As a language educator at Vanderbilt University, my classroom community is founded on three principles: intercultural competence, communicative language performance, and meaning-focused, content driven instruction with an emphasis on student-centered activities.
My classroom will be a safe space where students come to dissect the world through language. By using intercultural communicative competence and critical pedagogy to explore marginalized topics productively, I can employ transformative learning where “a more nuanced and complex understanding of one’s own situatedness within cultural frameworks, and the analogous situation of others” will encourage a positive shift in a student’s view of their own place in the world over time (Sosulski, 3). Empathy, knowledge and topics such as colonialism, for example, can be successfully married with classroom language goals, even at the most elementary levels.
Furthermore, I prize cultivating a community of learners who feel comfortable when they share new words, forms and structures in a new language, that new is synonymous with excitement rather than intimidation. I hope to effectively incorporate humour and empathy into my pedagogical strategy, two words I came to admire from my reading of the teaching manifesto ‘A Radical Hope’, because I too was once a bundle of nerves who dreaded the moment upon which I was called. I will take from my personal experience as a second language learner and combine it with effective theory and practice in second language acquisition to ensure that my students enjoy learning and become better at it by incorporating properly scaffolded authentic texts (those made by native speakers for native speakers) and task-based activities which focus on using language, not just accumulating knowledge of it.
Current and Past Courses (Vanderbilt University)
French 1101: Introduction to French in the World (first semester)
French 1102: Introduction to French in the World (second semester)