History & Mission
The Coalition for Language Teaching & Learning consists of a group of language teaching faculty working in collaboration with the Center for Teaching and Learning to support, celebrate, and strengthen language teaching at WashU. The Coalition arises from the work done under the banner of the Language Teaching Fair since 2019.
In Spring of 2019, Mimi Kim (EALC, Korean Language) and Iva Youkilis (RLL, Italian Language) brought to Meg Gregory (formally of the CTL, currently in the College Writing Program) their ideas for putting together an event for and by language faculty from across WashU language departments. As there are faculty teaching language in more than 10 different departments and programs across WashU, they saw this as an important opportunity to gather everyone at the same table, to share the wealth of language pedagogy knowledge across departments and across campus.
The Annual Language Teaching Fair
Since the inaugural event in Fall 2019, The Language Teaching Fair has provided an occasion for language faculty to meet before each fall semester to discuss concerns and successful strategies for teaching in the languages at WashU. This one-day event took place in person in Fall 2019 and, due to the shift to online instruction, was offered via a digital environment in Zoom in Fall 2020 Fall 2021, and Fall 2022. The in-person event was sponsored by The Center for Teaching and Learning, and the Departments of Classics, East Asian Language & Cultures, Germanic Languages and Literatures, Jewish, Islamic, and Middle Eastern Studies, and Romance Languages and Literatures.
The Language Teaching Fair centers on cross-departmental, informal collegial conversation and brings together both new and returning, novice and expert language instructors. Faculty, as well as some graduate students and postdocs, have presented their ideas and participated in special interest group discussions on topics ranging from Language Teaching for Special Purposes and Assessment Strategies to Supporting Heritage Language Speakers and Using Educational Technology in the Language Classroom.
At each event, the CTL has also offered a special pedagogy workshop geared towards language teaching. Workshops have centered on topics like supporting group learning in the language classroom, planning for the first day of language class via Zoom, and upon the return to the physical classroom in the Fall of 2021, addressing anxieties related to language teaching in the “new normal.”
A call for discussant proposals for the Annual Language Teaching Fair goes out each spring/summer. Feel free to reach out to Eric Fournier (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you’d like to get involved.
Language Teaching Spring Showcase
In addition to the Language Teaching Fair, the Coalition for Language Teaching & Learning also offers the Spring Showcase, an event focused on continuing the discussion in some way from the fall program. In Spring of 2020, just before the start of the pandemic, the Spring event was a coffee hour called “Extending Class Time with Canvas” and it featured 3 faculty members who discussed the ways that they’d been using educational technologies and Canvas in their classes. These conversations proved to be extremely timely.
The Spring 2022 Showcase will be a “Language Pedagogy Show & Tell” Round Robin Event, where instructors will be able to briefly share one of their favorite language teaching activities. More information will be available about this event soon.
The Coalition for Language Teaching & Learning in the News
Moore, J. (Sept. 1, 2021). “Language Teaching Fair Brings Together a World of Language Instruction.” The Ampersand.
Wasserman, E. (Sept. 3, 2021). “Third Annual WashU Language Teaching Fair Inspires, Builds Community During Covid-19.” CTL Blog.
Wasserman, E. (March 4, 2020). “Language Teaching Fair Spring Coffee Hour: Extending Class Time with Canvas.” CTL Blog.