NMELRC Webinars

Dr. Kristen Brustad - Building Reading Fluency
Dr. Kristen  Brustad gave this presentation on January 28, 2005. She talks about defining and setting goals for reading comprehension,   interactive reading skills, the role of grammar in reading, and the use of  authentic texts. She presents examples of reading texts and activities in both English and Arabic.

Student Anxiety and Motivation during Intensive Language Study Abroad - Dr. Madeline Erhman June 22nd, 2011
Dr. Madeline Erhman is a clinical psychologist and author who recently retired after 35 years at the Foreign Service Institute’s School of Language Studies where she was Director of Research Evaluation & Development. She continues to do ground-breaking work with FSI, which she discusses in this webinar that focuses on sources and symptoms of student anxiety during study abroad and tools for program directors, teachers and mentors to assist them in becoming effective self-regulating learners.
Every student should have at least one experience abroad that is a rewarding culmination of their language learning efforts to date. Unfortunately, and often in spite of the best of intentions, anxiety all too often undercuts students’ in-country language and culture learning--and not just their first time abroad! Good coaching could result in far more students, beginning, intermediate, and even those knocking on the door of Superior-level proficiency, enjoying much more productive experiences abroad.
This webinar builds on face-to-face meetings and site visits to language programs from Istanbul to Casa Blanca and is part of NMELRC’s on-going “Project Perseverance,” which you can learn more about at www.nmelrc.org and where you’ll find useful resources for students and teachers. The format of the webinar will be a live webcast with participants emailing in questions and comments before, during and up to 24 hours after the broadcast. 
Reading Material - Click Here

Learner-centered Environment Through Social Negotiation and Collaboration Webinar - Dr. Nicole Mills April 20, 2012
The topic was: Encouraging student collaboration, negotiation, and engagement in meaningful and relevant environments. This 60-minute webinar was led by Dr. Nicole Mills, coordinator of the Beginning French language Program at Harvard University and previous coordinator of beginning and intermediate French at the University of Pennsylvania. At both institutions, she developed curriculum grounded in second language acquisition and theory for the beginning and intermediate levels of language instruction. She assisted in last year’s STARTALK Persian program as the curriculum design specialist and has extensive publications in various academic journals and edited volumes on various topics associated with curriculum design and foreign language education, motivation, and engagement. She holds a Ph.D. in Educational Studies and French from Emory University.
The webinar focused on how to create a learner-centered environment by providing opportunities for social negotiation and collaboration through active and authentic language use in meaningful and realistic environments. She presented a brief overview of research and theory associated with the value of experiential and constructivist learning and student engagement in the foreign language classroom. She then discussed a global simulation curriculum grounded in Paris, France in which students create a fictive yet culturally grounded world, assume the role of a self-developed French character, and collaborate with fellow community members (Magnin, 1997). Adapted from this curriculum, she proposed an adapted curriculum in the Persian language context. With the help of the participants, she proposed ideas for a global simulation curriculum in Beginning or Intermediate level Persian grounded within the Shiraz, Iran context. Ideas included possible course themes, interactive writing tasks, oral exams, in-class activities, and a final play assignment, which encourage student negotiation, collaboration, and active participation.
This webinar was held at George Washington University and moderated by Professor Pardis Minuchehr.
To download the PowerPoint Dr. Mills used click here.

Staying in the Target Language: NO ENGLISH PLEASE Webinar - Dr. Roberta McAllef April 27th, 2012
The webinar was hosted by Dr. Roberta Micallef at Boston University and led by Ms. Sue Griffin, who trains graduate students teaching foreign languages in thedepartment of Romance Studies, at Boston University.
Webinar Materials:
Self-Efficacy in Foreign Learning Education Webinar - Dr. Nicole Mills April 19, 2013
This webinar provides an overview of the construct of self-efficacy or an individual’s beliefs in his/her ability to perform a designated task or complete an activity, which is a strong predictor of future performance. Bandura (1997) and a good deal of subsequent research suggest that self-efficacy beliefs can influence one’s decisions, expended effort and perseverance, resilience to adversity, thought processes, affective states, and accomplishments. Evaluation of self-efficacy beliefs allow instructors to better: understand their students' self-beliefs about language learning; evaluate language program effectiveness; understand the complexity of instructors' beliefs associated with language learning. This presentation provides an overview of the construct of self-efficacy in foreign language education research, including the sources of self-efficacy, simple strategies to guide self-efficacy research, and approaches to fostering student and instructor self-efficacy beliefs. Specific research-based examples will be provided with proposed adaptations based on the context, challenges, and questions associated with the teaching of less-commonly-taught languages.
Dr. Nicole Mills is coordinator of the Beginning French Language Program at Harvard University and previous coordinator of beginning and intermediate French at the University of Pennsylvania. At both institutions, she developed curriculum grounded in second language acquisition research and theory. She was the curriculum design specialist  for last year’s STARTALK Persian Curriculum Design Workshop at George Washington University. She has extensive publications in various academic journals and edited volumes on various topics associated with curriculum design and foreign language education, motivation, and engagement. She holds a Ph.D. in Educational Studies and French from Emory University.