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GSL was well represented at the Foreign Language Education and Technology International Conference at Harvard University on August 11-15, 2015. Margarita Ribas Groeger, Sr. Lecturer in Spanish, and Dagmar Jaeger, Lecturer in German, gave a talk titled: “Promoting Student Communication, Collaboration and Motivation: Best Uses of Digital Tools in Language Teaching and Learning” and shared their experiences using new digital tools in their classes.
The biennial FLEAT conference focuses on language education at the university and K-12 levels. The theme for this year was: “Identities, Communities, and Technologies in Global Environments.“
Conference organizers explained that the conference takes place at a time when “[n]ew technologies are erasing the boundaries between practitioners of languages and cultures across the world, and are providing learners and teachers opportunities to build communities of interest and engagement within and outside the language classroom. Students are engaged as never before in using social networks to transcend geography. ”
They point out, “Access to authentic materials enables students to research and develop informed perspectives on the lives of others. Distance and hybrid approaches to instruction call into question the very notions of classroom and community, and challenge us to rethink the possibilities for building communities around language and culture instruction outside the comforting presence of physical ‘place.'”