The TMC and Modern Foreign Languages hosted an Open House for all students, parents, and families on Friday, November 2, 2012 in celebration of Parents and Families’ Weekend. The theme of the Open House was “Languages are at the Core of a World Gone Global.” Students and their families experienced many different aspects of the TMC, including Mango Languages subscription possibilities, interactions with digital supplements of current textbooks and SCOLA’s (Satellite Communications for Learning) multiple channels of worldwide broadcasts. Delicious refreshments were also served.
One-hundred sixty-five of Virginia’s top high school students have are currently on Washington and Lee’s campus as part of the Virginia Governor’s German, French and Spanish Academies. Each academy applies a full-immersion approach in which students take classes, do activities, play sports, watch movies and read only in their target languages. Dr. Dick Kuettner, director of the TMC, is coordinator of all three academies. This is the second year that W&L is hosting the French Academy and first year that it is hosting the German and Spanish Academies.
The TMC enjoyed hosting the Modern Foreign Languages Open House over Alumni Weekend. The alumni were invited to come and talk with former professors and classmates of their foreign language experience at W&L. In addition to delicious refreshments, the alumni were also provided with free membership to Mango Languages. Mango Languages is an online language service company which is accessible worldwide. With Mango you can learn in excess of 40 languages at your own pace and become more acquainted with the cultures where these languages are spoken. Thanks to the University, this service is free for any alumni who signed up.
This spring term, Professor Barnett is teaching Spanish 393, an intensive workshop devoted to the practical application, methods, and theories of literary translation. Students collaborate to produce artistic renderings of literary texts into the target language in a workshop-style setting. Preliminary attention is given to English-to-Spanish narrative as well as Spanish-to-English poetry. The primary activity involves the collaborative production of an original translation of a previously non-translated Spanish short story into English.
Potential Washington and Lee students of Spanish, French, Russian, German, Portuguese, and Italian got a chance to meet with modern foreign languages faculty and current W&L students and look around the Tucker Multimedia Center on Wednesday, April 25, 2012. They were able to discuss and ask questions about foreign language course offerings, curriculum requirements and major, minor and study abroad options.
Although planning and delivering “one size fits all” instruction may be convenient for teachers, it does not meet the learning needs of students. This was the message delivered by Isidoro Kessel of Old Dominion University and Annette Waggoner of Massaponax High School, during their FLAVA workshop on March 15th. The workshop helped to develop a greater understanding of differentiating instruction to analyze methods of assessing students as a means of designing instruction to increase student achievement and to establish a foundation for continued work on differentiation. This workshop was the fourth FLAVA workshop since October 2011 to be simulcast to several high schools and universities statewide.
Johnson Scholar Finalists came to the TMC for a Foreign Languages Open House. Refreshments were provided as prospective language students came in and talked to language majors and professors. A good number of the finalists showed a great interest in foreign anguage, and they were thrilled to talk with W&L’s foreign language department.
In October of 2011, Peter Vlaming, French teacher at New Kent High School in Williamsburg, presented at the TMC as part of the FLAVA Workshop series. His presentation was titled “Tried and Proven Conversation-Building Activities for Language Learning.” Foreign language instructors from across the state of Virginia attended this workshop, and a video production of his workshop will soon be available on the FLAVA-FLTWS Youtube channel.
Dr. Kathryn Chenoweth, a Washington and Lee University French professor, presented a workshop entitled “Teaching Foreign Language with Film.” The TMC hosted and facilitated this FLAVA workshop with 13 attendees, including Rockbridge County Schools’ foreign language educators, as well as foreign language instructors from Southern Virgnia University and Washington and Lee.
At our second FLAVA workshop for the 2011-2012 academic year, Norah Jones presented on “Learning for the Inhibited Language Learner.” The workshop was broadcasted online throughout the entire state; language educators had the option of viewing the workshop in locations such as Roanoke, Lynchburg and Norfolk in addition to the TMC. Mrs. Jones was nothing less than fantastic, as she demonstrated techniques on how to assist struggling language learners as well as teaching methods to improve language learning in general.