Welcome/Bienvenidos/Bem-vindos to our readers!

Welcome to our new CSLS blog! My name is Megan, and I am one of the Graduate Student Affiliates here at the Center for Second Language Studies. I can hardly believe this is my fourth year working in the Center. A little about me: I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Spanish and Portuguese Department working on a dissertation on the representation of Haiti and Haitians in Dominican and Dominican American literature. Although in the past I have taught Spanish courses here at Vanderbilt, this fall I am teaching Portuguese (PORT 102). Regardless of the language, I love teaching. I stress the communicative aspect of my language classrooms and my students are constantly moving around the room and speaking with different classmates. If you want to sit in the same chair every class and not get out of it until class ends, my class is probably going to be a wake-up-call for you (quite literally)! An important part of my language classroom is engaging the students with authentic material – you can expect to walk into my classroom and hear a video clip playing, a music video blaring, or a Skype conversation with a native speaker/classroom taking place. The incorporation of technology into the language classroom is also important to me. I am very interested in Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL). I have worked on projects using programs such as WeVideo, Google Earth, and Skype (a form of Oral Computer Mediated Communication or OCMC). This past summer I taught Spanish 101 and used Pinterest in the classroom for the first time to make virtual dictionaries and create a space for students to interact digitally with one another to practice different grammar concepts learned in class. My hope is that students walk away from my class with not only improved speaking, listening, and writing skills, but also an understanding of the culture(s) related to the language and a more in-depth sense of inter-cultural competence. Once again, bloggers, Welcome! Bienvenidos! Bem-vindos! Thanks for reading!


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