Modern Languages Event Eyes Future of Teaching

Igniting conversations about 21st-century pedagogies is at the heart of a day-long lecture event sponsored by the Department of Modern Languages.

The 5th Biannual Modern Language Cultural Constructions Symposium will be held Friday, March 1, in Room 200 of Trimble Hall. Lectures from various faculty and graduate students will begin at 9 a.m.

“The presentations represent a wide range of disciplines across campus and reflect innovations in pedagogy such as the implementation of visual pedagogy, service learning, digital mentoring and new ways to teach minority and gender texts,” said Dr. Sonja Watson, Assistant Professor of Spanish and Chair of Cultural Constructions Symposium.

Watson said students from a variety of Liberal Arts majors – English, criminology & criminal justice, modern languages and literacy studies – will benefit from hearing how UT Arlington faculty are addressing changing needs in the classroom.

“Students can benefit from these talks by learning about new strategies that their professors are implementing to enhance the learning environment in the classroom,” she said.

Given the interdisciplinary nature of the lectures, Watson thinks faculty can also learn how to adjust their own teaching techniques to reach “a diverse body of learners.”

“The presentations echo the ways faculty are already changing and enhancing their pedagogy to reach a variety of learners from various disciplines,” she said. “The implementation of web technology through hybrid and online classes, the use of digital pedagogy and the visual web represent ways that professors are presenting their subjects in new innovative ways.”

The symposium’s scheduled speakers include Watson, Dr. Cedric May (English), Dr. Joci Caldwell-Ryan (Sociology & Anthropology), Dr. Margaret Lowry, Dr. Lana Rings (Modern Languages), Dr. Jaya Davis (Criminology & Criminal Justice), Dr. Peggy Semingson and several graduate and undergraduate students from various departments.

Additionally, a screening of “Maestra,” a documentary on the 1961 Cuban Literary Campaign, will be screened at noon. The film’s distribution coordinator Jason Wallach will be on hand for a short Q-and-A session.

For more information about the symposium, as well as full schedule of events, log on to the event’s website.

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