Thanks to the generous support of the CLS travel fund, I was able to participate at the annual conference of American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), held on November 21-23, 2014 in San Antonio, TX. It was my first time attending ACTFL and I found the conference very stimulating and enjoyable.
Since my research work in the past year has been focused on working with authentic literary text in the language classroom, for this conference I organized a learning session on Teaching Language through Literature where I presented a paper Teaching Poetry to the Beginners. This presentation grew out of my recent work on my Poetry Reader for Russian Learners, published by Yale University Press in January 2015. Our panel was well-attended and we had a lot of productive discussions afterwards. Yale Press also participated in the convention and they exhibited the proofs of the poetry anthology on their display (see photo). My co-presenter for the session was Francoise Rosset of Wheaton College and she spoke on using French and Spanish poetry in the language classroom. Thus, we were able to organize a learning session that was applicable across languages which is highly desirable for a productive professional exchange.
As is customary today, many of ACTFL panels were devoted to teaching language with technology. I attended several of such sessions, and I found them all to be extremely useful. The presentation that I especially liked was on video editing and using WeVideo program in a French language classroom. This panel was extremely useful for me as an instructor here at Yale, and I am now thinking of possibly integrating a video component in my language courses here.
I feel that all the ACTFL language pedagogy panels, as well as the informal conversations with colleagues from other schools and universities, were very stimulating, and I was able to get a lot of new ideas to try and implement in my classes here at Yale. Again, I would like to thank the Center for Language Study for giving me this valuable opportunity.
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