2010-2011 Grant Proposals
Northeast Modern Languages Association
Pedagogy Travel Grant
Title: "Integrating Digital Audio, Expanding Online Activities, and Engaging in Course Redesign for the Teaching of Italian"
Recently I have met an important career goal-that of contributing a technology-based unit to the forthcoming eighth edition of Prego!: An Introduction to Italian (McGraw Hill Publishing), the same textbook I have been teaching with year in and year out for over 15 years. The World Languages editors worked with me during 2010 on eighteen different music-based lessons--one to accompany each chapter of Prego! I searched for eighteen culturally significant popular Italian songs suitable for the beginning level of language competence, and worked them into multi-media units to accompany the primary textbook for the course. Listening activities involve targeted vocabulary or grammar structures related to each chapter, as well as insight into Italian culture (a sample is included into this application). Many of the songs I proposed have been used to enhance my teaching of Italian here at the college and have been well received by both the textbook editors and the authors.
During this same time period, I submitted a proposal to the Northeast Modern Languages Association Annual Meeting in April 2011 in a session entitled "Best Practices in Online Teaching: Language and Literature Courses" and my proposal was accepted (conference program is attached). This conference is an excellent venue for me to promote my recent Prego! contribution, and discuss how the uses of technology to play songs are evolving (YouTube, iTunes, VoiceThread, and others in particular).
I am applying for a Pedagogy Travel Grant to attend this conference. My faculty development funds for the current academic year were used in order to attend a conference in the fall (SAMLA in Atlanta, Nov. 5-8, 2010) where I chaired a session and read a paper, as well as deliver an invited lecture in Sherbrooke, Quebec during the month of October.
In addition to this project involving teaching, the preparation of other pedagogically innovative material as part of my course enhancements using technology now includes the use of E-Learn. I have also recently begun to investigate models for the teaching of languages at other institutions that adopt a blended approach. Although blended courses are not part of the curriculum at Stonehill at present, there is much promise in learning best practices from others who have successfully shifted key learning activities to the online environment (in this case, E-Learn). Supplemental, or web-enhanced learning activities are the subject of my presentation, as well as a comparison of my own approach with blended learning models elsewhere.
Pedagogically, I hope to gain insight from colleagues in this session and throughout the NEMLA Conference into ways to enrich instruction, while paying close attention to the best uses for classroom time as we redesign our courses. This applies not only to courses in language, but also cultural studies, literature, and cinema. The panel I will participate in is, in fact, a roundtable with colleagues who have used online resources in other languages.
Even in cases such as Stonehill, where there is no formal reduction in "seat time," there is much value to be gained from learning to restructure our courses so that online work effectively enhances the classroom experience, and vice versa.
Community Outreach Plans:
I would be interested in sharing with faculty at Stonehill what I am learning so far from this endeavor, particularly about ways that foreign language educators effectively use class time for face-to-face, communicative lessons and activities, as well as the promise and practice of blended learning. Additionally, during this spring and summer, I will take time to expand my study and consider a wider range of models that might best fit the needs of Stonehill faculty and students. For instance, we should consider whether offering courses online in the summer could expand the possibilities of our department, and therefore I would like my Pedagogy Travel Grant Report to serve as a pedagogical basis for this discussion in Fall 2011.
Three nights lodging at conference discounted rate @ $150/night $450
Meals for three days $150
Transportation (mileage to New Brunswick, NJ, plus tolls and
parking at the conference site) $253