Presented by Gillian Lord (University of Florida, Professor and Chair of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies).
Abstract: Following the Modern Language Association’s (2007) recommendations, and in the face of declining enrollments nationwide, language programs are beginning to undertake serious self-reflection with respect to our curricula and our pedagogical approaches. This process often reveals our need to re-envision our approach to teaching languages, literatures and cultures. One such way language educators look to innovate their teaching is by embracing digital tools, whether of their own design or those that accompany textbook packages. While there is no doubt that digital materials facilitate opportunities for fostering the “translingual and transcultural competence” called for by the MLA, it is less clear when and how these technologies will cease to be add-ons and begin to serve a more integrative function in transforming our teaching and learning. To this end, I argue that the paper-based textbook has outlived its usefulness in today’s world, both logistically and pedagogically, and that the change we need in terms of how we teach cannot fully take place until we change the materials we use to teach. To demonstrate, I explain the theoretical underpinnings that went into the design and development of my new co-authored digital beginning Spanish textbook, Contraseña. To conclude, I analyze student outcome data from learners using this program in order to show that this transformed approach benefits both students and instructors.
This was a free event. See more information, including a recording of the event and the PPT slides here.