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Webcasts bring together language educators, K-12 teachers

September 19, 2006

In a unique partnership, the University of Wisconsin–Madison Language Institute and the Wisconsin Association for Language Teachers (WAFLT) will sponsor several live webcasts of the Language Institute’s 2006-07 lecture series, “National Standards and Instructional Strategies for Language Teaching.”

K-12 language teachers throughout the state of Wisconsin who are members of WAFLT will be able to log in and view a live video stream of the lectures and responses, then submit questions or comments to the speakers by e-mail. Members of WAFLT, the state foreign language teacher organization, will also be able to view archives of the webcasts online after each lecture.

According to Sally Sieloff Magnan, Language Institute director, this collaboration between state teachers at different levels of instruction is an important effort in aligning state language curriculum with the national standards and in promoting articulation between high schools and UW institutions.

Adds associate director Dianna Murphy, “We recognize that it is difficult, if not impossible, for most K-12 teachers to come to Madison for a lecture on campus. We are excited about this opportunity to use the Internet to bring together Wisconsin teachers and university faculty to participate in events of mutual interest and to discuss issues of mutual concern.”

The talks in the lecture series, by nationally prominent scholars and leaders in foreign education and research, will address topics related to the “Five Cs” of the National Standards for Foreign Language Education: communication, cultures, connections, comparisons and communities. Responses to the lectures will come from UW–Madison faculty, including Gilles Bousquet, dean of the Division of International Studies; Robert Howell, director of International Academic Programs; and Ellen Rafferty, chair of the Department of Languages and Cultures of Asia. Other leaders in the field also will participate, including Paul Sandrock, president of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages and consultant for world languages education at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

UW–Madison is an international leader in foreign language education and research, offering instruction in more than 60 languages. The Language Institute supports collaboration in research, education and community outreach in world languages, literatures and cultures. The institute is an initiative of the College of Letters and Science, with substantial support from the Division of International Studies.