I was able to participate at the annual conference of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES), held on November 17-20, 2011 in Washington, DC. ASEEES, a nonprofit, non-political, scholarly society, is the leading private organization in the world dedicated to the advancement of knowledge about the former Soviet Union (including Eurasia) and Eastern and Central Europe. ASEEES supports teaching, research, and publication relating to Slavic, East-Central European and Eurasian studies nationally and internationally. The Association is also a constituent society of the American Council of Learned Societies. I have been a regular participant at this conference and I am currently organizing another section on language pedagogy for its next convention in 2012. I find attending these conferences very intellectually stimulating and very important for my professional growth as a language teacher.
Since my recent research work has been focused on working with authentic literary text in the language classroom, for this conference I organized a panel on Teaching Reading Strategies to the Students of Russian where I presented a paper titled Adapting an Authentic Literary Text for a Language Classroom. This presentation grew out of my work on a Dostoevsky multimedia reader for Advanced Russian, published recently by Yale University Press. Our section was very well-attended (standing room only!) and we had a lot of productive discussions afterwards. My paper was well-received and I am planning to continue my work on this important topic. Yale Press also participated in the convention and they exhibited my book on their display.
It was wonderful to have such a valuable opportunity to exchange ideas and suggestions regarding new methods of language teaching with my colleagues from other institutions. The language pedagogy panels in general were very stimulating, as well as the informal discussions with colleagues, and I was able to get a lot of new ideas to apply in my classes here at Yale.