Speaker Series at JCC

Active, student-centered, cooperative learning focused on intercultural relevance: this is global education at Jamestown Community College. We are pleased to invite individuals who share our drive for representing global and comparative perspectives to our Speaker Series.

Past Speakers

Dr. Craig Benjamin

Craig Benjamin and students

We were pleased to welcome Professor Craig Benjamin to present programs to our students and be our keynote speaker at the Spring 2015 Faculty Development Day in February 2015. Dr. Benjamin is one of the country's foremost authorities on Big History (a field within the larger discipline that uses the broadest lens possible to put the universe and humans within it into a unique perspective) and a history professor in the Frederik Meijer Honors College at Grand Valley State University. Dr. Benjamin explored with faculty the value and critical importance of global education for students. He also met with global studies, Spanish, history, science, and human services students.

Pablo Muirhead

In November 2014, we hosted 35 local high school and college foreign language teachers at a symposium entitled “Building Bridges: Integrating Culture and Language.” Our presenter was Pablo Muirhead, Spanish teacher and coordinator of Teacher Education at the Milwaukee Area Technical College. Raised bilingually, Pablo was fortunate to spend his upbringing between the U.S. and Peru. He went on to live in Indonesia and Germany, where he gained proficiency in both the language and culture of his hosts. He began his career as a middle/high school Spanish teacher, and since 2006 has been teaching Spanish at MATC. His research focuses on the integration of language and culture in the world language classroom. Pablo engaged our teachers in activities designed to help them make culture an integral part of language learning.

Dr. Donna Clementi

Once again, in February 2015, 45 local middle and high school and college language teachers gathered for a conference on “Developing Language Performance through the Three Modes of Communication.” Our presenter, Donna Clementi, Ph.D., is currently a foreign language methods instructor at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, and a national consultant specializing in best practices in world language curriculum, instruction, and assessment. She taught French and was the World Languages Program leader in the Appleton Area School District for 33 years. Donna has also spent 38 summers working at Concordia Language Villages, most recently as director of education and research. She is a past-president of the Wisconsin Association for Language Teachers, past-chair of the Central States Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, and past board member of ACTFL.  This workshop focused on understanding the characteristics of the three modes of communication and provided participants with experiences in creating performance assessments for each of the three modes of communication.

Kara Parker

In August, we welcomed Kara Parker for a two-day workshop entitled "Teaching for Communication - Effective Strategies." Ms. Parker has a B.A. in linguistics and Spanish from Indiana University, Bloomington, and an M.A.T. in world languages from the University of Louisville, Kentucky. She taught in the Jefferson County School system in Louisville and now lives in Denver, Colorado. She and her colleague Megan Smith have recently been giving pre-convention workshops for ACTFL and they offer very practical support to language teachers through their website "Creative Language Class." During our workshop, about 20 participants worked on building their repertoire for developing students' communication strategies in interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational communication and linked those strategies to our prior work with Pablo Muirhead and Donna Clementi.

Dr. Lynne Overesch-Maister

Dr. Overesch-Maister is a recently retired professor of foreign languages at Johnson County Community College in Kansas, where she taught all levels of Spanish and served as liaison for Spanish and Latin teachers within "College Now," Johnson County CC's reciprocal enrollment program for advanced high school foreign language students. In her hands-on two-day workshop here in October, participants learned more about OPI; OPI stands for Oral Proficiency Interview, a way of assessing a student's progress in communication established by ACTFL. The workshop focused particularly on proficiency concepts, the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines, and the interview as an assessment tool. Participants learned the rating scale and criteria of the OPI, experienced how it is structured, and viewed and practiced rating pre-recorded interviews.

As JCC language classes move toward a proficiency-based approach, this workshop helped prepare our teachers to employ and assess their students' language proficiency.

Printer-friendly version