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Summer Workshop Series Archives

Summer 2011 Workshops Series

May 31st - June 1st

Playing Stories and Reading Games: Developing L2 Literacies through Digital Gaming

This two-day workshop will look at digital games and how they have been, and can be, used in the foreign/second (L2) language classroom. We will discuss theories of digital gaming and L2 learning and pedagogy, focusing on a literacies-informed framework. We will discuss practical examples of how digital games have been integrated into L2 curricula, and how they might be in the future. Participants will explore various kinds of games, including massively multiplayer online games, social network games, adventure games, simulation games, and mobile games, and discuss their potential for L2 educational applications. Participants will have the opportunity to evaluate a variety of existing games using appropriate frameworks, to try out game-enhanced materials in several languages, and to develop game-enhanced L2 learning activities for their own teaching contexts. Finally, participants will work together to design proposals for future game-based learning environments.

June 2nd - 3rd

For a Pedagogy of Multiliteracies: Reconciling Communicative and Text-centered Instruction in the Elementary and Intermediate Foreign Language Classroom

The 2007 MLA Report calls for large-scale curricular reform in university foreign language (FL) departments to integrate the study of language, literature, and culture and move beyond the language-content dichotomy that typically characterizes the undergraduate curriculum. A pedagogy of multiliteracies is proposed as a pathway toward this curricular reform.

  • On Day 1, the presenters will engage the audience in identifying key features of the communicative language teaching paradigm and in considering how similar or different key features of a pedagogy of multiliteracies might be. Presenters and participants will then examine pedagogical frameworks and strategies for integrating textual content into introductory language courses. Next, the presenters will invite participants to consider what implementing a pedagogy of multiliteracies in the introductory curriculum might mean in terms of content to be taught. Mindful of the fact that textbook materials not only serve as a model of language use for teachers and students but also often function as “the bedrock of syllabus design and lesson planning” (Kramsch, 1988, p. 63) in introductory-level courses, together presenters and participants will reflect on the following questions: How can we move beyond the textbook as the primary source of content and vehicle for organizing instruction? How do we go about selecting and sequencing textual content? A few models which have been successful in expanding on materials found in textbooks used in introductory language programs will be used as a basis to jump-start the discussion.
  • On Day 2, participants will work in groups to select a thematic unit in the textbook they use, locate textual genres for inclusion, sequence the selected textual content, and develop activities that can engage students with it and facilitate their linguistic development. Groups will present and share their work with others.

June 6th - 7th

Textualization and Recontextualization: Teaching for Literacy and Semiotic Awareness in the Foreign Language Curriculum

Presenter's Short Biography

From the origins of writing 5,000 years ago to the internet today, technology has always been central to language education by affording the possibility of creating texts that can be reviewed, analyzed or recontextualized. Writing and the visual media are our primary resources for learning about the past and present worlds outside our own community. When we examine texts to see the particular ways that other people use language to express ideas and experiences, we not only learn a lot about the conventions of the language–we also have a chance to begin to understand the beliefs and values that underlie those uses of language. This two-day workshop will focus on practical ways of integrating reading, viewing, writing, and thinking activities, with the aim of deepening students' reflections on the texts they read and making them more aware of their own role as integral participants in the meaning-making process. Included will be consideration of connections between film and written texts to show how the interpretive skills students learn in one medium can often be adapted to the other medium. Participants will learn how film and written texts can be integrated in tasks and activities that support a broad-based foreign language literacy.

June 8th

Applying the Performance and Visual Arts in the Second Language Classroom

Presenter's Short Biography

Although the application of performance and visual arts in education is not a new concept (e.g., the ArtsLit Project at Brown University, established in 1998), their application in the second language (L2) classroom is still a new endeavor. In this workshop, Osborne will propose the suitability of the Performance Cycle (from the Arts Lit Project) for the L2 classroom - a model in which performance techniques and visual arts give learners the tools to respond to learning formally and artistically.

This model consists of six phases: Building Community, Entering Text, Comprehending Text, Creating Text, Rehearsing/Revising Text, and Performing Text. Each of these phases is intermediated by a reflection in which students discuss their successes and areas for improvement, helping them become aware of their learning processes and reinforcing a sense of community. The Performing Cycle enables students to express themselves and establish a meaningful connection with the core of the text. The Performing Cycle is learner-centered in the sense that the outcomes are not under the control of the teacher, since the classroom activities involve creativity, imagination, and personal connections.

Using performance and visual arts as creative processes in second language learning provides learners encouragement to take risks and gain new perspectives, as they feel more engaged in the learning process. This goes beyond motivation, since performance and visual arts require analysis and cognitive abilities. Through exercises utilizing movement and collaborative work, participants in this workshop will experience the benefits of theater techniques and the Arts in general in the second language classroom.

Communicative Language Teaching through Process Drama

Presenter's Short Biography

This three-hour workshop focuses on the dynamic and highly effective educational drama form called process drama and its application to foreign and second language teaching.

Process drama is an extended, whole-group, improvisational drama process that involves all of the learners, all or part of the class time. Used for decades in reading, writing, and social studies classes in mainstream classrooms in the UK, Australia, and Canada, process drama has been rapidly gaining popularity in second language classrooms worldwide. Through ongoing speaking, listening, reading, writing, and critical thinking activities, process drama activates the intuition, imagination, and feeling of every participant, making it an extremely powerful and engaging language‐learning tool.

In this dynamic, three-hour, hands-on workshop, you will discover exactly what process drama is, how it works, and how to apply it in relation to foreign and second language teaching.

June 9th - 10th

The What and How to Teaching Culture in the FL Classroom: Introducing the Basics of Intercultural Communication

Teaching culture in the foreign classroom often brings up the discussion of ‘what’ and ‘how’ to incorporate culture in an already overwhelming linguistic curriculum. The discussion responds to more specific questions on this matter: Are teachers prepared to teach culture? What cultures (that are represented under the umbrella of the target language) should be addressed? Is cultural knowledge enough? How do we assess culture? Will I sacrifice linguistic content? Is students’ resistance an obstacle or the beginning point to raise cultural awareness?

This workshop will respond to these questions by proposing an intercultural approach to teaching foreign languages. The intercultural approach urges teachers to go beyond the teaching of cultural aspects that mostly remain at the surface level of culture. Moreover, teachers’ intercultural competence is crucial in the development of learners’ intercultural competence learners.

In this two-day workshop participants will gain an understanding of the basic concepts of intercultural communication (culture, dimensions of culture, communication, verbal and non verbal communication, perceptions, values, etc) as a framework to design in-class activities and assignments that enhance learners’ intercultural communicative competence. Using experiential activities, participants will have the opportunity to reflect on the teaching of Culture (with a capital c) and culture (with a small c), and experience ways to include cultural learning through intercultural activities. Finally, participants will discuss challenges that they face to teaching of culture and share ideas on how to contextualize intercultural activities and assignments in their current practices.