Monday, October 20, 2014

Dr. Jane Woodruff and Dr. Susan Myers Present at the FLAM 2014 Conference

On the second day of the 2014 KWLA-FLAM conference (held jointly by the Kansas World Language Asosciation and the Foreign Language Association of Missouri), Saturday, October 18, Dr. Jane Woodruff and Dr. Susan Myers presented "'Hang together' or Hang (separately)--Communication, Collaboration, and Innovation in small Language programs." "The presentation was well received," noted Dr. Woodruff and the presenters were pleased by the interest demonstrated by the lively question and answer dynamic that occurred throughout the presentation. Below is the abstract of the presentation:

Unlike the KU’s and MU’s of the world, small-college Languages departments, like those in most high schools, comprise a variety of languages, literatures, cultures, traditions, and teaching styles.   “Borders,” and the turf wars they often inspire, are particularly dangerous to such programs (we must “hang together” or we will surely hang separately!).  Thus, it is essential for the faculty in small, diverse departments to communicate, collaborate, and innovate in ways unknown to, and unneeded by, our peers at large research universities (who of course face their own, different, issues).  At William Jewell College, a small liberal-arts residential college founded in 1849 (one of Missouri’s oldest institutions of higher learning), we have devised a “Top Five” of CCI, including communicating to form a “languages community” within Jewell, collaborating with external organizations such as ALLEX and IES to provide additional language opportunities for our students, and innovating (e.g., assigning digital storytelling projects in language capstone courses) to showcase our students at formal ‘research presentation’ events (such as Jewell’s annual Duke Undergraduate Colloquium).  We are eager to share our experiences and (partial) CCI successes with colleagues in FLAM/KSWLA.