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Washington and Lee University

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ACS World Language Workshops: A Blended Learning Approach for the Professional Advancement of Language Educators

An ACS Blended Learning Program Project

The workshops will be given as follows:

April 15, 2014
Blended Learning as Best Practice with Dr. Lisa Harris, Virginia Department of Education

October 2, 2014
Content-Based Instruction Beyond the Norm with Dr. Beth Kautz, University of Minnesota

October 20, 2014
Vocabulary Development with Dr. Doreen Ewert, University of San Francisco

November 6, 2014
Assessment (L2, IPA) with Dr. Bonnie Adair-Hauck, University of Pittsburgh

Please go here for pre-workshop and post-workshop blended activities as discussed below.

Please go here to register for workshops.

Project Description

The principal goal of this project is to provide advanced online and in-person professional development opportunities through workshops, as well as pre- and post-workshop activities, to current and future language educators at ACS institutions. These opportunities will serve as an affordable alternative to costly mega conferences that do not necessarily meet the unique needs of the discerning foreign language educator. In time, the number of participating ACS schools can increase from the current four - University of Richmond, Furman University, Southwestern University and Washington and Lee University - to all sixteen. Other disciplines will be able to follow this model as well. Out of this collaboration can arise the formation of an ACS blended world languages methods course offered to aspiring teachers at all ACS schools wishing to participate. The course will be derived from an already existing course taught at Washington and Lee, Methods for Foreign Language.

This project will satisfy the never-ending necessity for quality professional development in language acquisition theory and language teaching methodologies; will promote collaborative efforts to learn from like-minded professionals; and will fine-tune workshop topics to meet the specific needs of these same individuals in a way conferences cannot.

Each workshop is broadcasted live from Washington and Lee University to the three other participating ACS schools. In addition, each workshop is video recorded, archived, and made available to modern language and teacher education faculties and students at all ACS schools.

Pre-workshop registrant activities include electronic readings with discussion questions and a rudimentary discussion board. Post-workshop activities include an electronic workshop evaluation; follow-up questions and/or reflections for all participants using the discussion board; post-readings; post workshop discussions led in-person locally by host site instructors; and post-viewing activities found on the web that reinforce or supplement the formal workshop and induce further thought on the topic presented.

Workshop locations are known as host sites, and each host site has a host site instructor who is responsible for logistics and instruction locally. Workshops are "doubly interactive" as participants at the various host sites communicate directly with the workshop presenter and other host site audiences, while also communicating among themselves at their respective host sites. Faculty and students from member schools are invited to participate in these workshops. Also, students working closely with instructional faculty will be able to incorporate their participation into course content requirements.