Episode 42 first aired in March and got a lot of positive feedback. Daniel Woolsey’s way of discussing the content of language teaching is extremely compelling, and a few listeners have reached out to ask if we have any guides for using the episode as part of departmental professional development. So, our Resources Developer, Carolyn Siegel, put together an Edpuzzle and some guidance for using this resource as part of a department meeting or other professional development opportunity. We would love to hear from you about how you might use this tool for yourself or with your colleagues. Please leave us a note in the comments and tell us about your plans!
And here’s link to the Edpuzzle online: https://edpuzzle.com/media/5bbbf9dd422f2a40c68e23d0
Using this guide
We hope that you can use this Edpuzzle to serve your Department´s professional development activities! The size of your department and the length and frequency of your department meetings likely will dictate how you use this Edpuzzle. We recommend that you either:
-listen to the podcast together and use the questions to guide a multi-part discussion
-ask that your department members listen and complete the tool ahead of time and then use their answers to generate an in-person conversation.
In either case, here are some things to keep in mind while guiding a group discussion on these questions.
Q1: What about Daniel Woolsey’s experience resonates with your own journey to become a language educator?
Keep in mind: Ideally your student population will be reflected in your faculty population (L2, HS, NS). I encourage you to ask follow-up questions to help faculty make these connections to build greater empathy for their peers’ and their students´ life experiences as they relate to language-learning. Do certain answers reveal strengths in the diversity of your faculty? Can you use this share-out to promote collaboration between educators with dissimilar backgrounds?
Q2: In what ways does the tension between cultural content and “what [you] should be teaching them” manifest itself in your work?
Keep in mind: As these answers are not anonymous, how can you use Woolsey´s perspective to allow your faculty a safe space to express these concerns? Can you name this tension as one that you as the leader feel? Can you suggest that this conversation is about identifying what you and your faculty can do to ease this tension?
Q3: What are your students’ motivations for learning a language? Does the content you teach align with these motivations?
Keep in mind: How often does your faculty population survey students about their motivations? In what ways can you modify content (however minor these shifts may be) to augment student engagement?
Q4: What does “persistence” in a language classroom look like to you? How do you guide your students to develop this quality (on a daily/weekly/semester-long basis)?
Keep in mind: In Daniel’s context, persistence refers to getting college students to become majors and continue in the program. However, the term persistence encompasses a range of desirable traits and outcomes we might have for our students at all levels. Does your institution have learning goals related to the characteristic of “persistence” in every sense of the word? How can the way it is articulated by your institution help inform the work your faculty is doing?
Q5: Does Daniel Woolsey’s definition of rigor challenge or confirm your own? In what ways?
Keep in mind: The kind of persistence we may want to develop in students may exist in tension with our conception of rigor. How do we balance the rigor of our programs with the desire to see all students succeed in language learning?