New CFT Teaching Guide – Leveraging Study Abroad: Collecting and Teaching with Authentic Resources
By Stacey M. Johnson and Vivian Finch, CFT Assistant Directors
In language classrooms, instructors often bring in authentic language and culture resources for students to examine. These resources help students to gain a perspective on how people use language in culturally situated ways. For many students, contact with authentic resources is one of the most important sources of learning.
In this teaching guide, we reflect on how that common practice of providing authentic resources for students could 1) be made more student-centered and aligned with constructivist pedagogy, and 2) be expanded to include other kinds of classroom settings, not just languages. We refined our idea with a group of Vanderbilt faculty who came to the CFT for a workshop on the subject and to explore what authentic resource collection would look like in different contexts.
During our work on authentic resources, we also teamed up with a Senior Lecturer in the Department of French and Italian, Jessica Greenfield, who is now the Scholar in Residence at Vanderbilt’s Center for Second Language Studies. In the next year, the three of us hope to publish a book chapter on this topic and its relationship to the concept of social pedagogies and to study abroad.
For us, writing this teaching guide has been a wonderful opportunity to connect with the supportive, flourishing community of language instructors we have on campus. We hope you find the guide useful as you plan your courses!