Distinguished Teaching Professors
Project Summary (2011-2014)
Project: Foreign Language Teaching and Graduate Student Professional Development
My project explores improved undergraduate foreign language teaching through graduate student teacher training, professional development, and assessment, and will culminate in a collaborative teaching resource website with two access points – one for teacher trainers, and one for GTAs and instructors of foreign languages. The website will be an online teaching resource site for sharing and disseminating innovative teaching ideas, assessment tools, learning activities, lesson plans, authentic materials, multimedia, instructional technologies, and teaching video clips. The goals of this project are to establish ongoing and sustained opportunities for collaboration, sharing of pedagogical innovations and research on teaching, peer learning and mentoring, reflection, and exploration in both foreign language teaching and in teacher training. Outcomes of this project will be an enhanced professional training of GTAs throughout the College, a sharing of innovations and practices in existing training programs, and collaboration among faculty in charge of GTA teacher training. GTA development will result in improved student learning in the undergraduate courses they teach at UVA and beyond.
My NEH DTP project will develop over the following three general stages during which I will work with colleagues in foreign languages, teacher educators, and foreign language teachers and GTAs.
Stage I: Preparation. I will meet with other GTA trainers in foreign language departments at UVA to get a sense of their current training practices, future needs, and interest in collaboration and sharing. I will gather their ideas and feedback about the content, structure, and use(s) of the proposed Foreign Language Teaching website. I will also consult with GTA trainers and teacher educators in foreign language departments at other institutions and in Schools of Education to learn from their practices and programs.
Stage II: New Website. This stage will focus on the creation of the new website platform and design of content with input from colleagues and GTAs in foreign language teaching. I will transfer over my existing video clip archive as well as the current Spanish and Italian teaching resource sites from E-folio to the new online platform. We will pilot the use of the new website in foreign language pedagogy courses and training efforts in my department as well as other foreign language departments and programs that are interested in participating.
Stage III: Assessment. I will collect data on the use of the website by teacher trainers and by GTAs, analyze the data, and modify the website based on the results of the pilot and feedback from the participants. The results of this project will be shared through presentations at UVA and appropriate conferences.