I participated in the annual conference of Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES), held on November 15-18, 2012 in New Orleans, LA. 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.
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 Language through Literature where I presented a paper Teaching Poetry to the Beginners. This presentation grew out of my work on an anthology of Russian Poetry for Learners of Russian, forthcoming from Yale University Press. Our panel was well-attended and we had a lot of productive discussion afterwards. Yale Press also participated in the convention and they exhibited my annotated reader of Dostoevsky on their display.
Since another area of my interests is heritage learners’ pedagogy, I was also invited to be a discussant on a panel dedicated to the methods and approaches of teaching heritage learners. At this panel we had several presenters from the UK and were able to have a lively professional exchange comparing our teaching methods and techniques. This panel was extremely useful for me as an instructor here at Yale, since I have been teaching a heritage learners’ course for more than ten years.
I feel that the language pedagogy panels, as well as the informal conversations with colleagues from other schools, were very stimulating, and I was able to get a lot of new ideas to apply in my classes here at Yale.