Language Experts Discuss Teaching, Researching, Assessing with Technology

On Oct. 19-20, Wesleyan hosted the New England Regional Association For Language Learning Technology (NERALLT) 2017 Conference. The event was held at the Fries Center for Global Studies in Fisk Hall and at Russell House.

On Oct. 19, in a “lighting round” format, speakers from Wesleyan, Yale University, Salve Regina University, Colby College, Boston University, Columbia University and the University of Connecticut discussed topics on language teaching, researching and assessing with technology. Talks focused on group-based learning tools, going beyond the classroom with technology, teaching language and multimodal literacies, simple tools for teaching language with technology and more.

On Oct. 20, guests from the University of Massachusetts- Amherst, MIT, Columbia University and Southern Connecticut State University led longer discussions. Topics included evaluating teacher tech literacies using an argument-based approach, the pros and cons to online discussion forums, language learning in a shared virtual space, connecting classrooms and communities with technology, and developing “Minecraft Memory Palaces” to teach French grammar and composition.

The conference concluded with a tour of Wesleyan’s language learning facilities.

Photos of the conference are below: (Photos by Olivia Drake)

Antonio González, director of the Fries Center for Global Studies and Professor of Spanish, welcomed the conference participants to Wesleyan. 

Antonio González, director of the Fries Center for Global Studies and Professor of Spanish, welcomed the conference participants to Wesleyan.

Louise Neary, adjunct associate professor of Spanish and Ana Perez-Girones, adjunct professor of Spanish, shared how students at Wesleyan are building Spanish language portfolios using a Mahara language pack. Perez-Girones also led a discussion on Wespañol, an intermediate-level online program for independent learners.

Louise Neary, adjunct associate professor of Spanish and Ana Perez-Girones, adjunct professor of Spanish, shared how students at Wesleyan are building Spanish language portfolios using a Mahara language pack. Perez-Girones also led a discussion on Wespañol, an intermediate-level online program for independent learners.

Emmanuel Paris-Bouvret, director of language resources and technology, organized and participated in the annual conference. Paris-Bouvret also is visiting instructor of French and coordinator of the Less Commonly Taught Languages program.

Emmanuel Paris-Bouvret, director of language resources and technology, organized and participated in the annual conference. Paris-Bouvret also is visiting instructor of French and coordinator of the Less Commonly Taught Languages program.

Alex Waid, associate professor of humanities at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, is the NERALLT president.

Quili Wang, instructional media specialist at Colby College, spoke on “Subtitle to Videos of Films: An Authentic Language Learning Approach.”

Louise Neary shares a student’s online Spanish portfolio.

David Malinowski, a language technology and research specialist for Yale University’s Center for Language Study takes notes. He also led a discussion on “Connecting Classrooms and Communities with Technology: Past Innovations and Future Directions.”

The New England Regional Association for Language Learning Technology started as an informal gathering of Boston-area lab directors in the late 1960s. Past meetings have covered such diverse topics as copyright laws for non-print media; computer assisted instruction; satellite receiving equipment and programming; designing a learning resource center; cataloguing A/V collections; getting the most out of your student staff; grant writing; and software/hardware demos.

The New England Regional Association for Language Learning Technology started as an informal gathering of Boston-area lab directors in the late 1960s. Past meetings have covered such diverse topics as copyright laws for non-print media; computer assisted instruction; satellite receiving equipment and programming; designing a learning resource center; cataloguing A/V collections; getting the most out of your student staff; grant writing; and software/hardware demos.