ACTFL 2017 was my first convention, and I was so grateful to have the intellectual and financial support of AAUSC. As an early-career course coordinator, I benefited greatly from attending the AAUSC meetings in Nashville. Specifically, I appreciated the honesty with which language program directors discussed the (exciting!) challenges of program-wide assessment; hearing the perspectives of colleagues from various types of institutions helped me contextualize the strengths and weaknesses of the language program at my own institution. Additionally, as a literature Ph.D., I sought out sessions that would enhance my ability to conduct and publish classroom-based research. I learned of various journals that publish the work of emerging scholars, and I was able to get some feedback on a peer review study that I’m conducting. In other sessions that concentrated on classroom practice, I was able to trouble shoot some of the challenges of the courses that I teach; I plan to consult the Routledge frequency dictionaries to revise my Intermediate Spanish vocabulary lists, and I’m going to modify my Advanced Grammar class so that students have more opportunities to engage with authentic texts and formally reflect on their language learning. Thanks to the high-quality sessions, welcoming colleagues from AAUSC, and meaningful one-on-one interactions, I left the conference feeling inspired and connected. Looking forward to next year!
Kristen M. Turpin, Ph.D.
Visiting Assistant Professor
Department of Romance Languages and Literatures