2020 Workshops

2-day OPG working group meeting 

Where: Hosted virtually

When: September 26, 2020 and December 19, 2020

What: This workshop is a follow-up to the 2019 OPI and OPG workshops at UW-Madison.

Sept. 26th, 2020 OPG Meeting

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the September 2020 two-day OPG working meeting was split into two virtual sessions, one was held on September 26th and the second is scheduled for December 19th.  In preparation for the September  session, all five language groups participating in the OPG project (Indonesian, Filipino, Thai, Vietnamese, and Burmese) met with ACTFL trainer, Dr. Cynthia  Martin to discuss the implications of the different protocols used by the Inter-language Roundtable (ILR) and ACTFL for conducting the oral proficiency interviews (OPIs).  These sessions offered the groups guidance and support as the groups proceeded to collect interview data at the various proficiency levels.  On September 26th, 2020 with the facilitation of Erlin Barnard and Ellen Rafferty, each of the five language groups reported on the current status of their work, outlining the interviewing and rating processes accomplished and planned, as well as challenges encountered and overcome to date. All the groups engaged in meaningful reflection on their positive learning experiences throughout the project, despite the obstacles presented by the Covid-19 pandemic. Groups also discussed at length their takeaways from the Q+A sessions with Dr. Cynthia Martin. Concluding the meeting, groups outlined a final schedule for their project completion and delegated tasks.

Dec. 19th, 2020 OPG Meeting 

The OPG Project is nearing its completion as language groups wrap up their final draft descriptors for each of the ten levels of proficiency and prepare to meet virtually for the last time on December 19th, 2020. Prior to this final meeting, each language groups will convene a final meeting, inviting certified testers of that language who have not participated in the OPG project to seek  their feedback on the proposed OPG draft and to reach consensus for the final descriptors of each proficiency level.  At the December 19th meeting, each group will present the highlights of their OPG language specific features for the following levels: Superior, Advanced, Intermediate, and Novice. In addition, each group will reflect on 1) how this project has impacted their teaching methods and 2) what related professional development goals the group would like to prioritize next. Examples of future goals may include curriculum standardization, materials development projects, the development of placement assessment and procedures, a journal article relating to the OPG development, and more.

Following the December meeting, the final version of each language group’s oral proficiency guidelines (OPG) will be reviewed and posted to the SEALC website (anticipated date is in mid-January 2021). These guidelines will describe ten levels of proficiency for Indonesian, Filipino, Thai, and Vietnamese and three major levels for Burmese.



Two-Part Project-based Language Learning (PBLL) workshop

Where: Hosted virtually by University of California-LA

When: 23-24 October 2020 and April 2021 (Dates TBD)

What: This two-part workshop introduces the principles and practices of PBLL to participants and will support the development of instructional materials that can be incorporated into the curricula of Southeast Asian language classes.

The Southeast Asia Language Council (SEALC) and UCLA Center for Southeast Asian Studies (UCLA CSEAS) jointly sponsored a Heritage Language and Project-Based Learning workshop on October 23-24, 2020 with workshop trainer Professor Maria Carrera of the National Heritage Language Resource Center (NHLRC) at UCLA. Due to travel restrictions that resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic, the workshop was reconfigured into a two-part webinar series. For Part 1, an online workshop jointly sponsored by COTSEAL was held on October 23-24, 2020 with r 26 participants, representing 7 Southeast Asian languages from 13 universities and community colleges, with a majority from the Southeast Asia National Resource Centers. Fourteen of these instructors will participate in Part 2, which will be conducted as a virtual workshop in April 2021.

The main objective of Part 1 was to introduce the principles and practices of Project-Based Learning (PBL) to participants to strengthen the development of instructional materials that can be incorporated into the curricula of Southeast Asian language classes. Prior to the workshop, instructors were provided access to and were required to complete two online modules addressing issues pertinent to heritage language (HL) students and the tools of PBL. The online modules, developed by UCLA NHLRC, included thought exercises and prompt questions on 1) key concepts and pedagogical approaches in HL teaching and 2) understanding and meeting the language needs of HL learners.

The workshop then built procedural knowledge to train instructors on how to instantiate this PBL approach in the classroom for students at different levels of proficiency. Day 1 introduced PBL to participants and illustrated how it could complement HL teaching. Participants were divided into language-specific breakout rooms to brainstorm possible project themes and practice identifying driving questions. Day 2 trained participants on how to align the products that students develop with their proficiency level by using ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines and other standards to gauge the linguistic difficulty of projects. Each language working group met again in breakout rooms to discuss the stages of project-based instruction and select products for a sample project and then presented to the entire workshop. Participants on both days were able to work with many Southeast Asian language instructors from other universities and share ideas and recommendations for project-based teaching.

Part 2 of this workshop scheduled for April 2021 will enable the 14 participants to acquire the skills needed to create modules that will be included in a digital bank of materials that will be uploaded to the SEALC website. SEALC will provide support and peer review during the development of these modules. The expected completion date for this project is August 2021.