Acquisition Boot Camp (ABC) is a month-long self-directed intensive intended to introduce you to the basics of acquisition based teaching. In this course, we cover the theory of language acquisition, necessary skills for acquisition driven classrooms, techniques for using those skills with students, and an introduction to assessment for proficiency.

ABC has a unique format with:

Recorded Videos

Short, focused pre-recorded videos that address one discreet topic each day for four weeks (20 videos total)

Live Webinars

Four live webinars that offer participants the opportunity to learn a less commonly taught language from an experienced teacher as well as debrief and ask questions.

Reflection Activities & Forums

Weekly workbooks and moderated forums for teachers to interact, share successes, and ask questions.



ABC will run from January 15, 2024 - July 31, 2024.


  • January 15 First video is available! 
  • January 17 Live session #1, 7:00 pm EDT
  • January 24 Live session #2, 7:00 pm EDT
  • January 31 Live session #3, 7:00 pm EDT
  • February 7 Live session #4, 7:00 pm EDT
  • February 9 Final video drops
  • All live elements of the course will be over by February 10, 2024.
  • All recorded training videos will be available to replay until July 31, 2024, at which time course access expires.

Course Outline

During the month long course: 

Sundays: Participants will be able to download the workbook with reflection assignments and additional resources for the week ahead. 

Each week day (Monday- Friday): One short video about the topic of the day will be shared with participants. Participants will be able to watch the video anytime between the time that it is released and July 31, 2024.

Wednesdays: Live webinars

Always: Forums

Course Credit

Participants will receive a certificate of completion to document their hours.


Because there are many ways to interact with this course, teachers are invited to choose their level of engagement based on their preferred activities within the course. Here are some guidelines: 

Option 1: Videos & Live Events 

"I watched the videos and the live events" 

CE Hours: 7.5 hours

Option 2: Videos, Live events, & Reflections

"I watched the videos and live events, and did all the reflections"

12 hours

Option 3: Videos, Live Events, & Forums

"I watched the videos and live events, and participated in the forums"

8-10 hours

Option 4: Videos, Live Events, Reflections, & Forums

"I watched the videos, live events, participated in the forums, and completed all the reflections.

15 hours

Graduate Credit:

Graduate credit (two credit hours) can be earned by completing additional reading and classwork outside of sessions.   

Please note: 

Who will benefit from ABC:  

Target audience: Middle and High School teachers of World Languages. We recommend that ELL teachers and elementary teachers reach out to us before registering to make sure that the course will meet your needs.

Teachers who are new to Comprehension-based teaching, who want to learn more about Comprehension-based teaching, who are new to language teaching, or who would like to know more about using materials from The Comprehensible Classroom.

Teachers in any kind of virtual/hybrid/scattered/face-to-face classroom situation: what we talk about will be applicable to all situations. 

Teachers who already use Comprehension-based teaching in their classrooms, but have not had any training yet.

Please take a look at our syllabus for more information.  

This class may not be a good fit for you if:

You are not at least a little bit comfortable with self-paced learning and video instruction. 

Trainers will not be able to provide extensive tech support outside of class. 

This might not be a good fit for you if you have already had training in comprehension-based teaching.

Week 1: Language is acquired through consistent and constant comprehensible input.

This week, Martina and Elicia will dig into important topics including proficiency, the developmental order of acquisition, what it means to be comprehensible, and how languages are acquired.  

Week 2: Comprehension cannot guarantee acquisition, but acquisition cannot occur without comprehension. 

In our second week, Martina and Elicia will introduce participants to some key skills and techniques for helping students acquire the target language. They will talk about the use of target language and the use of L1, how to ask questions to support comprehension, what it means to shelter vocabulary, and more.

Week 3: Classroom strategies- Connection over curriculum

Watch Elicia and Martina demystify common comprehension based strategies such as Story asking, Card Talk, and MovieTalk, watch them use these strategies in front of their students, and learn how to use reading as a tool to speed up acquisition.  

Week 4: A new way of teaching requires a new way of assessing and grading. 

In the final week of Acquisition Boot Camp, Martina and Elicia will help demystify assessment for proficiency, grading for mastery, the use of can-do statements, and provide practical examples of assessment types and rubrics that can be used at any level of instruction.  

Elicia Cárdenas

Director of Training

Elicia Cárdenas is a middle school Spanish teacher with extensive experience teaching a variety of levels, ages, and subjects.  She currently teaches as an adjunct faculty member for Westminster College, working with pre-service world language teachers and serves as a teaching assistant for MITx’s Learning Labs.  Although she was trained as an elementary teacher, she shifted her focus to  understanding of second language acquisition and its application to classroom instruction in a world language classroom, using the SOMOS curriculum. She presents regularly at national, regional, and state conferences and is proud to be a member of the NTPRS coaching staff.  Her particular areas of interest include assessment with an equity lens and working to make sure all students are successful at acquiring another language. She is known for her dynamic and energetic approach to teaching and workshop facilitation.  

After partnering with The Comprehensible Classroom for two years as a part-time Curriculum Mentor and trainer, Elicia joined as the full-time Director of Training in 2020. Elicia travels throughout North America to work with districts and organizations that represent teachers who are ready to transform their classroom instruction through Comprehension-based instruction. Elicia is also the founder of the Deskless Classroom.

Martina Bex


Martina Bex is the Founder of The Comprehensible Classroom, whose curricula and training materials have been helping language teachers implement proficiency oriented, comprehension based language programs with confidence since 2010. Martina is internationally recognized for her leadership and expertise in the world language teaching profession as a teacher trainer and curriculum developer. A Spanish teacher by trade with experience in public and private schools and at the university level, Martina balances her work for The Comprehensible Classroom with the needs of her five young children, for whom she is the full-time caregiver. Martina has been published in The Language Educator and presents regularly at state, regional and national conferences in addition to consulting with individual districts and organizations. Her newest project for supporting teachers is the Garbanzo App, an interactive library of stories in Spanish designed specifically with language classes in mind.