March 31, 2013

Summer Workshops at CLEAR


CLEAR is offering several summer workshops in 2013:

Writing in the Foreign Language Classroom
July 22-24
This workshop will look at writing from two perspectives: writing to learn and learning to write. First, we will examine activities that facilitate the learning of grammar and vocabulary as well as activities that enhance speaking, listening, and reading. Second, we will examine activities that help students learn to write various genres, from simple to complex, in the target language. Participants will evaluate activities that can be modified for a wide range of levels.

Revisiting the Learning and Teaching of Vocabulary
July 25-27
In this workshop we will explore how the different aspects of an advanced lexicon need to be addressed during the course of language studies from beginning to advanced stages. Based on the analysis of what textbooks are currently offering, workshop participants will learn how to develop supplemental vocabulary materials for all four skills. Additionally, we will make a distinction between vocabulary activities best used in class and outside the classroom. For vocabulary activities that can be completed outside the classroom, we will look at effective (and less-effective) computer-based materials available online and have a hands-on session on free, easy-to-use shareware.

RIAs for Language Learning: Introductory Techniques
July 29-31
This workshop is for language teachers who want to learn how to use CLEAR's free tools for creating interactive web-based multimedia language materials. The only computer skills that these tools require are point and click, copy and paste, and drag and drop. You get to concentrate on teaching, and don't have to worry about programming, uploading, downloading, or installing. The tools can be used with any language, any textbook, and any level. Learn how to make web pages where your students can record audio files that are automatically uploaded to your virtual dropbox. Make a "mashup" that combines your text, pictures, video, and interactive language exercises into one web page. Create virtual conversations for your students where they listen to questions, and the program captures their responses automatically. All of these functions are available to you from within a web browser, with no special hardware or software needed.

Assessing Speaking: For Placement Testing, Classroom-based Assessment, and Midterm and End-of-term Proficiency Exams
August 1-3
Advances in technology and developments in the field of oral skills assessment come together in this workshop, which is designed for teachers of all languages. The workshop has three goals. One is for teachers to learn CLEAR technology (Audio Dropbox, Conversations, and Mash-ups) for various types of online, oral skills assessment. Second, teachers will learn how to assess sociocultural skills during peer-to-peer, group interaction during classroom-based tasks. Third, teachers will learn basic statistical concepts (no math prerequisite!) and learn step-by-step how to run the statistics on real test data using Excel. The basic statistics can be used for placing students into classes and/or for evaluating the effectiveness and appropriateness of the given tests. Special emphasis will be placed on aligning oral skills assessments with state and national standards. At the end of the workshop, teachers will be able to conduct online oral assessments and face-to-face group oral assessments (in addition to the more-commonly used OPI-like tests) so that their programs assess multiple components of oral communication skills. This workshop will be particularly helpful for any teachers involved in the creation or maintenance of placement tests for their schools or districts.

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