Mary Jane Kelley, Ohio University
Articulating goals, outcomes, and results challenges language teachers on a daily basis. On Saturday, October 29, 2016, Ohio Valley Foreign Language Alliance members benefited from Dr. Deborah W. Robinson’s expertise in meeting the challenge in a workshop she offered at OVFLA’s annual meeting on the Ohio University campus in Athens. Robinson, former World Languages Consultant at the Ohio Department of Education and current K-12 strategist and consultant to the Department of Defense’s Language Flagship, alternated information and examples with hands-on exercises in which small groups articulated can-do statements and set goals for different activities at different levels. A recurring theme that Robinson drove home was the need for us as instructors to provide opportunities for students to move up the proficiency scale by practicing skills at higher levels.
The meeting ended with a series of mini-lessons: short activity demonstrations by meeting participants. Annette Steigerwald (OU German) presented “Get Them Laughing, Get Them Thinking,” a technique for starting class with a cartoon; Debbie McCorkle (Unioto HS French) offered ideas for textual engagement in “We’ve Read. Now What?”; Keith Woodall (OU Spanish) demonstrated how to make short videos with GoogleEarth and YouTube in “Stealing From Thieves and Making Crime Pay,” and Ashwini Ganeshan (OU Spanish) modeled “Fostering Learners’ Creativity and Curiosity” with song lyrics and music.
All Ohio language teachers are welcome to attend the October 2017 meeting, which will be year 34 in our history. If it appeals to you to spend a Saturday morning in the fall on OU’s beautiful campus developing teaching strategies and sharing informally with others in the profession, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and you will be added to the mailing list. Speakers and focus change each year in order to appeal to the widest possible range of interests. Maybe we’ll see you in Athens in 2017!