Episode 99 – Language Inspirations: Presenters on Presenting

Episode 979 Language Inspirations Presenters on Presenting_2
It's About Language, with Norah Jones
It's About Language, with Norah Jones
Episode 99 - Language Inspirations: Presenters on Presenting

“In my room, after a couple of months they realize it’s not about the German, it’s about trust, and knowing that they will not be humiliated, that they can mispronounce it and not be laughed at. But if this group of kids doesn’t learn to express themselves verbally, they will not be able to talk to the policeman who pulls them over, they will not be able to tell their doctor what’s wrong with them. Our class, unlike many classes, is communicative. And speaking is the first step, and if you speak, you learn to write, you learn to read, you can do listening, you become a full citizen.” Effie Hall

Here is what language is all about.

Language is about reaching out, taking risks, discovering new skills and friends, sharing oneself, learning about oneself.

Language learning happens even before we leave the womb. In utero we gain the sounds, intonations, and rhythms of the language(s) spoken around us. We even are born recognizing the sound of our mother’s voice; we are open from the moment of our birth to communicate.

Language learning happens in the home, the community, and, when possible, in a school and workplace.

Language teachers are parents, siblings, friends, community members, colleagues, strangers, and media of all types.

So, no matter your role, you are in the language community. Welcome!

And as part of your welcome, help yourself to some resources, please.

Learn about the language organizations that serve youth, communities, educators, and those that desire to discover more about how language works and how to work with language.

Engage with those groups that seek to serve and bring hope to the world through language, together.

Serve your community, nation, and the world through the vehicle of language, the unique human skill and gift.

Connect with me directly to learn more how I can serve your institution, business, group, or community through presentations and workshops that center the power of language in practical pathways to bring well-being and hope into lives.

Let’s work together to grow the good.

Enjoy the podcast.

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Episode 99 – Language Inspirations: Presenters on Presenting

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Thank you for always focusing on the possibilities, opportunities and the power of language and what it can do for us individually - and collectively!

Elizabeth Mack

If you've never done #cliftonstrengths, yourself or with your team, don't wait any longer.  Norah Jones of FLUENCY CONSULTING is the one and only to do it! It's all about your super powers: finding & using them to affect positive change in the world. What's not to love?!

Elizabeth Mack
Founder and CEO / Freestyle Languages


Yes, @NorahLulicJones definitely has the talent of "bringing out" the best in others or allowing them to showcase themselves in the best light! Thank you for directing the spotlight on others who have great stories and talents to share with others. 

Lisa Fore


Your podcasts are exceptionally relevant and applicable, thought-provoking and insightful, easy-to-follow and enjoyable!  

Paul Sandrock
Senior Advisor for Language Learning Initiatives / ACTFL


You have an immense talent to draw the best from your participants. 

Richard Brecht


Norah knows how to LISTEN - she really "hears" the message - and the interview is richer because of it.  New questions come from the hearing. 

Terri Marlow

Want to hear more? Access previous episodes, and get to know the wonderful people I talk with through the It’s About Language page, or by clicking on the Podcast tab above. You can also find this week’s episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter.

As a certified Gallup Strengths coach, I can provide you or your organization personalized coaching to discover and build on your strengths.

I provide workshops, presentations, and talks that inspire and engage through powerful language insights, and I pair those insights with practical applications for the lives of educators, learners, businesses, and faith-centered organizations. I’d love to share ideas with your organization or group, and develop an event tailored to your objectives.

Click here to start a conversation.


0:00:00.7 Norah Jones: For Episode 99 I’m going to begin by asking you to reflect on your words and your phrases about you. When you are in your family, when you were in your community, when you are in your place of employment or a place of education or a special event, how do you talk about who you are, what’s important to you, and especially your identity and special offering for the world, what’s going to make a difference in the world? Think about it. Have you thought about the words that you use, have you modified any of the words that you would use about yourself when speaking it to yourself or to others? What are some of the ways that you try to express clearly what it is that’s important to you? Most recently, in Episode 85, I was at my state conference where people were excited about presenting and about sharing, I was in Puerto Rico for episodes 75, 76 and 77. Doing the same with those that were at the national organization, The American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese. In episodes 55, 56, 66 and 68, I was at two regional conferences, and I asked the question, “What are you presenting and why?”

0:01:36.7 Norah Jones: Because when we go in front of our colleagues and peers, we want to be able to select those words that as much as possible are the most accurate, not just what about we’re doing or what it reflects about who we are, why it is we believe we have something to offer. And what it is that that offering can do to change the lives of others, and when we take a look at those that believe in language, those that have practiced various languages, those that want to open the world of understanding through the teaching of languages. We’re taking a look at people that have a dedication to believing that they can make a positive difference in the world through words, through language. So listen to this collection of those who have presented at, in this case, the SCOLT and Northeast Conference, where I specifically ask them, “What is it that you’re presenting? And why is it that you’re presenting it?” To find the inner most need and desire they had, to share what can change the world for the better. Through the language, enjoy the podcast.


0:03:06.8 Norah Jones: We’re at the Northeast Conference and we’re checking out some aspects of people that are presenting, who they are? What they’re presenting? And why they wanted to present this?

0:03:20.5 Chiara Monticelli: So my name is Chiara Monticelli, I’m an Italian teacher. I represent GWATFL, The Greater Washington Association of Teachers of Foreign Language in the DC area, and I am here as presenter of best of GWATFL. And my session is having fun with silent activity to enhance your SEL and bring joy to the class, it’s silent because my idea is to demonstrate that if you can do it silently without words, you can do it with any language. So, it’s all about games, and rhythms, and creating that sense of community, the movement that our keynote speaker today was talking about. I run a class without desks and chairs so we do a lot of physical games and activities, and I run in 100% in Italian. So, my idea was to do it completely. So, I did it at GWATFL in the fall, and it was a great success and I was voted best up. So, I’m here voting, sorry, I’m here sharing it with NECTFL.

0:04:36.8 Norah Jones: Now you connected it to and you said it quickly, SEL, which is social-emotional learning.

0:04:42.9 Chiara Monticelli: For me, it’s super important to make sure that the relationship piece happens if the… So creating the community and building a relationship with the students and creating joy, they are all part of creating an environment that encourages the social-emotional learning. So, the students feel at ease, they’re willing to take risks and they’re engaged, and it’s so funny because I love doing this session with teachers because you see them turning into little kids, it’s just like we do claps and rhythms, we play like sort of a phone game with gestures, and they just like they laugh and it’s hilarious. It’s a great section, so I’m really looking forward to it.


0:05:34.0 Norah Jones: That’s great. Thank you so much.

0:05:35.9 Chiara Monticelli: Thank you.

0:05:37.0 Effie Hall: Yeah, I’m Effie Hall, I teach German in Loudoun County, Virginia Woodgrove High school.

0:05:42.1 Norah Jones: Why are you here?

0:05:43.9 Effie Hall: I’m here because FLAVA gave me a free registration to NECTFL. Good move. A little door prize always stayed to the end of the conference. She went door prizes, no, but I believe in the NECTFL I’ve been here, I’ve presented here multiple times, it’s not to be missed, especially now that we’re all back in person.

0:05:57.8 Norah Jones: You believe in NECTFL, why is that?

0:06:00.4 Effie Hall: Because I think language teachers aren’t like the rest of the teachers in the building, we are often the one teacher in the building who teaches Germans and there is not a cohort, unless I talk to myself. So coming here, you have an instant cohort, you have people that you can talk with about your strategies. I’ve already learned multiple things and I’ve only been here a couple of hours and I haven’t yet been in a workshop, it inspires. So that day where you’re down and tired and you remember this you find the card. I remember talking to this person, “Oh, I forgot to try that. There’s an idea.” So, I think it inspires you to incorporate something new, and I think conferences make you level up a little bit and share.

0:06:40.7 Norah Jones: Why are you in World Language Education versus some other subject area or other career?

0:06:48.1 Effie Hall: So I’ll start with a girl came to my room and said, on the first day of school, as a ninth grader, “By the way, I don’t have to talk in class, I have special accommodations for me not to have to talk.” And I said the ESL room is right next door, and I think they would welcome you. I said, “But I want you to know that, the reason you ended up here in this room is because in our world, you’re going to need to be able to talk. And I’m going to help make it okay, for you to go to that very nervous place, and step through the door, and express yourself.” And she looked at me scared, and I said, “How about this? How about you’re the one person at the table who has a brilliant idea and you aren’t going to allow yourself to say it because you’re too nervous.” I said, “I think my job as a language educator is to help you have the fortitude to push through that anxiety.” And is the anxiety on the rise? Are the kids not used to talking to people? Do they not turn on their microphones or even communicate in the chat? When we were doing that, is worse than before.

0:07:51.2 Effie Hall: So, in my room, after a couple of months they realize it’s not about the German, it’s about trust, and knowing that they will not be humiliated, that they can mispronounce it and not be laughed at. But if this group of kids doesn’t learn to express themselves verbally, they will not be able to talk to the policeman who pulls them over, they will not be able to tell their doctor what’s wrong with them. Our class, unlike many classes, is communicative. And speaking is the first step, and if you speak, you learn to write, you learn to read, you can do listening, you become a full citizen. And I am always stunned when a parent or some group gives a student permission to not have to talk, because we’re doing them a disservice and in our classes… And how many of us have had kids who said, “I’m not going to take it next year. I’m not going to take German four, German five, German AP.” And the end of AP, they go, “If it weren’t for you in this class, I wouldn’t have had the ability to do the Princeton interview, or I wouldn’t have been off at college in that seminar where I offered an idea.” We give them that impetus to open them out, sometimes you have to speak up.

0:09:01.7 Norah Jones: You referred to the words, full citizen, full citizenship, and then the story continued with the individual’s experience of that. I’d like you to broaden that out a little bit, what the role of language studies with regard to citizenship?

0:09:29.1 Effie Hall: I heard an AP professor on the YouTube, one of the YouTube segments that the German College Board people have done. And he spoke about how we see our world through the perspective of our language, and he talked about Moon La Luna. In Romance languages, they refer to the moon feminine. And German its masculine, he said, “How does that shape our perception of the moon? Is it strong or is it romantic and beautiful?” And so many things are like that, I think that as a language learner, you open your eyes to the awareness that other people may not see things like you see them and that global citizenship part. Can you relate to Ukraine? Can you learn about what their experience is?

0:10:20.2 Effie Hall: That they may have learned Russian as a child, but now they are pushing off Russians, but Russia was part of their heritage, and you have people in Canada with French and here, just even being open to someone who speaks their L1 is Spanish. But having a different awareness and appreciation for them, not a tolerance, but a celebration of the fact that I now understand better that your mother made you this food, and this is how we say that food that I buy at Taco Bell, but your mother made it because that was a local staple and now I get it because I’m in a language class where I’m appreciating that context. And that comes through taking the language in the first place.


0:11:11.4 Norah Jones: The Northeast conference, and I’d like you to introduce yourself because you are doing I see a presentation.

0:11:18.4 Zach Neumann: Zach Neumann, I am from Virginia. I’m the newly appointed senior coordinator of board languages in ESL.

0:11:26.1 Norah Jones: And your presentation is on what Zach?

0:11:30.4 Zach Neumann: It’s called Extra, Extra, Read All About It, and I am presenting on strategies to boost, not just comprehension of the boost literacy, and we’re a language classrooms. We gotta touch a little bit on the difference between that, we’re also going to explore why traditional Round Robin Reading, which is very popular to many classes, why that is not effective and why it actually damages students ability and willingness to read? Traditional Round Robin usually it focuses more on fluency, and when we tell you fluency, we mean how fast can they read, it doesn’t focus anything on comprehension and understanding what I’m reading. I can read, personally, I can read Russian, but I can’t really understand it.

0:12:17.1 Zach Neumann: People can see words or hear words, but they miss the message. This discourages students, it sounds like, is what you have said, what is the outcome ultimately than for students with that discouragement. What you see it in both English language classroom, but we all see… We’re like, they don’t want to read because it’s a high pressure thing where I’m going to read a language I don’t really know, or that I’m learning in front of my peers. So they’re embarrassed, they’re hesitant to read, and then that will carry over when they go to the library with their English class to pull a book and say, I’ve had this bad reading experience and it’s going to continue or just say I don’t like to read.

0:12:57.1 Norah Jones: Whats the special skill set in this particular case that you bring that makes you say, and I’m going to present on this because I can effectively share this.

0:13:11.9 Zach Neumann: I think it’s two-fold, one is finding material and text that students are interested in reading, or at least they might be questioning, the other is helping them unlock the messages that text holds and helping them see that I can understand this, whether it’s in a level one French class or an AP Spanish class.

0:13:33.9 Norah Jones: And do you personally have a history of experiencing this kind of blockage that this brought to your mind and heart to share?

0:13:44.3 Zach Neumann: I probably do. I learn to read really and write, significantly later than my peers. I really didn’t get reading and writing until I was in second grade. When I enter second grade, I was very much non-literate, but by the time I was out of second grade, I was on grade level. By the time I was in fifth grade, I was reading at a college level.


0:14:15.6 Dali Tan: Hello my name is Dali Tan, I teach Mandarin Chinese in Northern Virginia Community College. I just presented with my duel enrollment colleague. And Liangyan Wang we presented a design-based research pure editing.

0:14:36.6 Norah Jones: What are the long-term benefits in working with pure editing.

0:14:41.5 Dali Tan: Research show that foreign language learners always have this a writing anxiety in foreign language. And this research that I read, show that pure editing process reduce this writing anxiety in a second language, so and we know the effective factor. So, if students feel less anxious and then they’ll produce more and then they’ll learn more efficiently. So, and this is why we are doing it. And then we also find that in the past, some of my students is doing the minimalist work, and then when they have somebody else rather than the professors reading their compositions, and they know it from the get-go, and so they usually are more [laughter] serious about the quality of the work and they write more and they produce more. Another thing I notice that students, they have sharper eyes catching peers mistakes rather than their own mistakes. And so we give the students the common mistake correction key. So the students use this correction key rather than correcting the peers mistake, just pointed out the correction key this is your, in Chinese is.

[foreign language]

0:16:29.1 Dali Tan: The sound is right but character is incorrect And then all this is in Chines that stative verbs, you don’t have the verb to be there. You have to say, “I’m good.” I say, “Wow.” Because of the English influence sometimes students always say.

[foreign language]

0:16:48.9 Dali Tan: I am good. But in China, you don’t need that sure that don’t have verb to be. Yeah, so those kind common mistakes, and then because we want them to use a correction key to check their own before they turn it to the peers. And also that eliminates some of the mistakes, and then when they cheer other peer mistake, and they review this correction key one more time, so they get more familiar with common mistakes at the beginning level. So they prevented a lot of mistakes.


0:17:24.9 Norah Jones: Now, we have a Teacher of the Year, one of nine here at the Northeast Conference, okay? And so why don’t you introduce yourself, and I’ve got a couple of questions for you.

0:17:36.2 Glenda De La Hoya: Hi everyone, my name is Glenda de la Hoya and I am the wordful teacher of the year, 2023 and a NECTFL finalist.

0:17:46.5 Norah Jones: This is very exciting.

0:17:47.9 Glenda De La Hoya: It is.

0:17:50.4 Norah Jones: Okay. And what are some of the things that you say, “This is what I can help the world to understand about the excellence of World Language educators.”

0:18:02.3 Glenda De La Hoya: Well, I think that world language education, especially in my case that I teach early language, and you can see how connected it is to everything we do. So giving the opportunity to any student to have our language is given any student an opportunity to be successful in life, because all the skills that we need, we teach them through a world language, connection, talking, communication, empathy, understanding our differences, but also finding our similarities, compassion, there are so many things that through exposing our students to a world language opportunity, we’re giving them tools for the future.

0:18:43.5 Norah Jones: The world is becoming more interconnected, even if sometimes folks find that to be maybe disconcerting or uncomfortable or certainly novel. In what way does this type of education build the capacities that we will be needing both as human beings and also for work and careers for the future? Again, as human beings. What does language skill development do?

0:19:14.8 Glenda De La Hoya: Well, I think it’s the essential part of human connection, when you feel seen, when you feel heard, when you see a feel value, understood. And also giving the tools to our students to try to make themselves being understand by others and to understand others, and that connection, I think that now more than ever is essential, we’re seeing that there’s a lot of tools for us to be connected, however, we’re seeing an increasing amount of people that are disconnected from others. So I think that the opportunity to be in person, and talk, and look at the eyes or be able to share human stories and how we are connected is essential. So, I think that’s what our classes give the students an opportunity to connect with themselves, to communicate, and to try to do it in the best way they can and to learn. When it doesn’t work, what are you going to do to make it work?

0:20:17.1 Norah Jones: What’s your special gift that you personally bring to this experience?

0:20:26.0 Glenda De La Hoya: It’s difficult to talk about our own gift, isn’t it? But I think that I feel a joy that I cannot express when I am able to see my students that they have the joy of learning, and that it’s like a connection that I receive from them and I give to them back. And I think that when you are connected and you have joy in what you’re doing, the students are really interested in keep doing it. And I feel blessed that every day I can do what I like to do, and that I can do that for a living. Because every day I come home with a story, I laugh, I see the beauty, even though there are so many challenges, but knowing that I am one of that first persons in the life of my students that is rooting for them, believing them that they want to, and look forward to see. I feel very honored and privilege.


0:21:36.1 Norah Jones: I appreciate your listening to this podcast, and I hope you had a chance to listen to others too in the array of the first 99 of the adventure of It’s About Language. Please also take a look at my website, fluency.consulting. There you will see all of the episodes, you’ll be able to download them if you wish, you’ll see the transcripts, you’ll see resources of organizations and individuals that have been the focus of the various podcasts, and you’ll see my invitation to learn about, engage with, and serve via variety of opportunities, all of which are through language. So, please go to fluency.consulting and take a look at what’s there for you in the world of language.


0:22:32.9 Brenda Buckley: My name is Brenda Buckley, and I’m an American sign language teacher. And I am teaching, what? The sessions called Teach like a rebel. The session talks about seven factors, engagement factors that affect the brain in language acquisition. And then there’s five actions that you can take to open up the working memory, and get the juices flowing and get that language to come into the brain. So we’re going to be doing a lot of fun crazy activities that include a lot of exercises to help that work in memory expand and to be able to bring that language in.

0:23:05.9 Norah Jones: I have to ensure that one thing that caught my attention with regard to how this is going to happen as Brenda is about to use chickens. So, please tell us more about that.

0:23:18.3 Brenda Buckley: So, we’re going to be using rubber chickens, the games called Chase a chicken, so there’s this sequence of things that the students would have to do, or in this case of participants. And the chicken ends up getting thrown down the hall, one team has to chase the chicken, the other team has to complete a task in the target language before the other chicken could come back to the team and they go over the head under the legs, they keep going all way to the end, till the chicken gets thrown again, and then the other team has to chase it. So, if the team can complete the task by the time your chicken gets back, then they get a point, if not, then they have another try until that, so whoever gets to five points wins. It’s kind of crazy, kids get really intense with it, they’ll try to throw that chicken as far as they can go. But they’re just rubber chickens, guys not real chickens. But they really enjoy it.

0:24:05.3 Norah Jones: Do you have the willingness to share the five principles that you are elucidating here in your session?

0:24:16.1 Brenda Buckley: Well, a lot of it’s just all like the cognitive skills, so just building everything in the memory. So, if any book you’ve ever read about like working on the brain or anything like that, there’s this five of them. So you can get any book out there that’s talking about like how the brain works. And those five things actually have to do with language. Sure, your working memory. Your working memory is a huge part of bringing in language. And it just goes through the different skills that you need and I take those skills and put them into activities to kind of open up the working memory. So the working memory is like the key thing that we’re really attacking here.

0:24:53.0 Norah Jones: What special nature of your personality, of your background, of your personal skillset has made you come to this moment where you’re sharing these things? What are some of your gifts here that have brought you to this moment?


0:25:09.5 Brenda Buckley: So oddly, I always tell the kids sometimes it’s not about you, it’s about me right now. Like, I want to have fun. And I feel like if I’m not having fun teaching then my students are not going to have fun either. And it is sometimes for me, I need to change it up and I need to have fun. I enjoy laughing with the students and just being different. I was a student that just couldn’t sit there and didn’t have the attention span to take in. ‘Cause I was taking French then and understand it. And so I think it’s important that I can get students up moving around and exercising and just making it fun. So, even if they’re not perfect at the language at that time, it’s still given that buy-in to making it fun. And then when we do have the time to sit down and actually work on, conversations and the language, they’re more willing to participate.

0:25:54.1 Norah Jones: What do you hope that your participants today get out of this chicken fest?


0:26:00.9 Brenda Buckley: Well, I’m actually giving out some chickens, so they’re going to get some chickens out of this too. That I hope that they really take their class outside of the classroom. A lot of these activities are taking them out of the room, which is also helping the students to get a different atmosphere. So going outside, going in the hall, moving around the building. I think that’s really important. So I’m hoping that people will put the technology away for a little bit, put the textbooks away for a little bit, and get out there and just have fun with their students and take it out of the room. And the best part is everyone else gets super jealous ’cause they see how much fun your class is having. Thank you guys.


0:26:43.1 Norah Jones: Here I am at SCOLT and I have come across another presenter.

0:26:48.9 Megan Diercks: My name is Megan Diercks, and I’m the executive director of the American Association of Teachers of French. And tomorrow, the region for rep Heather Tedder for the Southeast region and I are presenting Grow for the Gold. And it’s all really wonderful ways that the AATF can help support and help you grow your program. So we’ll talk about our resources, our contests, and there will be some raffle prizes. So we encourage all of you to come.

0:27:14.1 Norah Jones: What kind of services and opportunities are found with the AATF that you share when you do presentations and connections like this.

0:27:25.3 Megan Diercks: We love talking about all of our shared and curated resources, Catherine Ousselin and her team have done a fabulous job of putting together our Wakeland, and our YouTube, and our Pinterest boards. And I think a lot of people don’t know that those are out there. We have a lot of contests to support students at all levels. So from elementary all the way up to college. And we really want to get the word out about those.

0:27:46.0 Norah Jones: AATF is specifically designed to support the study of and the teaching of French. What do you see as some of the movements in the direction of the future for French that AATF will be addressing?

0:28:02.6 Megan Diercks: That’s an excellent question. I would really like to reinforce our commitment to La Francophonie that we are committed and you are seeing that in multiple efforts. So we are committed to promoting the diversity of the francophone world, emphasizing the fact that French has spoken on all inhabited continents. And really making sure that students in a classroom in any level from elementary up through college in anywhere in the US and Puerto Rico or around the world, are able to identify with a French speaker who looks like them.

0:28:31.5 Norah Jones: Personal history. How did you get excited about French?

0:28:35.6 Megan Diercks: So, I come actually very honestly, my mom was a French minor in college and my dad was a German major. So I went off to college as a French and English major. My English major lasted a semester and I had taken some German, I had ruined my schedule, just fell in love with German and became a French and German double major. I took French in high school and I had two really incredible teachers and it was my… One of those teachers that really inspired me to become a French teacher so I could do for students what she had done for me.

0:29:03.8 Norah Jones: Do you have a story of a young person who had that kind of transformative experience during your time here as an educator in French?

0:29:13.3 Megan Diercks: I do actually. I have at least two former students who are French teachers. One of them is currently living in France and teaching at an alternative middle school and she reached out to the AATF because she’d like to set up a video exchange with someone. So she messaged us on Facebook and I said, “Jacqueline, it’s me, it’s Madam Diercks.” And she was really tickled. But she’s married to a Frenchman living outside of Paris near Versailles. And I’m just so proud that she’s a teacher. I have a former student who’s an elementary teacher. I have a former student who’s a principal. So it’s just really touching when students go into education and touch these lives.


0:29:49.6 Lori LaVar Pierce: My name is Lori LaVar Pierce, and I presented on using technology in the classroom, organizing your digital tools. Are they ducks in a row or squirrels at a rave.

0:30:01.7 Norah Jones: So may I presume from that that some people feel like technology or in fact squirrels at a rave. And what were some of the key messages that you shared during your presentation to help to put those ducks in a row?

0:30:14.7 Lori LaVar Pierce: So I had a co-presenter, Meredith White, presented with me and we basically focused on how to keep yourself organized using the digital tools to help you be better. Not so much here’s another digital tool for you to use and get overwhelmed, but how to organize it, how to keep yourself efficient. So Meredith talked a lot about Google and I talked a lot about Microsoft OneDrive and it was kind of fun to do the back and forth Google versus Microsoft, which one. But I talked about how to organize the drive, ’cause I teach three different languages at two different levels each. I have to be able to find things very quickly if I created a resource. I didn’t know how to find it next year. So I talked about how to organize all of that.

0:30:55.9 Lori LaVar Pierce: I also use an online platform called Quia extensively to quiz and how I use that, and how I keep it organized, and how I incentivize my students. And that’s what we talked about and Meredith talked about a lot of tools in Google Chrome that can make you more efficient to stay organized in what you have up there. So anyway, it was just a lot of fun about how to stay on top of things and as a teacher be more efficient in what you’re using technologically.

0:31:22.1 Norah Jones: What light bulbs did you see go off while you were talking?

0:31:28.9 Lori LaVar Pierce: Well, I have to admit, one of the fun ones was at the end of my Microsoft presentation, I found out that Microsoft Office is free for teachers. And so once I put that QR code up ready to go up, all the phones went up [laughter] because that’s been one of the big Microsoft costs money to work things offline, whereas Google is all free. But Microsoft has made that available free for teachers, which is a wonderful thing.


0:31:54.7 Norah Jones: Sort of summing up what you think is the most important thing that world language teachers in this case can do with technology. How would you pull that together?

0:32:07.0 Lori LaVar Pierce: Let me think. Because ours, it really focused on how to stay productive, the tools to use to make your time, to use technology efficiently. Not just use it for the sake of having technology, but how does this make me a better teacher? How does this help me give better feedback to my students? And so I think that’s the takeaway from that. Everybody was looking at that, “Oh yes, I can do this in a little bit of a different way and it makes it easier for me rather than harder.” For me with Quia, when I talked about Quia, it’s the automatic grading to take that pressure off of me so that what I’m actually giving is valuable feedback on presentational writing and presentational speaking, whereas just helping them drill practice, grammar and vocabulary is all automated and it teaches them that they have to continue to do that. But then what I’m giving them is the more valuable personal feedback and it frees up my time to do more of that.


0:33:04.9 Norah Jones: And continuing here from the SCOLT Conference in Amazing Mobile Alabama. Appreciate it, if you would introduce yourself and talk about what it is that you have presented on.

0:33:18.8 Liangyan Wang: Hi. Hello everyone. My name’s Liangyan Wang and I come from Northern Virginia and I teach at, Catholic school, St. Paul VI Catholic High School in Chantilly, Virginia. And then this is my first time come to SCOLT as a presenter and very, very excited. And then I’m here to promote Chinese language and culture, and also sharing my experience as, doing Roma instructor how to build a bridge, and debut collaborative project between high school students and college students. And also encourages students to be a lifelong learner for this language. So my presentation is mainly, based on design-based learning and teaching that promotes students to do collaborative project outside of my own high school classroom.

0:34:14.9 Norah Jones: Thank you. Now, it really intrigues me because the sequence between high school and college has always been problematic and or has often been problematic. Just provide a bit of a summary about how it is that in fact passed the classroom, which seems to be a challenge that that has been something that you have found to be successful in sharing.

0:34:39.2 Liangyan Wang: Definitely, I find a more benefit than challenges. Challenges of course lesson learned. I always do self-reflection every time I re-exam the reflect and see why it happen, how to prevent it from happening again. But I do see, my students benefit hugely from this collaborative project. And also, they benefit a lot from the student enrollment project because they can receive the college credit when they are taking the course in high school. So definitely I think this is something I’m continue doing and because it’s benefit them, I receive a lot of positive feedback from the parents and they appreciate so that give me encourage to continue. And also I receive tremendous support from my school administrator. They give me a lot of support for me to working on this innovative project that I initiated.

0:35:41.9 Norah Jones: The participants in your session, what are a couple of the reactions that you have had to this? What are they potentially surprised about or challenged about?

0:35:57.5 Liangyan Wang: The participant, you mean the student?

0:36:00.0 Norah Jones: In this case, I mean here in SCOLT when you are doing the session about this particular initiative of yours, those people that are in your session.

0:36:09.0 Liangyan Wang: Oh, my session is this afternoon, I haven’t had my session yet [chuckle] but from last conference I present at NECTFL that I did have feedback that I would like to share. So some participants ask a question because, the Dual Enrollment Chinese is not very common in United States, at least that what I see from Northeast area and also Southern here. And so the participant, they were wondering, questions like how to be qualified, become a Dual Enrollment Instructor in Chinese subject. And also when I pairing the students, group the students from high school to college student, what the criteria I’m looking at, how do I pair them and how do I bring them to the same classroom, let them meet or do I let them virtually meet and how I manage all of that communications. So those are some questions the participant asked them.

0:37:14.9 Norah Jones: Thank you. And one last question. What do you think the impact of this particular approach to instruction and curriculum will have on Chinese programs and what can it be for other languages?

0:37:29.8 Liangyan Wang: The impact, the biggest impact is definitely for students to become a lifelong learner for this language. Because most of the high schools that the students, they taking foreign language is because of the graduation credit requirement. If they’ve been taking away, some students may say, “Oh, I’m not that particular good at learning foreign language or I’m not that interesting in learning foreign language.” So they mean they just not taking that foreign language if it’s not because of credit requirement. However, by doing this project and then they see meaning why they continue learning this language when they go to college, not just fulfill the graduation requirement. And they see opportunities they can do and then they definitely see their future more clear.

0:38:27.1 Liangyan Wang: So I think that’s really big impact for them because we all know, for people who wants to move forward, they have to be goal orientated, that if there’s no goal, there’s no self-motivation and no self-motivation and then people were just wandering around which some point then when they reach to a certain age and say, “Why did I waste such long time in my life?” But if we can build that connection, start from the high school, and then they see a clear future, and then I think, it’s a good guide or we will say a lighthouse for the high school student, especially most of the teenagers.

[music] 0:39:14.0 Norah Jones: Thanks for listening. I appreciate it deeply. I’m looking forward also to sharing with you the pivotal episode 100. We’ll take a look at what we’ve learned, we’ll take a look at what we need to know and who’s engaged with the language enterprise to be able to address those challenges that face us, those opportunities that await us, artificial intelligence, mental health, the interactivity of the world, and our role in it through language, through words. Check out my website, join me again. And thank you again for listening. It’s been a great joy.

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