Gil Watz Memorial Lectures are endowed by Gilbert R. Watz (PSU ’49), who was a committed supporter and benefactor of the Center for Language Acquisition. He believed that mastery of a second language was essential not only for successful participation in the global marketplace, but also as a bridge to increased intercultural understanding and community service. Though an oil industry executive by trade, he dedicated himself to learning Spanish as an adult, and provided many years of volunteer service as an interpreter in the Greater Houston area. His generosity has provided substantial resources for building a vibrant and exceptional Applied Linguistics community at Penn State, including dissertation fellowships, awards to outstanding graduate students, sponsored lecture series, and in 2011, an endowed Early Career Professorship in Languages and Linguistics. Gil Watz was a warm and enthusiastic supporter of undergraduate and graduate education at Penn State, and we are truly grateful for his many contributions over the years.
Richard Kern (2018)
Speaker: Richard Kern
Date of Talk: March 12, 2018
Location: Foster Auditorium
Title and abstract: “Five Principles of a Relational Pedagogy: Building on the Social, Individual, and Material Foundations of Language Use”
This talk outlines an approach to language teaching that brings attention to relationships among material, social, and individual dimensions of language use, with particular emphasis on literacy practices. This approach involves reflection on how technologies and mediums influence the design of communication and embody values and fundamental ideas about what communication is. A critical semiotic awareness of how meanings are made, framed, and transformed in particular contexts of language use is essential to twenty-first century learners because they face a singularly pervasive mediascape that is potentially as exploitative as it is emancipatory.