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2016 Teacher Workshops

After an overwhelmingly positive response in 2015, CULTR followed up in its Professional Development Workshops series with an exceptional event during the summer of 2016. Spanning from July 7th through July 20th, CULTR offered four lively workshops designed to aid language educators in the classroom with a comprehensive take on current trends in the classroom. To further assist the attending educators, CULTR partnered with Georgia State University to offer discounted prices on premium on-campus housing and campus dining services along with free parking.

If you or your colleagues would like to join CULTR in our next series of Professional Development Workshops, please contact CULTR at cultr@gsu.edu.

Teacher Workshops Offered

Trish Nolde- Teacher Workshops 2Supporting the goals and needs of language educators, institutions, and organizations, the following workshops offer comprehensive topics to grow professionally. Covering second language acquisition basics, technology, and assessment, the following workshops explore current trends and new perspectives from recognized experts in specialized content areas. Information on this event’s workshop modules, including summaries and instructors are listed below.

Teaching Heritage Language Learners: Needs and Networks

Led by Dr. Amanda Lanier Temples, an Assistant Professor at Michigan State University, this workshop focused on heritage language learners (HLLs) and the wide variety of programs and educators who strive to meet their needs. HLLs vary widely across languages and instructional contexts, but they can consistently benefit from approaches that bring down the walls of the classroom and encourage self-directed learning as well as community involvement. Amanda’s course focused on task-based, technology-enriched, and culturally-sensitive approaches to developing these learners’ skills and strategies. As a secondary goal, the class worked on establishing a professional network among HL educators in the Southeast to support teacher development and promote sharing of resources long after the end of the workshop.

Technology for Language Teaching

Trish Nolde-Teacher Workshops-StandingMastering the expectation to incorporate meaningful technology both in and out of the language classroom is one of the many challenges facing teachers today. As a language teacher, confidence in appropriately using the Internet and multimedia technology in the classroom serves many purposes, such as providing a nurturing and positive classroom climate, enhancing student motivation, and designing the curriculum to meet the needs of your students and the standards of your school. Instructed by Trish Nolde, CULTR’s Associate Director, this module provided participants with practical technological skills to increase confidence in the classroom through the use of recent trends. Networking with professionals in the field added another element to connect educators with interactive, collaborative, and sophisticated tools.

Developing Materials and Incorporating Realia

Evaluating and developing language materials are empowering skills for teachers and curriculum designers. Materials and activities are an essential part of the language curriculum as they help to connect learners’ needs, course objectives, and learning outcomes. This workshop, instructed by Dr. Viviana Cortes, an Associate Professor at Georgia State University, participants learned how to assess commercially available language teaching materials, adapt materials to different teaching scenarios, and design materials for the language class, emphasizing the use of authentic materials and the impact realia may have on language learning. The course focused on different types of materials and activities for the different stages in the language teaching class: warm-up, language presentation, and practice activities, among others, and we will discuss the use of different materials and activities for different levels of language proficiency.

Culture in the Language Classroom

Teacher Workshops-ListeningLed by Dr. Paula Garrett-Rucks, an Assistant Professor at Georgia State University, the purpose of this workshop was to guide FL educators to expand the cultural instruction in their curriculum and to advocate for their language programs as a means to prepare learners with 21st century skills in an increasingly globalized world. ACTFL’s recent Global Competence Position Statement described the need for language instructors to develop learners’ interactional abilities and behaviors to perform effectively and appropriately when interacting with others who are linguistically and culturally different from self. Accordingly, a wide variety of tools and techniques were explored in this workshop through demonstration, in-class activities, and group discussions on ways to integrate language learning and meaningful cultural inquiry starting at introductory levels of instruction. Participants left this workshop with new ideas, materials, and resources that will enhance their lesson instruction regardless of status as a beginning teacher or classroom veteran.