As such, they have been invited to present at the Southern Conference on Language Teaching (SCOLT) in spring 2016, a conference with a mission of furthering “the advancement of the study of modern and classical languages and their literatures and cultures at all levels of instruction.”
In their presentation, “All Request World Language Class: Teachers Spin Their Greatest Hits,” Debbie Kane, Susan Navey-Davis, and Jamey Widener each demonstrate two communicative activities to their audience members, who participate rather than just observe.
One activity, presented by Debbie, is called “Stand up if.” In this activity, the student stands if the phrase that the professor says applies to them. This requires students to listen, process the meaning of the words, and then think about them within the context of their personal experiences. Debbie frequently implements this activity in her classroom because “it’s flexible and can apply to just about any vocabulary list in any language.”
Another activity, presented by Jamey, demonstrates how music can be utilized in the classroom. With a Gaelic song, she leads the audience through three exercises: following along with the lyrics, filling in the blanks using a word bank, and putting the lines of the song in order. “I want to give the audience a feel for what it’s like to listen to a song in a language that you don’t know,” Jamey explains. “I think that, as language teachers, we often forget how difficult that really is.”
Other activities include a Family Feud game where students answer a question and try to guess the most popular answers in the following class, “Password,” which uses circumlocution to describe a word without using the word itself, “Pyramid,” a similar activity to Password involving more specific categories, and more.
These fantastic techniques had a noticeably beneficial impact for the professors that Susan, Jamey, and Debbie presented to during FLANC. For Debbie, the most rewarding moment was immediately after the presentation, when one of the professors from the audience shook her hand and thanked her and her colleagues for sharing the much needed and helpful activities. She was able to tell that the audience was truly clicking with the techniques and enjoying the level of engagement that the presentation involved.
Jamey and Debbie were both excited and honored that Susan — a seasoned, award-winning second language educator and author — asked them to present with her at the conference, and the three Spanish professors constantly collaborate and learn from one another. Jamey and Debbie feel that they all inspire each other and each have their own strengths.
They have shared this presentation with other professors at NC State, and are looking forward to the conference in the spring. The department congratulates Susan, Jamey, and Debbie on their invitation to present at SCOLT, and is excited that their efforts have received well-deserved recognition.
By Jasmyn Morere