PLONS: Professional Learning Online Network Spaces

The word plons in Dutch describes the noise made by something splashing into a surface and is thus an apt name for the Professional Learning Online Network Spaces, which are designed to create a ripple effect, by fostering linkages between language teaching, research and practice, and shared ideas and resources between educators.

Intended for foreign language educators in middle school, high school and college institutions. There will be five PLONS organized through 2022, with details announced later. The first of these is:

 Foreign Languages, Multiliteracies, and the Literary

(Applications for this PLONS were due August 1, 2019.)

 

This Professional Learning Online Network Space focuses on the use of literary texts and modes of reading in the development of literacy in a new language. In response to calls from the field, including from professional organizations such as ACTFL, to better integrate literacy and meaningful engagements with authentic texts into the language classroom, this group will focus on the particular role that literary reading can play in the development of linguistic and intercultural awareness. Literary reading here includes interpreting and responding to texts that are classified as works of literature AND work with non-literary texts ranging from advertising to journalism, from blogs to book reviews that emphasizes the creative, playful elements of these everyday literacy practices (see also Foreign Languages and the Literary in the Everyday).

 

Chantelle Warner, one of the co-directors of CERCLL, will serve as a facilitator for the group. Potential participants for fall 2019-spring 2020 could apply as individuals or as small groups.

Participants will…

  • work together to share and develop a curriculum project or set of materials with peer and facilitator input;  
  • share resources and engage in discussions on how to integrate literary reading into language teaching and learning;
  • be eligible to apply for financial support to present their lessons and materials at professional meetings, such as the annual convention of the American Council of Teachers of Foreign Languages;
  • have the option to publish a short vignette about the project in the format of their choice and / or publish their lesson online as part of the Foreign Languages and the Literary and the Everyday (FLLITE) Project (fllite.org).

 

The specific focus on this PLONS will be determined through discussions among participants, but will be guided by the following essential questions:

  • What are some of the benefits and challenges of integrating literary reading into language teaching and learning?
  • What texts and genres are best-best suited to teaching particular aspects of language and culture and how do we find them?
  • What activities work best to foster literary reading and what tasks can help us to connect these to learning goals specific to the language and culture classroom?

 

Some important dates

  • August 1, 2019 Applications due
  • August 10, 2019 Notification of acceptance
  • August – November, 2019 Introductions and beginning of work on projects
  • November 2019 ACTFL Meet-Up (optional)
  • Early December 2019 Publication of first vignettes
  • ACTFL 2020 Panel Submission  (optional)
  • December – May 2020 Continuation
  • May 2020 Publication of second vignettes
    Preparation of projects to publish in FLLITE archive
  • November 2020 ACTFL Meet-Up and Panel  (optional)

 

APPLICATION INFORMATION (included here for reference purposes, but the application period has now closed)

There is no fee to apply, nor to participate in the PLONS. Applicants were asked to provide the following details:

  • Name and email address of primary contact person
  • Names and email addresses of all other members of the group
  • A description of your group: indicate whether your group is school-based, district-based, or community-based and whether the group has a past history together and previous relationships or is newly formed. Also include which languages and levels you teach. If you are applying as an individual, just describe your own context and experiences. (maximum 500 words)
  • In brief, what most interests you about this PLONS?
  • What experiences (if any) have the you or the members of your group had with with online groups/networks?

Questions about PLONS? Contact Chantelle Warner for answers.