Dr. Marda Rose has been an active member of the American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL) since 2006 and moderated their webinar Race, Racial Justice and Indigenous Language Revitalization in Applied Linguistics on July 10. In June, she was invited to speak to the Moldovan English Teachers Association about online learning.
Dr. Rose says the July 10 webinar “was a very informative and necessary discussion about what we can do as a field and also in language classes to be more inclusive, decolonizing and anti-racist.” Although they had 120 online attendees, AAAL has made the session available to all here, and the related articles are accessible here, given that this is a “timely and important topic.”
She describes the AAAL as “the largest professional organization in the United States for researchers and scholars working in the field of applied linguistics. I relish every opportunity I have to attend the annual conference because of my work in the field of second language acquisition and my interest in how the findings of second language acquisition research can inform my teaching practices.”
With the cancellation of the annual conference this past March, Dr. Rose and fellow members of AAAL’s Committee for Online Education and Outreach have redoubled their efforts to engage and encourage the organization’s membership via webinars such as the July 10 event. In working to publicize that webinar, she notes she used the “the Adobe Illustrator skills I perfected this year when I took my students to the creative sciences center to make papel picado and the wooden plaques for the International Mother Language Day scavenger hunt.”
Her use of theater technique, particularly improv, to spur communication amongst her students was the basis of her June 30 talk “Interaction in an Online Setting” for the Moldovan teachers. “I spoke about how we can use these techniques on Zoom (or other online platforms). It’s something I continue to research and think about this summer as I work to make my classes better for this fall,” she says. In fact, some of the professional development Dr. Rose has done this summer includes taking online advanced improv classes with retired theater arts teacher Courtney Flanagan. She finds this “has been the best way to do this research since she is so talented.”
Looking at how distance learning has impacted her work with her Bishop’s students, Dr. Rose reflects, “Teaching online has had a huge impact on what I do. Before COVID, I had fully taken advantage of being with the students in the classroom, and I had not developed a lot of online materials in an effort to reduce my students’ screen time. The experience of online teaching was quite the opposite. I spent a lot more time on my computer developing activities and grading student work. For my intermediate level students, I wanted to make sure they were still getting the individualized attention they needed to be able to improve their language skills. I did this by putting more emphasis on homework assignments that they could correct, thereby making it an opportunity for learning. For my upper level students in the film class, there were a few drawbacks, but overall, the class was just as awesome online. Students were able to view films outside of class, and class time was used to analyze the films and further our discussion of the themes we studied throughout the year.”
The Bishop’s School is an independent, coeducational college-preparatory day school for students in grades six through twelve who live throughout San Diego County. Founded in 1909, the School is affiliated with the Episcopal church.