Students are engaged and willing to learn if a class is interesting to them. Thus, unique, creative educational experiences create opportunities for diverse forms of engagement in and outside the classroom.
Mandarin Chinese is not easy, but I think that most people will agree with me that the most difficult part of learning Mandarin is learning Chinese characters. To a second language learner, learning characters is laborious work. However, Chinese characters are not just a form of communication but a form of art.
Teaching the Whole Class: Technology for Differentiated Instruction Thomas Jesús GarzaAssociate Professor of Slavic and Eurasian Studies and Director, Texas Language CenterUniversity of Texas at Austin Welcome all! The 2020s…
How do we engage adult novice language learners using task-based learning and authentic or near-authentic materials with content that permits further inquiry into history and culture, while also creating an inclusive learning environment and different pathways to learning and assessment, in hybrid and/or blended settings? For LCTL programs, the question has pragmatic implications in terms of enrollments, student retention, and program viability. While technological integration in the language classroom is not new, emergency remote teaching prompted us to reimagine the language classroom in post-pandemic times, as a flexible, accessible, safe, and inclusive learning space that affords multiple means of engagement, representation, and action/expression, and where participants are active agents in their own learning process. These are not new concerns, but the pandemic underscored the urgency for changes in curriculum design and assessment.
When I reflect back on the astonishing experience of teaching for more than an entire school year on Zoom, I am surprised by how much I gained from it. One of its many benefits was that I allowed myself an extraordinary amount of freedom to experiment with new approaches to teaching Spanish. I made a concerted effort to liberate myself from my usual perfectionism so that I could try new methods and tools, keeping what worked well and jettisoning whatever did not. It was fun! This intellectual freedom is one of the unexpected benefits of the pandemic that I will try to keep present in my daily approach to planning.
As I write this in late-summer 2021, most of us are or will soon be inside a classroom again, looking our students in the eyes, and seizing all of the benefits that F2F teaching can offer (no more "you're muted"). Nonetheless, I would be lying if I said that while teaching remotely I didn't come across great online resources and tools that proved to be extremely helpful.
Today, we are starting a new series with the goal of sharing our favorite hacks with some of the tools that seem to be most popular with language instructors. In this installment, we’re going to look at Microsoft's popular, free ed tech tool Flipgrid, which allows teachers to create "grids" to facilitate video discussions.
While extremely challenging for a large number of reasons, the pandemic has definitely been a unique opportunity to gather novel insights on the dynamic of technology integration. Remote teaching and learning during COVID has forced many faculty members to experience firsthand a number of technology-supported teaching and learning strategies.
To say the past year has been challenging for educators is an understatement. Still, when teachers everywhere scrambled to some version of online teaching in the wake of the pandemic, there was some comfort in the continuity of the educational endeavor itself and, perhaps surprisingly, healthy growth as we learned different ways of doing things and experimented with new exercises.
In Part 1 of this post about preparation strategies for synchronous sessions, I wrote about setting up your physical space. But once you’ve set up your rockstar teaching space, it’s time to turn to prepping your virtual environment.