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Language Teaching Forum

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Language Teaching Forum

Presenter: Margaret Malone, Director, Assessment and Evaluation Language Resource Center (AELRC), Georgetown University, Director, Center for Assessment, Research and Development, ACTFL

Date: October 3, 2020

Abstract:  Adding evaluation and assessment to your toolbox: Some approaches

Assessment and evaluation are critical components of language teaching and learning. However, integrating both large-scale and small-scale assessment and evaluation processes in a straightforward way that aligns with program, curricular and classroom goals can be challenging if not downright bewildering. The purpose of this session is to first define the boundaries of and  contexts for small- and large-scale evaluation and assessment. Next, through both whole-group and small group activities, participants will become familiar with some free resources for both assessment and evaluation as well as how to apply them.  Finally, participants will find resources for their own research as well as ways to identify the best tools for their context(s). All participants will complete a pre-workshop survey to help guide the content.

Bio: Margaret E. Malone (Ph.D., Georgetown University) is Director of the Assessment and Evaluation Language Resource Center (AELRC) and Research Professor at Georgetown. She is also Director of the Center for Assessment, Research and Development at ACTFL. She has nearly three decades of experience in language test development, materials development, delivery of professional development and teacher training through both online and face-to-face methods, data collection and survey research, and program evaluation. Her current research focuses on language assessment literacy, oral proficiency assessment, the influences of the Seal of Biliteracy on language teaching and learning and the development of short-cut measures of proficiency. Prior to joining Georgetown and ACTFL, she was Associate Vice President of World Languages and International Programs at the Center for Applied Linguistics. Earlier in her career, she served as the first Language Testing Specialist for Peace Corps-Worldwide, where she managed oral language testing for 60 countries and over 120 languages.


Presenter: Leila Ranta, Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology, University of Alberta, Canada

Date: November 9, 2019

Abstract: What’s in your grammar teaching toolbox?

Every educator has a conceptual “toolbox” of teaching techniques that can be deployed for different subject matter. Grammar teaching has long been dominated by traditional techniques such as deductive explanations that have passed the test of time. More recently, second language researchers have come up with innovative ideas for teaching grammar and put them to the test in terms of their effectiveness. The aim of this session is to provide an overview of these old and new techniques so that participants can expand their own grammar teaching toolboxes. The session will include the following: a brief review of the rationale for highlighting grammar; a presentation of examples of a wide range of grammar teaching techniques; and an illustration of different options for integrating a focus on grammar within communicative or task-based lessons.

Bio: Dr. Leila Ranta is an Associate Professor in the TESL program in the department of Educational Psychology at the University of Alberta. She received her graduate training in applied linguistics at Concordia University in Montreal where she was involved in several large-scale research projects dealing with the effect of form-focused instruction. One of these, a study of corrective feedback in French immersion co-authored with Roy Lyster and published in Studies in Second Language Acquisition was awarded the Paul Pimsleur Award for Research in Foreign Language Education in 1998. Her other research activities have dealt with the topics of L2 aptitude, fluency, and naturalistic language exposure. Leila Ranta is currently co-editor (with Xavier Gutiérrez) of the journal, Language Awareness and serves as a member of the executive of the Association for Language Awareness. She has also served as a board member of the Canadian Association of Applied Linguistics and of the Quebec and Alberta ESL teachers associations (SPEAQ and ATESL).

Registration: Closed


Presenter: Dr. Netta Avineri, Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

Date: Oct 20, 2018

Abstract: How to ACE Your Language Classroom

In this workshop, we will explore how language teachers can enhance student learning in their classrooms through action research. Based on my recently published book Research Methods for Language Teaching: Inquiry, Process, and Synthesis, we will discuss the eleven steps for conducting classroom research, reflecting upon & taking action to improve practices in your language classroom. A key component will be a walk-through to create Applicable, Collaborative, and Empowering (ACE) classroom-based research projects. There will be tips, approaches, and hands-on activities, as well as opportunities for discussion and Q. & A.


Presenters: Richard Donato, University of Pittsburgh, Eileen W. Glisan, Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Date: Oct 28, 2017

Abstract: Current research in teacher education focuses on the identification of specific practices that all foreign language teachers need to enact to enable learning to occur in their classrooms. This workshop will lead participants in understanding more about this work of teaching by exploring a set of foreign language practices that are based on second language acquisition theory, research on student learning, and the wisdom of classroom practice. Participants will learn how to enact selected practices by analyzing and examining their various instructional moves and understanding the relationship of these moves to learning goals. After a brief introduction about the work of teaching, four high leverage practices will be introduced: 1) Using the target language comprehensibly during instructional interactions, 2) Developing a discourse community through interpersonal communication, 3) Focusing on cultural products, practices, and perspectives in a dialogic context, and 4) Providing feedback in oral communication. Pedagogical tools for planning instruction will be provided for each of the four practices. Discussion, collaboration, and hands-on practice will be the vehicle for understanding the selected practices, how they can address specific teaching challenges, and how the practices serve larger instructional purposes.