Monthly Archives: March 2011

Professor Uwe Muegge publishes article in tcworld

Uwe Muegge, Chair of the Translation and Localization Management Program, had an article published in tcworld, one of the most widely-read e-magazines for international information management. tcworld focuses on how companies face the challenges of communicating with customers, partners and associates in an increasing number of international markets.

In his article titled “TermWiki: Terminology Management Just Got Easier“, professor Muegge discusses the drawbacks of traditional terminology management in Excel spreadsheets and then goes on to introduce his readers to the benefits of the cloud-based terminology management solution TermWiki.

The latest release of this completely free solution allows users to manage personal glossaries, offers a terminology workbench for entering up to ten terms at a time, and comes with its own browser toolbar that provides even faster access to TermWiki’s most popular features. Professor Muegge continues to contribute to the development of TermWiki, which is not only one of the most innovative but also one of the fastest-growing terminology resources on the web, quickly approaching 1 million fully defined and categorized terms.

Spring Speaker Series starts off strong!

Barbara Sawhill gave an engaging two-hour interactive talk last Friday to TESOL/TFL students on the importance of renouncing a “multi-paged, intricately detailed, iron-clad syllabus” and replacing it with a student-centered, participatory class outline with collaborated class goals between the students and teacher. Barbara teaches Spanish at Oberlin College and is the Director of the Cooper International Language Center.

photo from: cogdogblog

Barbara renounces the old Factory Model of Education, which in her opinion lacks a context for students’ learning. This “Fordist” classoom is out of touch with the world around it and sees students as empty vessels who simply absorb and memorize, rather than experience and create.

As an educator, Barbara sees her job as “making this experience [in the classroom] as meaningful for you [the student] as possible”. She insists that as educators, we need to listen and model for students what we expect of them. As learners, we don’t need to simply find all of the answers, but learn how to create “really well-rounded, thoughtful questions”.

Four questions that Barbara asks her students at the beginning of each term are:

How do you learn?

Why are you here?

What do you want to learn?

How can we help you get there?

You can check out her work and ideas at  http://languages.oberlin.edu/lab-info/center-staff/ and http://languagelabunleashed.org/ and typical posts like http://languagelabunleashed.org/2010/03/15/the-backwards-syllabus/ Barbara introduces herself at http://vimeo.com/19050537 .You can read about her Spanish class at http://languages.oberlin.edu/courses/2010/spring/hisp205/ and http://languagelabunleashed.org/tag/hisp205/

Marciel Santos will be the next speaker this Spring, He will be talking on April 14 from 3-5 pm. Stay aware of fliers around campus for more information!

Professor Dai is honored for her innovative CFL Pedagogy

Professor Dai was invited to conduct another 4 CFL Pedagogy (Chinese as a Foreign Language Pedagogy) workshops on Chinese Grammar Pedagogy and Curriculum Design of Content-based Instruction by National Hsinchu University of Education after completing 3 CFL Pedagogy Workshops for them last year. The workshops ran from December up until April, and the last one is scheduled for April 25th.

The above is a collaboration of Professor Dai’s workshop title pages from the National Hsinchu University of Education. The top left image is from workshop 1 in early December titled “Learning environments and Chinese programs in the U.S.”, the top right image is from workshop 2 in late December titled “Life, Cognition and CFL Pedagogy (Teaching Chinese)”, the bottom left image is from workshop 3 in January titled “Blogging Language Education in the Virtual Environment”, and the bottom right image is from workshops 4 and 5 in March titled “Chinese Grammar Pedagogy: An Introduction and Practicum”.

She was also invited to join a team of teacher training STARTALK program and will teach for a 2-week intensive STARTALK Program for non-native teachers of Chinese this summer at ACC/ Hamilton College.

In addition to the workshop invitation (National Hsinchu University and Education) and StarTalk Teacher-Training Program (Hamilton College), Professor Dai was invited to give a 2-hour talk on CFL Pedagogy on April 19th at the National Pingtong University of Education.

Participants in Professor Dai’s workshop are able to view her PPTs via GoogleDoc sharing.

Hsinchu Teaching Chinese 2011

https://sites.google.com/site/hsinchuteachingchinese2011/

First Annual Alliance Française Poetry Contest

The first annual Alliance Française Poetry Contest, co-sponsored with MIIS was held on Saturday, February 26 in the Irvine Auditorium and was a big success.  One hundred and five students from eight schools (one middle school, 7 high schools and the Monterey Peninsula College) participated.   Original poems penned by the students  and recitations of famous poems were judged by three  experts: published poets Maurice O’Meara and Christiane d’Olive, and MIIS Professor Edgard Coly .  A total of  25  trophies  and a dozen books were awarded as prizes for the original poems and the recitations in three categories (middle school, high school, university) and three levels (beginner, intermediate, advanced). The winners were applauded by an enthusiastic audience, consisting of their students, their teachers, friends and parents.

It was touching to see so many youngsters  – who had obviously worked hard to prepare themselves for this competition – so eagerly devoting a whole Saturday afternoon to  poetry in a language other than their native one. Comments from their teachers indicated  that the contest had been a real motivating factor in their classes. We hope that the number of schools participating will increase in the coming years, and look forward to many more exciting concours annuels de poésie française.

The Alliance Française is a renowned worldwide non-profit corporation devoted to promoting the use and knowledge of the French language and the appreciation of French culture.

Zenning My Presentation

Do you know how to Zen your presentation? It’s a concept that my colleague and friend, Bob Cole, director of our Teaching & Learning Collaborative, turned me on to. How often have you sat through a presentation with a tiny font size and so much text that you couldn’t possibly absorb the information, let alone concentrate on the speaker? With Zenning, less is more. Find images that are thought-provoking and relevant to the topic. Flickr’s Creative Commons is a great resource. And rather than creating bulleted lists of facts and figures, select a few words or phrases that express your key concepts. Think Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth. The presentation should be an aide, not a distraction. Once you free yourself from the prison of bullet lists, your audience is free to focus on your message. For more details, check out Garr Reynold’s Web site. He literally wrote the book on Zenning your presentation: Presentation Zen. As I start to design the presentation for my TESOL workshop, I think back to the first time I converted a PowerPoint show using these ideas. Afterword, participants raved to me! For a sample of what I did, check out my slideshare “The Top 10 Things Every New Language Program Administrator Should Know.” So, if you are gearing up for a presentation of your own this year, consider adding some Zen. Your audience will thank you for it!