Amber Hoye and Kelly Arispe are in Salamanca, Spain, to teach a two-week professional development course to Spanish language teachers (K-12 and higher ed) from all over the United States. Their course centers on the integration of contemporary foreign language teaching methodologies, instructional technologies and the strategic incorporation of authentic artifacts to augment language learning. Their course is titled “Refresh, Renew, Restart: Aligning Task Based and Project Based Pedagogies with Teacher-Approved Technologies” and encourages teachers to explore and archive different media from the city of Salamanca to incorporate in a language lesson mediated through instructional and Web 2.0 technologies like Canva, Padlet, Nearpod and Adobe Spark.
Since 2012, when the Spanish program received a mobile grant, Hoye and Arispe have teamed up to conduct both research and professional development to equip language instructors to make language learning more meaningful, personal and intentional.
“One of my favorite aspects about this course is that the teachers get to make their own experience abroad meaningful and purposeful for their classroom back home. They don’t just order a café in a bar because it’s delicious,” Arispe said. “They’re also thinking more critically about that speech event – the pragmatics that goes into that speech event and all the linguistic and extra-linguistic features that make that experience ‘authentic.’ They can’t transport their students to Salamanca in that moment, but we teach them how to use technology to archive those experiences and then integrate them into evidence-based instructional practices that make language learning engaging and effective. The technologies we use for this course are powerful and convincing – they see the value in using them. It’s really the best way to do professional development.”