AAUSC / CERCLL WORKSHOP 2012:
Participants and Projects
In June 2012, eight AAUSC members participated in a two-day workshop sponsored by AAUSC and the Center for Educational Resources in Culture, Language, and Literacy (CERCLL) at the University of Arizona. The theme of the workshop was "Implementing literacy-based instruction in collegiate FL programs," and was an outreach activity related to the PErCOLATE project (http://www.percolate.arizona.edu), which aims to develop online, open-source modules for teacher professional development in literacy-based FL instruction. Workshop leaders included PErCOLATE project directors Heather Willis Allen (University of Wisconsin-Madison) and Beatrice Dupuy (University of Arizona), as well as Karen Johnson (Penn. State University) and Kate Paesani (Wayne State University). In addition to participating in sessions on literacy, the multiliteracies framework, and socioculturally-based teacher development, workshop participants developed projects to implement at their own universities. Below, we feature each of the workshop participants and provide an overview of the project they developed and their reactions to participating in the workshop.
Mark Anthony Darhower
Mark is Associate Professor of Spanish and Coordinator of Upper Division Spanish courses at North Carolina State University. His project was designed for implementation in a third-year Spanish conversation and writing class.
Project Title: Literacy-Based Spanish Oral and Written Expression
Project Description: Spanish Oral and Written Expression II is a third year conversation and writing class which is currently based on feature length films from various Spanish speaking countries. In this project, I will reorganize the structure of the course, applying the four curricular components of literacy-based instruction (situated practice, overt instruction, critical framing, transformed practice), in order to give the course a text-based, culturally authentic, integrated skills focus.
Comments about Workshop: The workshop was informative, interesting, and very collaborative. The presenters were friendly, knowledgeable, and supportive, and they balanced the time very well between providing information and discussing it, and practical applications. Having colleagues from various languages and diverse regions of the country was a collegial and educational experience.
Marion is Senior Lecturer II at Yale University. She previously coordinated the Basic German program and now coordinates second and third year German courses as well as cultural events in the department. Marion is also the Summer Program Director. Her project was designed for implementation in professional development workshops for instructors.
Project Title: Teaching Advanced German
Project Description: I redesigned the guidelines for “Teaching Advanced German” I developed earlier to include a more thorough theoretical framework (of multiliteracies) as well as include more expansive class observations (which were done to a limited extent in the past when I had to concentrate on 1st & 2nd-year instructors). The workshops consist of topics for instructor preparation (curriculum design, objectives, connection to MLA report, theoretical framework, guidelines for syllabus creation: types of texts, activities etc.).
Comments about Workshop: The workshop confirmed the direction I have been going and provided helpful suggestions to implement the multiple literacies approach in teaching and teacher training, in particular also in beginning classes but above all I was reminded that instructor observation should probably be given more focus and continue on all levels. Thanks!
Felecia A. Lucht
Felecia is Assistant Professor of German, Director of Basic German courses, and German advisor to the Master of Arts in Language Learning program at Wayne State University. Her project was designed for implementation in a third-semester German course and will serve as a model for teaching assistants to create and implement their own materials.
Project Title: Using a Multiliteracies Approach to Teach Texts in a Third-Semester German Course
Project Description: This project is part of a larger goal of reworking aspects of the basic language curriculum based on the principles of literacy-based instruction. Using Redmann (2008, Unterrichtspraxis 41.1) as a model, I am designing instructional activities for the novel/film versions of Emil und die Detektive, and for the film Europa, Europa. In addition to the materials/lesson plans I create, I will assisting graduate teaching assistants with creating and implementing their own materials/lesson plans for the course via Lesson Study.
Comments about Workshop: It was extremely helpful to discuss and share ideas with the presenters and other participants. I left the workshop with a more clearly articulated gameplan for applying the multiliteracies framework to the basic language courses and additional strategies for fostering the professional development of teaching assistants beyond the methods course.
Marianna is Assistant Professor and Curriculum Director in the German Department at Georgetown University. Her project was designed for implementation in instructor professional development workshops.
Project Title: Appropriating Grammatical Metaphor as a conceptual and pedagogical tool for teaching FL literacy
Project Description: Grammatical metaphor is a crucial feature of literacy/academic discourse that enables language users to make a shift from congruent to incongruent representation of reality, or from description of reality to reflection on it. The ability to reflect on reality and construct it as text within various content domains is at the heart of literacy activity and thus a prerequisite for participation in academic and professional FL contexts. At the same time, grammatical metaphor is difficult to learn and teach. Thus, the goal of the project is to improve conceptual development and ability for pedagogical implementation of this feature as a tool for teaching in content- and language-integrated instruction at the advanced level. The research questions are the following:
1) How do graduate student teachers appropriate the concept of GM? --conceptual learning outcome
2)(How) do they implement this concept in their teaching?--application outcome
3) What is the evidence for student learning of GM?
Comments about Workshop: The workshop offered a good overview of major concepts in literacy-oriented instruction. It also provided a nice introduction to the application of the socio-cultural theory in the context of FL teacher development. I found this part of the workshop as most helpful and new for me. The projects concerned with FL literacy-based instruction presented by the organizers were very interesting, illuminating, and inspiring. However, a logical sequel to this event seems to be necessary: another workshop where more detailed connections between specific theoretical constructs of the literacy framework (e.g., the notion of "design") and their potential implementation in FL instruction could be drawn. Specifically, for the literacy model to be successful it would be important to demonstrate to the instructors how meaning-oriented and at the same time explicit connections can be systematically made between teaching content, context, and language.
Colleen is Associate Professor and Director of the Basic Italian program at Indiana University-Bloomington. Her project was designed for implementation in a teaching practicum for instructors of first and second semester Italian.
Project Title: Curriculum Revision for Italian Teaching Practicium: Integrating Multiple Literacies
Project Description: My project entails 6-steps for beginning to integrate Multiple literacies into our Italian Language and Culture program at IU. Graduate student instructors enrolled in the Italian teaching practicum will read and discuss some background materials; observe classes in which ML modules are taught; discuss and critique the observed lessons; identify learning gaps/devise a research lesson for Lesson Study module; carry out one complete Lesson Study module; work in pairs to create (each person) one ML-based module centered on a "text" of choice (and varied genres among the group). Finally, each student will present his or her work in a showcase/share-fair with the other graduate students as part of a peer teaching and mediation/feedback experience. The project will serve as a pilot and springboard for long-term professional development and more extensive, systematic implementation of ML modules throughout the program.
Comments about Workshop: This workshop was masterfully designed, expertly prepared, and generated tremendous energy thanks to its clear explanations, ideal pace, engaging materials, and utterly useful tasks. I also liked the way it reflected the collaborative/social interactionist/other-mediated philosophies as a modus operandi for grasping, developing, and analyzing concepts. It was one of the best professional development experiences I've attended in the last ten years! Thank you.
Tiziana is Associate Faculty Associate and Course Chair for Italian at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her project was designed for implementation in the methods course she teaches for Italian instructors each Fall.
Project Title: How to integrate concepts from the multiliteracies approach into a methods course
Project Description: My project will evolve through two phases: the first step will focus on my getting acquainted, through practice, with the components of the multiliteracies approach within an instructional unit. The project involves creating materials and some lesson plans together with a colleague who attended the workshop, Colleen Ryan-Scheutz. The second phase will be carried out during the methods courses that I will teach over the summer and fall, and aims to introduce the components of the multiliteracies approach (specifically, theoretical underpinnings and examples of situated practice, overt instruction, critical framing and transformed practice)as a critical development of sequential models of instruction. Students of these courses will cooperate to create instructional units organized around the principles of the multiliteracies approach. In addition, they will perform trial teaching, and give feedback according to the ideas of Lesson-Study cooperation.
Comments about Workshop: The CERCLL/AAUSC workshop provided me with an invaluable opportunity to meet, cooperate and work with some of my colleagues around the US. By combining theory about recent developments in FL pedagogy with practical activities, it exposed me to a much-needed way to work with my colleagues for a very concrete improvement of our profession. Kudos to the presenters and organizers!
Joshua J. Thoms
Joshua is Assistant Professor of Spanish and Applied Linguistics at Utah State University. He is also one of the core faculty members in the Master of Second Language Teaching Program (MSLT). His project was designed for implementation in an elective (or required) graduate course for students in this MSLT program.
Project Title: Incorporating a literacy-based approach to L2 teaching and learning at Utah State University
Project Description: In this project, I articulate how a multiliteracies/literacy-based approach to L2 learning and teaching might be incorporated in the sequence of graduate courses offered by the Master of Second Language Teaching program at Utah State University (USU). After a brief description of what constitutes a multiliteracies/literacy-based approach, I provide an implementation plan that aims to (a) describe how I will disseminate information to colleagues at USU, (b) outline the various steps taken to ensure that graduate students understand how this approach can inform their L2 teaching, and (c) highlight possible technological applications to be used in a multiliteracies/literacy-based L2 course.
Comments about Workshop: I found the readings, presentations, and discussions to be insightful and stimulating. I came away from the workshop with a more comprehensive understanding of what a literacy-based approach entails and am much more confident about my ability to create a seminar on this topic for graduate students at Utah State.
Chantelle is Assistant Professor of German, Director of third year language/culture courses, and co-advisor for the MA track with secondary education certification. Her project was designed for the professional development of instructors teaching a fifth-semester German language and culture course.
Project Title: Facilitating Long-Term Professional Development in the Mid-Level Course
Project Description: Increasingly graduate students are called upon to teach beyond the basic levels, which provides many new teaching experiences. At the same time, the instructors for this course are often actively engaged in research and other professional activities. In some cases, the curriculum also feels very different from what they were asked to do in the beginning level courses. In order to address these challenges in my own program, I have created a two-part professionalization component for teachers engaged in a six-credit-unit intermediate German course that I coordinate, which consists of a one-day introductory workshop and a 3-4 week lesson study.
Comments about Workshop: I appreciated that the organizers shared materials and concepts from their own work and then left space on the second day for us to incorporate these into our own projects. Because of the small size of the workshop, we received personal attention and advice from the organizers as we worked on our projects, which helped me to shape my ideas into something that I will be able to pilot this semester. The workshop was both intellectually engaging and incredibly hands on.