CLS Hosts Week-Long IIW Workshop

The CLS sponsors an Instructional Innovation Workshop (“IIW”) in May for faculty who wish to explore ways in which the use of multimedia materials can enhance language teaching and learning. The workshop includes hands-on demonstrations of digital video tools and resources. Each attendee is expected to conceive of and create a sample activity or learning unit. The workshop includes time for participants to work on their projects with one-on-one support from CLS staff.

This year, the CLS hosted an IIW the week of May 16th focusing on heritage language learners. Seven Yale language faculty proposed projects in this field and were awarded stipends to begin developing these projects:

Sybil Alexandrov, Department of Spanish and Portuguese

Etem Erol, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations

Angela Lee-Smith, East Asian Languages and Literatures

Ninghui Liang, East Asian Languages and Literatures

Julia Titus, Slavic Languages and Literatures

Karen von Kunes, Slavic Languages and Literatures

Peisong Xu, East Asian Languages and Literatures

The first two days of the workshop featured keynote presentations by experts in the field, which were also open to a wider audience of Yale faculty and invited guests. On Monday, Olga Kagan, Director of the National Heritage Language Resource Center (“NHLRC”) at UCLA and Professor of Russian at UCLA, gave a presentation titled “Heritage Languages: At the Crossroads of Research and Teaching.” Prof. Kagan provided the following abstract of her presentation:

Typically within two generations most non-English-speaking immigrants to the United States lose their home (heritage) languages. Even 1.5 generation speakers display noticeable features of language attrition.  The question is what can be done in order to curtail the loss and promote the maintenance of heritage languages.  The 2000 Heritage Language Research Priorities Conference at UCLA posed the following question:  “What are the major substantive issues and pressing research gaps in heritage language education?”  In the ten years that followed an interest in heritage language research has increased, a Title VI National Heritage Language Resource Center has been created, a Heritage Language Journal has been published, research institutes and workshops have been convened.  The question can now be reformulated:  “What is the impact of current research developments on the practice of teaching?”

Part 1 of Prof. Kagan’s talk:
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Part 2 of Prof. Kagan’s talk:
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After Prof. Kagan’s talk, we heard from Maria Carreira, Co-Director for Language Teaching at the NHLRC at UCLA and Professor of Spanish at California State University at Long Beach:
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On Tuesday, Prof. Carreira gave a presentation titled “Heritage Learners:  Classroom Applications of the Research.” She provided the following abstract of her presentation:

Following Prof. Kagan’s overview of the field of heritage language teaching, Prof. Carreira will focus on classroom applications, in particular, those relating to teaching strategies, curriculum design, and assessment. Differences between curriculum-centered and the learner-centered teaching will be discussed and the case will be made that the latter is a more suitable approach to teaching heritage language learners. The basic tools and techniques of Differentiated Teaching and Formative Assessment will be presented and participants will explore applications in their own teaching.

She also graciously has allowed us to post the handout she distributed before her presentation as well as her presentation slides.

Part 1 of Prof. Carreira’s presentation:
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Part 2 of Prof. Carreira’s presentation:
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Each afternoon following the keynote presentations, attendees participated in breakout sessions, affording them an opportunity to apply the keynote presentations to their own encounters with heritage learners.

On Wednesday and Thursday, the seven IIW recipients worked on their individual projects and attended tech sessions on WordPress, annotating texts, video editing, Media Gallery and place-based learning.   The workshop culminated on Friday when the IIW recipients made presentations on their projects and critiqued the other projects.

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