Skip to:Main Content

Washington and Lee University

Washington and Lee University
Washington and Lee University Campus Image

Communications to Faculty

April 3, 2014

All, 

Just a few things as we conclude the Winter 2014 semester. 

1. The TMC's hours of operation for the exam period are posted on the TMC website, as well as on the main door of the TMC. Notice that we will be open from 8:30 - 5:00 on Saturday, 5 April, to help those students who need additional time for exam preparation or to finish final projects prior to the afternoon's exam. The TMC will be on its regular schedule for the duration of the exam week.

2. Should you have items to be prepared for the exam period, please do not hesitate contacting us. To help me keep track of your requests, it is helpful when you use the work order form found on the TMC site.

3. Spring term hours are posted as usual.

4. W&L (spearhead), along with Furman University, University of Richmond, and Southwestern University, has received a grant from the Associated Colleges of the South for implementation of an extensive blended learning, professional development program for world language educators and members of language teacher education programs. The first workshop, "Blended Learning as Best Practice" is slated for 15 April at 4:30 PM with Dr. Lisa Harris from the Virginia Department of Education. Information about the grant can be found on the TMC site at http://www2.wlu.edu/x61117.xml . You will also be able to register from this location. There are three additional workshops featured on this site as well.

Thanks,
Dick


January 30, 2014

Colleagues, good evening.

I hope all is well with you as we quickly approach the middle of the term. Just think...in a couple of weeks, there will be time to get caught up.
I have some items to share with you as the year progresses.

1. Virginia Governor's Foreign Language Academies. This is our third summer with the three full- immersion academies. Students arrive on campus the morning of 21 June and will be with us for the usual 22 days. Staff arrives earlier than that June date to make final preparations. As a reminder, W&L hosts the French, German, and Spanish academies. I'm proud to say that we have several of our students who are applying for RA positions.

2. Blended Learning and the ACS. Good news. W&L will be hosting blended learning workshops for foreign language educators with three other Associated Colleges of the South schools - the University of Richmond, Furman University, and Southwestern University. The name of the pilot program is ACS World Language Webinars: A Blended Learning Approach for the Professional Advancement of Language Educators. If all goes as planned and if success is in our doing, the workshops will eventually be expanded to include all member schools of the ACS. Additionally, this collaboration is intended to promote our course EDUC365, Methods in Foreign Language, within the membership. Ultimately, the model will be considered for disciplines other than languages.

3. Languages for Rockbridge. This program continues to grow in the rural communities immediately surrounding Lexington and has brought together many of W&L's language majors, heritage speakers, and lovers of language from the student body to teach world languages and cultures to students in elementary and middle schools. In our fourth year now, we have full-fledged curriculums for Chinese, Japanese, and Spanish. Student enrollment in county and city (Lexington and Buena Vista) schools' enrichment and gifted programs has grown from eight to almost 350. On average during any semester, we have twenty W&L students who volunteer to teach various language levels to K-7 students. This summer we hope, once again, to expand the program to include French language and cultures using student assistance provided through the Provost's Summer Research Scholars program. Fear not...the person selected to do French is a Romance Languages major who is strong in both French and Spanish languages.

4. Foreign Language Teachers Workshop Series thru the Foreign Language Association of Virginia. Two professional development workshops for language educators are planned for February and March. We continue to broadcast our workshops statewide four or five times annually. By doing so, we have been able to meet the needs of many by providing them with the professional growth necessary for success in their chosen field. We now have twenty official host sites (satellite locations) where educators can gather to share ideas and learn from other professionals. Workshop 3 will be broadcasted from the TMC on 13 February 2014 and will feature "our own" Ellen Mayock whose workshop will deal with Using the Target Language in Meaningful Contexts with Success. The 20 March 2014 workshop will feature Ginny Ogden from Bedford County who will give us Ten Take-Home Activities to Engage and Inspire Your Language Students. Each workshop runs two hours (4:00 - 6:00 PM) on the scheduled date. If you are able to attend, that would be great. If not, then you can visit our YouTube WLU Multimedia channel to catch them at a later date. Go HERE to register.

5. Students Teaching Students. Under the aforementioned title, TMC Technology and Learning Specialists (TMC Assistants) will offer special training in the evenings for your students in various softwares which you might wish your students to use for presentations, projects and the like. We will be providing this service so you will not have to use instructional time for technology demonstrations. The assistants will present topics and will then be ready to assist your students with projects as a follow-up. If you have special requests, let me know; otherwise, look for postings and campus notices for dates, times, and topics.

6. Digital Humanities. DH is on the rise at W&L, and I encourage you to attend information sessions and workshops that are planned throughout the year. The next workshop Mapplication is scheduled for 26 February 2014 from 12:15 - 1:15 PM in Hillel 101. Go HERE to register.

Enough for now. Six items is about all the brain is said to be able to digest. But there will be more to come.
Thanks for listening and for letting me share.
Dick

 


 

September 9, 2013

Welcome back! I trust your summer break has been a fulfilling one with research, writing, travel, and rest.

It has been a busy summer in the TMC. Here are a few things that have taken place.

1. We have done a major upgrade of TMC software having installed the SANAKO Study 1200 which is entirely digital, more efficient, and more user friendly. Go here for an overview and a review of the feature descriptions. We will have help sessions on its use throughout the term.

2. Lenna Ojure, Ken Ujie, Janet Ikeda, Hongchu Fu and I were joined by five summer research scholars in June, July, and August for the continued development and refinement of our Languages for Rockbridge program. Research continued in the expansion of curriculums for Spanish, Chinese, and Japanese.

Our five student scholars (Erika Barrero (Spanish), Josy Tarantini (Spanish), Yiwen Wang (Chinese), Lauren Mosely (Japanese), and Chauncey Baker (Japanese) will be presenting at the Foreign Language Association of Virginia (FLAVA) conference in Williamsburg in October. The title of their presentation is "Talking Globalism from Kindergarten Up" in which they will explain their research and demonstrate what they have incorporated into their respective curriculums in language and culture teaching.

We average between fifteen and twenty student volunteers who teach language and culture in surrounding elementary schools in a given semester. At last count, the number of students enrolled in our language/culture classes was in excess of 330. As an added highlight, we will be incorporating French, German, and Russian into our program this fall as well. If you know of students who might like to join us in this program of spreading the wealth about other cultures and languages, please share their contact information with us.

3. The Governor's Foreign Language Academies were on campus in June and July. Top foreign language students from all over Virginia were fully immersed in their target language on a 24/7 basis. It is truly remarkable to see the progress made by these students as the put their inhibitions to the side and develop their communicative skills. The Academies were featured on WVTF last week during Morning Edition. If you want to get a better feel for what takes place and enjoy the excitement created by the Academies, turn your computer speakers on and go here to hear what Sandy Hausman had to say about what we are doing. We will be hosting another 165 students again next summer as well.

4. Check the TMC web site for hours and policies which you will want to share with your students. And please remember to include in your syllabi information concerning the TMC orientation which we ask that students complete within the first week of classes.

There are also some online tutorials for the new SANAKO software which will help you as we move forward for easier teaching and maximum learning.
Work orders and reservations can be requested and made using our SharePoint administrative software.

5. The TMC is instituting a Students Teaching Students program whereby TMC student assistants instruct peers on technology tools necessary to do well in classes and in their post-graduate years. Topics will include at least WordPress web page development, video editing with Final Cut Pro, audio editing with Audacity, generating blogs and discussion boards, and creating DVD's with iMovie and iDVD. Classes will generally be in the evenings so faculty do not have to take class time for technology instruction. How might this help you in your class planning? Let us know.

6. Two professional development workshops are on the slate for the fall term. Both deal with proficiency, yet both deal with proficiency in two very different ways. The September 17 workshop is Grading for Proficiency and the November 7 workshop is Making Technology Have Relevance in the Language Classroom: Moving Toward Proficiency. Information about speakers and topics is already published on the TMC site and the FLAVA site, and will soon be on the VDOE site. Workshops will be held and broadcasted from the TMC.

7. Here is some food-for-thought as we begin a new year.

a. Start your class discussions outside of class using a Sakai discussion board. This will help students to organize their thoughts prior to getting to class, and others will have already had a chance to react. (TELL R3)
b. Give your students meaningful contexts in which they can learn the language they are studying. (TELL T7)
c. Try to create a classroom environment that is culture-rich and encourages the use of the target language. (TELL LE4)
d. Use available technologies to develop and assess real world language and cultural competencies. (TELL R3)

My best to you as we begin a new year.

Dick

 


 

April 9, 2013

Good afternoon,

As we draw another semester to a close, I wanted to make certain that I touched base with you about a few things.

1. The modern languages open house for accepted students will be held in the TMC from 1:30 - 3 PM on Wednesday, 24 April 2013. I hope you can make it if you are in town.

2. The final workshop for this year's Foreign Language Teachers Workshop Series and Foreign Language Association of Virginia professional development initiative is scheduled to take place in the TMC from 4 - 6 PM on Thursday, 25 April 2013. We will be joined by Dr. Sharon Hahnlen from Liberty University who will be addressing the subject of "Teaching the Lesson with Meaningful Input Strategies." If you have yet to register for the workshop, please do so at http://flavaweb.org/workshops/l.

3. The TMC has seven new assistants joining its staff effective this spring term. New assistants include Yiwen Wang (China), David Thomas (USA), Abigail Pannell (USA), Sofia Sequeira (Costa Rica), Morgan Hall (USA) Timothy Holder (Barbados, USA). Cole Malizia, who has been working with us since January, will also be the TMC Assistant for the summer months and during the following academic year.

4. Professors Janet Ikeda, Kenichi Ujie, Hongchu Fu, Lenna Ojure, and yours truly will be working once again this summer to improve curriculums for the Languages for Rockbridge program. Students working with us over the summer on this Robert E. Lee summer scholar research project will be Josephine Tarantini (Spanish), Erika Barrero (Spanish), Yiwen Wang (Chinese), Chauncey Baker (Japanese), and Lauren Mosely (Japanese). The present academic year, under our Languages for Rockbridge program, we were able to continue with Spanish and Chinese instruction and introduce Japanese and Portuguese languages and culture to elementary and some middle school students in Rockbridge County, Buena Vista and Lexington. There are now 28 volunteers (and growing) involved in this program.

5. What happens in June and July of 2013? I'm glad to say the Virginia Governor's Full-Immersion Foreign Language Academies will be returning to the campus of Washington and Lee. We will again welcome more than 200 linguists for an intense program of language and culture learning. In addition to the normal three languages (French, German, and Spanish), students will be immersing themselves in Arabic, Japanese, and Russian. I'm grateful to say that Dean of the College, Suzanne Keen, will be joining us for our opening ceremonies in June as we gather in Keller Theatre.

6. EDUC365, with its practicum element EDUC366, will once again be offered in the fall for students who have expressed an interest in teaching foreign languages, whether at home or abroad. If you have students that will be pursuing Fulbright's, Teach for America, Peace Corps, English for Speakers of Other Languages, or other programs where knowledge of language teaching and learning practices is a useful plus, send them in my direction so I can share with them more information about course content and expectations.

Enough for now, but assuredly, there will be more to follow.

Dick


February 13, 2013

All,

Just four points.

1. On 7 February, you missed a great workshop with Dr. Lisa Harris, Specialist for Foreign Languages at the Virginia Department of Education. She filled the two-hour workshop with theory, facts, and practical application. The workshop was recorded and will be placed on our YouTube WLUmultimedia channel for later review. If you are interested in improving your teaching strategies and techniques, it might well be worth taking the TELL survey to learn more about yourself and what might be helpful to you in the classroom. If you are interested, let me know, and I can set you up.

2. Our next workshop is scheduled for the afternoon of 28 February here in the TMC. This workshop will also be broadcasted across the Commonwealth. Leading the workshop will be Sheila Cockey with the National Capital Language Resource Center in Washington, DC. I have asked her to address teacher assessment. The topic selected is "Why Assessing Your Students Begins with Assessing Yourself." I saw her present at ACTFL in Philadelphia and can assure you that her content will have depth and relevancy and that her delivery will be with ease.

3. Just so you are aware, you will need your WLU swipe card to get into the TMC during the February/Washington Break. I will be in and out, and student assistants will return to work on Monday, 25 February at 8 AM.

4. For those of you who took the time to encourage our own students to apply for teacher or RA positions with the full-immersion Governor's Language Academies, I thank you. And a special appreciation to those of you who took the time to make their applications complete by writing letters of recommendation.

Enough for now! My best to you,

Dick


January 12, 2013

Good morning, Colleagues.

Three items of interest as we conclude the first week of a new term.

1. Preparation for the second year of hosting the Governor's full-immersion language academies is in full swing. Students and staff will be housed in Woods Creek east, central, and west, as well as in four of the sorority houses. Classes will be conducted in Early Fielding, Newcomb, and DuPont. I hired academy directors in December and am now receiving application packets for teachers and staff. I am glad to say that one of our colleagues, Patricia Hardin, will be the director of the German Academy this summer. And I am also very happy to say that some of our own students have applied for resident assistant positions. For your information, academy members will be on campus from 19 June until 14 July 2013.

2. The Foreign Language Teachers Workshop Series for winter and spring terms 2013 begins next week. Below is some information about the workshops you might find helpful in making your choices. I have pulled the information from the registration page.

Workshop 1 -- 17 January 2013, Thursday, 4 - 6 PM; Dr. Lisa Harris, Specialist for Foreign Languages, Virginia Department of Education; "Teacher Effectiveness for Language Learning: More Than Just a Concept"

Workshop 2 -- 28 February 2013, Thursday, 4 - 6 PM; Mrs. Sheila Cockey, Consultant, National Capital Language Resource Center, Washington, D.C.; "Why Assessing Your students Begins with Assessing Yourself"; TELL Correlation, Assessment A1, A2

Workshop 3 -- 26 March 2013, Tuesday, 4 - 6 PM; Ms. Helen Small, Instructional Supervisor for World Languages, Newport News Public Schools; "Planning for Success in the Language Classroom"; TELL Correlation, P1, P6

Workshop 4 -- 25 April 2013, Thursday, 4 - 6 PM; Dr. Sharon Boylan, Liberty University; "Teaching the Lesson with Meaningful Input Strategies; TELL Correlation, T2, T6, T8

Workshops fall under the tutelage of the Virginia Foreign Language Professional Development Framework with special emphasis being placed on the Teacher Effectiveness for Language Learning (TELL) Project ( http://www.tellproject.com/ ). Topics selected for this spring's workshops are direct results of teacher-expressed needs and desires revealed through discussions and surveys conducted in the fall of 2012.

In support of our mission to help language educators across the Commonwealth develop professionally, Dr. Linda M. Wallinger, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction at the VDOE, helped us in getting the word out by distributing a memo statewide earlier this week. By the way, we had 209 registrants at our most recent workshop.

I hope you will want to take advantage of these workshops.

3. Languages for Rockbridge continues to grow. Using student-volunteer language majors, heritage speakers, and interested students, we are now able to provide Chinese, Japanese, and Spanish language and culture classes to students in grades K - 7 at Enderly Heights, Parry McLure Middle School, Waddell, Central, Natural Bridge, Mountain View, and Fairfield schools. The school systems are very receptive to what our students are providing, and our students appreciate having the opportunity to share what they have learned in our classrooms and at home regarding the target languages and their cultures. Please let your students know of this opportunity. I think they will find it to be a rewarding experience. Should they have questions, send them in my direction.

Enough for now. My best to you,

Dick


17 October, 2012

Dear colleagues,

I hope you enjoyed your get-caught-up days as we enter the mid-point of the term. Here are a few items to consider as we continue.

1. Interested in being an academy director, teacher, or resident assistant for one of the Virginia Governor's Full-Immersion Language Academies during the summer of 2013? Or do you know of someone (colleagues or students) who might be interested? Go here to find more information and applications. Review of applications for Academy Directors' positions will begin on 26 October 2012. Teacher and RA application review is to commence on 11 January 2013. If you have questions about the Academies, please see me.

2. Good news for all you Mango Languages users! Mango has gone Mobile so if you have an Android, iPhone, or iPod you can now use your account to access your favorite language...anywhere. This is a good place to start.

3. I'm not sure if you are aware, but fifteen of our language majors were able to participate in a modified Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) last weekend. The Foreign Language Association of Virginia (FLAVA), the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), and the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) worked jointly to make interviews possible for students of French, German, and Spanish across the state. Of the forty slots available, sixteen were filled by language majors from Washington and Lee. Other colleges and universities made up the remaining slots. Students will receive their ratings and a certificate attesting to such by the end of October and will be able to place their OPI rating on their résumés or be able to discuss their official fluency level in the target language with potential employers.

4. Students in EDUC365 might stop you in the hall, give you a phone call, text you, or send you an email asking the possibility of visiting your class sometime before the end of the term. Since the class is a methods course for teaching foreign languages, I have asked that they observe two classes to witness a variety of methods and strategies used in the language classroom. If you do not wish to have a visitor, just say "no." If you agree to allowing a visitor or two to learn from your expertise, I thank you enormously.

5. Another one of our services, Satellite Communications for Learning (SCOLA), is now available for use on your mobile device (Android, iPad, iPhone). The mobile app can be found on the SCOLA home site.

If you are interested in what SCOLA has to offer the language teacher, the economist, the current event enthusiast, you will need to go to SCOLA and log on with username: XXXXX, and password: XXXXX (case-sensitive). You really should check out the variety of services that SCOLA offers; there actually is something for everyone.

More to come in the immediate,

Dick

 


 

15 August, 2012 

Dear Colleagues,

Some items prior to revving our motors to begin another academic year:

1. TMC hours of operation are posted on the web site http://tmc.wlu.edu . Please inform your students of such and ask those students who are new to the University to complete the online orientation for new users during the first week of classes. Students will find Orientation under the Student menu tab on the site.

2. If you are adding a textbook, changing textbooks, or will be using a new edition, please let us know so we can have all support materials available for student use. It would be nice to have this information in-hand by August 27, 2012.

3. The TMC has seven returning student assistants, Zack Cylinder (Intern, Spanish); Bethany Reynolds (Chinese, Spanish); Chelsea Stevenson (French); Taylor Melanson (German); Sirocco Hamada-Sweren (Japanese, Italian, German); Claire Mahoney (French, Spanish); and Taylor Zusi (Spanish).

4. New student assistants are Thomas Andrews, Kerstin Hjelm, Marc Wonders, Deirdre Tobin, and Lat Peak.

5. Testing in the TMC will continue to be handled in the same manner where students sign in and out of the testing data base. Remember that we provide assistance for digital and traditional testing formats. 

6. Because of the functionality of the SharePoint calendar, reservation, and work order systems which we have devised, we will continue to use the same procedures for work orders and reservations. Click on the TMC Connections: Reservations and Work Orders menu tab on the site.

7. The TMC will continue to support professional development for the Virginia language educator through its Foreign Language Teachers Workshop Series. The Series will institute five or more workshops whose topics will be determined from results of Virginia teachers' self-assessments conducted through the Teacher Effectiveness for Language Learning (TELL) Project being integrated as a part of the Virginia Foreign Language Professional Development Framework for 2012-2013. If you are interested in learning more about the TELL project, let me know.

8. Archived videos of the Workshop Series from 2011-2012 are linked to YouTube from the Professional Development page of the Foreign Language Association of Virginia (FLAVA) site.

9. You may or may not be aware, but a SmartBoardTM is being installed in Tucker 402 and will fall under the jurisdiction of the TMC. Reservations for periodic use of Tucker 402 and the new technology should be made using the TMC reservation site. If you wish to use Tucker 402 as your regular classroom, you will need to go through the University Registrar to make your request. For those interested, there is a Fall Academy session on SmartBoardTM use from 11:00-11:50 AM on Monday, August 20, 2012, in Tucker 402. If you are unable to make that session, the TMC will be conducting additional training sessions during the term. Of course, you can always ask us directly; that's why we're here. And here is some additional reassurance that help is only a click away.

10. Life on campus was stimulated by the presence of 165 top, world language learners with our hosting of the Virginia Governor's Full-Immersion Foreign Language Academies during June and July. This was a campus-wide initiative as numerous departments, programs, and offices helped ensure the success of this language learning endeavor. In all there were 200 visitors on campus for the three and a half weeks of intense learning. Results proved positive for all concerned. The Academies are slated to be held on campus again from June 19 - July 13, 2013.

11. Languages for Rockbridge which already provides language instruction in Spanish and Chinese to elementary schools in the county and in the cities of Lexington and Buena Vista is increasing its repertoire to include Japanese for early learners. Instructors for the various schools are student volunteers, language majors/minors, heritage speakers, ESOL members, and students of EDUC365 Methods for Foreign Language and its practicum. We would appreciate it if you could spread the word as we are always looking for volunteers who are interested in promoting language learning.

Enough for now. I hope what remains of your summer break is restful and meaningful.

Dick.


28 February, 2012

Dear Colleagues,

1. Are you interested in learning more about a project dealing with students with learning disabilities ? If so, I'm glad to let you know that just prior to February break several of us from campus attended a worthwhile workshop titled "Designing Inclusive Foreign Language Classrooms: Anticipating the Needs of Students with Disabilities" which was held at VMI. I have asked for a DVD of the workshop and will have it available for check-out or viewing in the TMC within the week. The workshop was worth it; lots was shared and learned.

2. Since we are all interested in copyright (our own and that of others), I want to share with you that last week I attended a workshop given by the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA) on that very subject. The title of this workshop was "Copyright and Fair Use: Codes of Best Practice in Higher Education." Allow me to share with you what is to be learned. The workshop defines what's fair and what's not.

3. For a good number of years we have had a very positive association with Satellite Communications for Learning (SCOLA) founded by Father Lee Lubbers at Creighton University. If you were able to attend the workshop on TMC-ology which I gave in January you already know that SCOLA has expanded its offerings via its website http://www.SCOLA.org . SCOLA now has eight TV channels; offers language training materials; maintains digital/searchable archives of its broadcasts; connects to various forms of media including foreign text and international radio; and now has a new feature called "Spoken Word" which, when fully-implemented, will be a forum for private and public conversations with native speakers world-wide. The offerings provide some very valuable resources for the teaching of language(s) and culture(s). For access information give me a call.

4. A Few Reminders:

• Don't forget that tomorrow, 29 February, at 3:00 PM in the TMC there will be an iLrn Demo/webinar with Catherine Herzog from Cengage Learning. It should run about 45 minutes. Heinle-Cengage is one of our leading language publishers.

• The Johnson Scholarship Competition Modern Languages Open House is scheduled for 1:30 - 3:30 PM next Monday, 5 March, in the TMC. Remember to mark your calendar if you haven't already done so. The University Faculty Meeting begins at 4 PM.

• FLAVA/FLTWS workshop 4, "True Differentiated Instruction," is to be broadcasted from the TMC at 4 PM on 15 March. Workshop leaders will be Isidoro Kessel (ODU) and Annette Waggoner (Massaponax). If you have yet to register, please do so.

I trust you had a restful break.

Dick


7 February, 2012

All,

A few items of interest and occasions to mark your calendar for future events follow:

1. For those of you who are interested in what Rosetta Stone has to offer, one of their marketing representatives, Laura Bradley, will be in the TMC tomorrow from 10:30 - 11:00 AM to speak of the software company's newest initiative.

2. You might wish to make note that Drs. Sally Scott, Director of Disabilities Resources at Mary Washington, and Wade Edwards, Professor of Spanish at Longwood will be leading a workshop titled, "Designing Inclusive Foreign Language Classrooms: Anticipating the Needs of Students with Disabilities" from 11 AM - 1 PM, on Thursday, 16 February, in the Turman Room at VMI. For further information, questions should be directed to Anna Crockett at VMI.

3. Interested in learning more about iLrn from Cengage Learning? Here is your opportunity. An informal, demo webinar with Catherine Herzog from Cengage from 3 - 4 PM on 29 February in the TMC will take place. No registration is required. Just show up and see what this publisher is doing with Internet learning. Remember that Heinle is a division of Cengage, and some of us use this leading foreign language publisher.

4. It seems that many of us are playing a role of some sort in the Johnson Scholarship Competition in March. I would appreciate it if you would highlight in your list of things to do the Modern Languages Johnson Scholarship Open House to be held in the TMC on 5 March 2012, from 1:30 - 3:30 PM. A special program is being planned; let me know if you or your students are interested in participating.

5. And yes...don't forget that the TMC @ WLU is again hosting a FLAVA - FLTWS workshop for the afternoon of 15 March 2012. The subject of this workshop is "True Differentiated Instruction" and will be given by Isidoro Kessel from Old Dominion and Annette Waggoner from Massaponax High School in Fredericksburg. Any of you who have registered for at least one of the previous three workshops yet have not completed the survey/evaluation of the program, please do so.

Enough for now. Five talking points is my limit.

A sincere thanks,

Dick

 


 

9 January, 2012

All,

Just a quick note as we enter the new term.

1. For those of you who are interested and able to attend, the TMC-ology refresher workshop is set for tomorrow (Tuesday, 10 January 2012) afternoon at 4 PM in the TMC. What I plan on doing is showing some innovative features of the system we have and then use the remaining time as a discussion forum and exchange of ideas.

2. And as well, please mark your calendar (if you haven't already done so) for the VDOE/FLAVA/FLTWS workshop scheduled for the afternoon of 19 January 2012. Professor Katie Chenoweth will be speaking to audiences across Virginia on the interesting topic of "Teaching Language with (not through) Film." The workshop starts at 4 PM and will continue until 6 PM with a break at the halfway point.

Welcome back and stay rested!

Dick


8 December, 2011

Good afternoon, All.

Just a few items to review as we enter the final days of the term.

1. The TMC has regular hours through Friday, 16 December 2011, with the exception of this Saturday, 10 December 2011, when we will be open from 10 AM - 5 PM.

2. If you have audio or video files to accompany your final examination(s), please try to get them to us by noon on Friday, 9 December 2011. And please make it a point to review your request/submission prior to the final examination period beginning on Saturday just to make sure that all is a-ok.

3. At 4 PM on 10 January 2012, there will be a TMC-ology refresher course. Please mark your calendar. Possibilities are limitless with what the TMC has to offer; let's put our heads together and figure out some new teaching strategies for you, whether your courses be language, literature, or culture.

4. Mark your calendar as well for 19 January 2012 at 4 PM when our own Katie Chenoweth leads us into the film world with a workshop titled "Teaching Language with (not through) Film." This is part of our Foreign Language Teacher Workshop Series (FLTWS) which is now partnered with the Foreign Language Association of Virginia (FLAVA). Katie will be directing her workshop not only to our local audience, but also to workshop registrants throughout the state who will be gathering to participate at an additional twelve locations receiving our broadcast via the Internet.

5. On another note, planning for the Academies is underway. Academy directors have been hired. Teachers and RA's are next in the progression of things. The application deadline for both is mid-January 2012. If you are interested, please apply. If you have majors whom you believe would make excellent RA's and would really like opportunities to improve their level of proficiency, please encourage them to apply. For more information check out the posters I've put up around campus or go the VDOE site.

Enough for now. I wish you all an uneventful end of term and final examination period.

Dick

 


 

7 October 2011

Here are some newsy bits from the TMC as we complete the first third of the term, with reading days soon to arrive, mid-terms on the calendar, and a forecast of super winter and spring term classes on the horizon.

1. The first workshop for this academic year's series is next Tuesday when Peter Vlaming from Williamsburg crosses the state to come to Lexington to bring to us dynamic means of getting our students to talk. If you have yet to register, please do so by going to the events-workshops tab on the TMC home page. You can register for all four workshops now if you wish.

New to this year's workshop series is the establishment of a Professional Development Network (PDN) involving locations across the state to which the workshops will be broadcasted from the TMC. Broadcasting will put our number of attendees into the hundreds.

2. The new check-out/in system for tests, quizzes, equipment, etc. is working well. Students seem to like the simplicity and efficacy of the new procedure.

3. Food for thought... online chatting is a great precursor to having oral discussions in class. And now there is documentation to prove it. Come to the TMC and have your students use the chat feature for a period of time, then take them back to the classroom or continue with an oral discussion in the TMC. Reflection on the topic is completed, thoughts are organized, inhibitions are put to the side, and discussions become more vibrant.

4. Like to sing? Or want your students to practice diction, learn some cultural elements for the target countries your studying, or just want to get away from the humdrum in the classroom? How about a little Karaoke? We'll make it happen for you with our new Karaoke machine which is available for checkout. (We even have two microphones so you can record your favorite duet of students onto your memory stick or SD card for later review.)

5. Do you have any particular capital budget needs you think the TMC should handle? Let me know.

6. Have you thought about having your students connect with video pals in the target language country? The assistants will set you up to travel wherever you wish to go with the Internet. Or are you taking a group abroad? Why not have the students get to know the host family in advance to relieve some of the early-on anxiety for the student studying abroad? Maybe their teachers abroad could get in on the video conference as well!

7. Ever felt envious of your students who set up web pages from scratch? Have you ever wished you were versed in design and technology use at a level just a little higher than what you presently are? There is opportunity next week to learn about web page development in the TMC. Students are having training; why not join them in discovering one of life's necessities? Check with Joey Brown, the TMC intern.

8. I just met with the foreign language specialist from the Virginia Department of Education here at the centennial FLAVA Conference. Information concerning the Virginia Governor's Foreign Language Academies is going out today and early next week. Encourage your majors and minors to apply for RA positions. To be selected is an honor, a boost to the resume, and a chance to improve language skills tremendously. I think we saw that last summer when one of our own served as an RA in the French Academy. If you have questions, come see me.

9. Zack Cylinder, student from EDUC 365/366 and Spanish major, will be presenting his summer RE Lee research this afternoon here at the FLAVA Conference. He has been instrumental in developing a full, two-year curriculum for getting Spanish language into the elementary and middle schools. Using what he has developed, we now have Spanish language classes in eight Rockbridge County, Lexington, and Buena Vista schools. Zack went beyond the norm of just lesson plans and PowerPoints by creating a fully interactive CD with text, audio and video components for classroom and student at-home use.

Enough for now, back to meetings. Have a restful weekend.

Dick

 


 

26 August 2011

Good morning, everyone.

I trust your summer has been profitable and somewhat restful. It has been hot and hopping here with the Governor's French Academy behind us and news of the three academies to be held on campus in the upcoming years.

1. We have undertaken several major projects this summer in the TMC. The Academy was one of these, of course; but in addition we have now automated all equipment and test check-out procedures making the process simpler and more efficient. Come in sometime, and we'll give you a demonstration. Equipment reservations, TMC area reservations, and work orders are still being handled from the TMC site.

Another project involved working on an RE Lee research grant with Hongchu Fu (EALL) and Lenna Ojure (Teacher Education). We have put into place Chinese and Spanish curriculums for elementary schools in the Rockbridge area. Beginning the second week in September and continuing throughout the school year, WLU student volunteers will be visiting seven area elementary schools and teaching language classes to 4th and 5th graders either during morning and afternoon enrichment periods or as a part of after school programs. Students who worked closely with us this summer are Danielle Maurer (Chinese) and Zack Cylinder (Spanish). Student volunteers will be pulled primarily from Educ365, majors/minors, and participants in the ESOL program.

2. With regard to the Foreign Language Teachers Workshop Series (FLTWS), all fall and winter/spring workshops will be held at Washington and Lee. Fall workshops are -

Tried and Proven Conversation-Building Activities for Language Learning
11 October 2011
Peter Vlaming, Williamsburg
French Teacher, New Kent High School

Learning Activities for the Inhibited Language Learner
10 November 2011
Norah Jones, Lynchburg
President, FLAVA

Workshop topics for the winter/spring are being finalized now and will be officially announced in early October 2011. Those under consideration are Reaching Out to the Non-gifted Language Learner and Where Does the Learning Actually Occur? Inside or Outside the Classroom?. Dates already selected are 19 January and 15 March 2012.

Beginning this academic year, workshops will be broadcasted to a number of locations throughout the Commonwealth as part of a Professional Development Network (PDN) being co-partnered by WLU and FLAVA. Colleges, universities, public school divisions, and private schools will be taking part in this new endeavor as PDN host sites are put into place.

3. On the logistical side of things, please remember to ask your students to complete the TMC on-line orientation if they have never used the facility. The URL for the orientation is http://www.wlu.edu/x34581.xml. For starters, students will need to know the TMC's hours of operation, testing procedures, general facility use, and equipment check out. You might want to take a look at the orientation to jog your memory as well.

4. TMC assistants for this academic year are Tucker Bourne, Joey Brown, Zack Cylinder, Robbie Day, Morey Hill, Taylor Melanson, KeKe Nichols, Bethany Reynolds, and Chelsea Stevenson. Joey Brown has worked closely with me over the summer as the TMC intern and will continue in that position until he graduates in June.

5. more to come...

Dick