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, and 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 2022-2026 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 Spring, 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 well-being.
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: Georgia Dual Language Immersion Institute (GADII)
CULTR will continue to collaborate with the Georgia Department of Education by proving support for the annual GADII conference. Since 2014, the GADII has been the premier convention 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. Currently, a total of 70 DLI programs operate in Georgia, which includes 10 additional programs launched in the last two years. The growth in DLI programs in the state is prominent for the first Korean-English, Chinese- English, and Japanese- English programs and the first ever DLI Program in the Savannah- Chatham area since 2019. This conference, with a virtual format since 2020, features 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: First-Time Teacher Conference Attendee Grants
CULTR intends to support teacher professional development by providing new teachers access to local and regional conference attendance through annual grants. First-time attendee grants to the AATJ, AATK, CLTA, FLAG, and SCOLT conferences will be offered to teachers who have been teaching for five or fewer years. Facilitating teacher access to local and regional conferences supports the creation of communities of practice, which contributes to teacher retention more broadly.
To stay up to date with this CULTR initiative, please visit the Language Conference Grants page.