did you know that you can support WMAIE when you shop on Amazon?  If you sign up for Amazon Smile and select West Michigan Alliance for Immersion Educators as the non-profit organization to support, 0.5% of your purchases will be donated to WMAIE.  Even better, convince your friends and family to sign-up too.  You'll get the same Amazon prices as before, you'll just be helping immersion education at the same time. 


Watch this video interview in Spanish of a local Spanish Immersion principal, Carlos De la Barrera.