The Center for Urban Language Teaching and Research (CULTR) firmly believes teachers are the heart and soul of education. Focused on schools in urban areas, this LRC offers world language teachers the necessary backing they need to properly give their students the skills and support that leads to proficiency in all languages. CULTR, nestled in metropolitan Atlanta at Georgia State University, continually assists teachers by capitalizing on established academic resources, professional networks, and a track record of successful projects.
Funding Cycle Projects
Guided by its core values, CULTR’s initiatives fall into four central objectives: professional development, career readiness, advocacy, research. Regarding professional development, CULTR strives to increase learning and growth opportunities for language teachers and build communities of practice. The following projects are laid out in the 2018-2022 funding cycle.
PD1: Provide in-person professional development opportunities for foreign language teachers through workshops and seminars
CULTR will host one-day intensive Professional Development workshops throughout the school year. These modules will take place in the Sping, Summer, and Fall. Most topics will focus on best practices, practical applications that leverage technology for project-based learning, class management, and communication.
We invite all educators to join us at each workshop to learn something inspiring! To stay up to date on this CULTR initiative, please visit the teacher workshops page.
PD2: Develop an online video recording portal for FL teachers to deliver archivable mentoring resources and create a searchable database of FL teacher experiences
To address the need for developing just-in-time resources for FL teachers who may need encouragement, inspiration, and a sense of community, CULTR will institute a one-button, web-based recording platform for FL teachers anywhere in the nation to create a 1-3 minute video based on a series of discussion prompts and questions. These questions will cover broad personal experiences and meaningful topics that speak directly to the issues of affect that contribute to teacher attrition. Examples are: “How do I handle difficult discussions with a student/parent/administrator?” “What I would tell my first-year teaching self?” “How do I develop professional networks?” “What keeps me motivated to stay in the profession?” Also, these videos will be tagged and indexed for easy searching and research and made publicly available through the CULTR website as a resource for all language educators, pre-service teachers, and education researchers. This project seeks to directly counteract the critical emotional factors of language teacher attrition that were identified in the teacher retention research CULTR conducted during the 2014-2018 LRC cycle, namely burnout, frustration, a lack of agency, and isolation. This grassroots project creates content that is distinct from other resources that predominantly focus on classroom methodology. This project stands out for its focus on the lived experiences and voices of teachers concerning their emotional and mental wellbeing.
THRIVE provides a platform for all language educators to share their experiences. To stay up to date with this CULTR initiative, please visit the THRIVE videos page.
PD3: Develop a series of professional-quality podcasts on topics related to FL Teacher retention, classroom effectiveness, and affective factors of the FL teacher experience
Building on research and workshop materials from our 2015/2016 THRIVE project (Issues in FL Teacher Retention and Attrition), these podcasts will feature research leaders in teacher education, retention, and motivation to discuss issues and approaches to increase teacher grit, classroom effectiveness, and offer motivation and inspiration for teachers throughout the nation. Modeled on a StoryCorps format, and with consultation with StoryCorps staff, these podcasts will offer both a professional and personal perspective on the challenges FL teachers face, as well as the issues that contribute to high rates of attrition in the FL profession. Emilie Pormen Lancaster, a former professional NPR correspondent with years of interviewing experience, retired from broadcasting in 2009 and became a public school teacher in English Language Arts and Special Education. Deeply familiar with the issues facing all teachers, Ms. Lancaster will bring her former radio correspondent experience to this project to research and expertly interview each guest. All guests will be selected and approved by the CULTR team for appropriateness to the topics and goals of the LRC. All podcasts will be available for download from the CULTR website as well as at least one public podcast platform, such as iTunes, SoundCloud, or Overcast.
THRIVE provides a platform for all language educators to share their experiences. To stay up to date with this CULTR initiative, please visit the THRIVE podcasts page.
PD4: DLI Conference/Georgia Dual Language Immersion Institute (GADII)
CULTR will collaborate with the Georgia Department of Education in hosting the 2019 GADII on the GSU campus. Since 2014, the GADII has been the premier conference focused on language immersion education in Georgia. The primary objective of the conference is to provide meaningful professional development and networking opportunities for dual language immersion teachers and administrators. In 2019, thirteen new DLI programs will open in Georgia, including the first ever in the Savannah-Chatham area and the first Japanese-English DLI program in Georgia, bringing the total number of DLI schools to over sixty in the state. This event will feature workshops and sessions for dual language immersion teachers, English partner teachers, and DLI school administrators.
To stay up to date with this CULTR initiative, please visit the GADII page.
PD5: 2021 Language Teacher Education (LTE) Conference
CULTR will host the 12th Biennial Language Teacher Education Conference in Atlanta in Spring 2021. This collaboration allows CULTR to continue the efforts of CARLA, which founded the biennial conference in 1999, the only conference of its kind for professionals who educate the nation’s K-16 language teachers. Offering the conference in Atlanta, one of the nation’s business transportation hubs and more affordable conference cities, will make the event more accessible to language educators from all regions of the country. Because of the hosting institution’s MSI designation, CULTR will add a new conference strand focusing on the vital need for language education among underrepresented students in the K-16 continuum and offer unique insights into the opportunity gap that plagues schools in many urban areas. The conference will also be a venue for disseminating LRC-funded initiatives and materials through sessions and pre-conference workshops. To enhance the impact of the conference, the co-chairs will edit refereed conference proceedings.
To stay up to date with this CULTR initiative, please visit the LTE conference page.