Month: September 2017

Join us for our Voices from the Field Speaker Series event October 5 from 3:30-4:30

Join us for our first Voices from the Field Speaker Series event of the Fall 2017 semester!

Our guest speaker, Marietta Bradinova will give a talk on Engaged Learning: Are we all on the same page?

A brief abstract is below:

The presentation will offer college teachers a dynamic model for engaging students and will provide them with tips and strategies that have been proven to help teachers from a wide variety of disciplines motivate and connect with their students. Selected strategies will be modeled, in a ready-to-use format, through purpose, presentation, procedures, examples, online implementation, variations and extensions, and key resources. Faculty looking for ideas to heighten their student engagement in their courses will find useful techniques that can be adopted, adapted, extended, or modified.

Join us on October 5th, 2017 from 3:30-4:30 on campus at VIU (4401 Village Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030) in VD-205.

 

Voices from the Field events are FREE and open to the public!

 

Questions?  Contact Kevin Martin (Associate Dean, School of Education) at kevin@viu.edu, follow us on social media @SEDatVIU and @TESOLVIU, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SEDatVIU, and visit the School of Education’s website at http://www.viu.edu/sed!

The Shifting Nature of Literacy

by Victoria Fedorets 

In 1907, the following text appeared in Edwin C Woolley’s (1907) Handbook of Composition: A Compendium of Rules Regarding Good English, Grammar, Sentence Structure, Paragraphing, Manuscript Arrangement, Punctuation, Spelling, Essay Writing, and Letter Writing. This handbook was intended to provide guidelines for students to refer to while writing, and for teachers to correct the writing of their students. The handbook included a series of independent rules that were either followed or broken.

The handbook was an active effort to shift from the traditional grammar books of the time that focused on the parts of speech, clause modifiers, etc., to include 350 rules governing writing in the English language and style.

Below are some examples from the book (p. 4):

  1. The contractions don’t, isn’t, haven’t, etc. are not appropriate in formal composition. They are proper in conversation and in composition of a colloquial style that structured descriptive.
  2. Do not use high flow language for plain things.

Bad:  To keep the horsehealthy you must be careful of his environment.

Right: To keep the horse healthy you must be careful of his stable.

Note. Showy language, like showy dress, is in bad taste. The essence of artistic language, as of everything artistic, is not abundant ornament but appropriateness. Straining for high sounding expressions to replace plain English makes a style weak and crude. Call a leg a leg not a limb, book a book not an effort, call a letter a letter not a kind favor, call socks socks not hose, call a house a house, not a residence; say “I went to bed”, not “I retired”, “I got up”, not “I arose”

  1. The use of sentence (except a quoted sentence) as the subject of IS or WAS is crudity.

Crude: I was detained by business is the reason I’m late.

Right: “I was detained by business; that is the reason I’m late.”

  1. Double negative ( i.e., the use in sentence, of two or more negative words not coordinate, -as “I couldn’t find it nowhere”) is forbidden by modern usage..
  2. A composition should treat a single subject and should treat it throughout according to a self- consistent method.
  3. Use to the question mark after the direct question, but not after an indirect question.

Bad: He asked what caused the accident?

Right: He asked what caused the accident.

Right: He asked, “What caused the accident?”

  1. Italicize name of ships.
  2. The postage stamp should be attached in the upper right-hand corner. It should be right side up and its edges should be parallel to edges of the envelope. A postage stamp upside down or affixed in a haphazard fashion raises against the sender of the letter a suspicion of slovenliness.

Writing teachers today would be right at home with Wooley’s grammar. His rules were followed by various handbooks for a while- an immense range of rules to be referred to in order to distinguish the possible errors. His method was different from other writers, like Murray’s (22 rules to be learned by heart); however, Wooley’s 354 grammar rules were memorized and to be used for reference. As opposed to other writing/style guides of the time, rhetorical and spoken language was never mentioned.

Reinking, McKeena Labbo, & Keifer (1998) in their Handbook of Literacy and Technology: Transformations in A Post-Typographic World (p.14), refer to a post-typographic world as a time after the printers, typewriters, laser printers and fax machines. That post-typographic time is upon us as we are in the paperless age of television, IPods, Ipads, Tweets, TMS (text messaging services), internet sites, and apps. How do we, as educators, hold students accountable for knowing grammar and writing rules in order to teach literacy? Modern literacy is being merged with media literacy, where the ability to write (i.e., the ability to synthesize ideas and elements to create new text per the core competencies of the public schools) means being media literate. This media literacy is now a necessity for students and teachers alike, as it exists in and out of the classroom.

Referring to Wooley’s (1907) rules, does the metacognitive ability in children provide them with the set of “instruments” to follow the rules of writing as an innate ability while being exposed to the digital and media era? Can—and should— we trace children’s ability of learning a rule as they master their mother tongue? How about the cognate ability of the ESL/EFL speaker? Or that of the L2 and L1 bilingual child raised in the US? Do we have to refer to the “media” rules while educating the individuals K-12 and what are they?

 

References

Reinking, D., McKenna, M. C., Labbo, L. D., & Kieffer, R. D. (1998). Handbook of Literacy and Technology: Transformations in A Post-typographic World. New York, NY: Routledge.

Woolley, E. C., PhD. (1907). Handbook of Composition: A Compendium of Rules Regarding Good English, Grammar, Sentence Structure, Paragraphing, Manuscript Arrangement, Punctuation, Spelling, Essay Writing, and Letter Writing. Lexington, MNA: DC Heath & Company

 

 

Engaged Learning: Are We All on the Same Page?

A spotlight  interview with Victoria Fedorets (VF) and Marietta Bradinova (MB)

Listen to the full interview here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/sedatviu/2017/08/22/dr-marietta-bradinova-for-the-spotlight-interview-for-voices-from-the-field

 

Below is a transcript of the interview:

Victoria Fedorets (VF): We would like to welcome our guest speaker, Dr. Marietta Bradinova for our Spotlight interview prior to her talk on October 5th, 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm.  Could you give us a brief preview of your talk?

Marietta Bradinova (MB): The title of my talk is going to be Engaged Learning: Are We All on the Same Page? To do that, I pulled from the literature on good teaching as well as the expertise of teachers in colleges and universities around the country. For my presentation, I had to create a compendium of useful, practical ideas that participants will find enhances the classroom experience for teachers and students alike. My goal is to pull it together into a single resource and present it in a format accessible to busy, discipline-oriented faculty. I hope it will also be useful to faculty developers, department chairs, and other academic administrators interested in promoting teaching and improving learning.

VF: Thank you so much, Dr. Bradinova. We all are very much looking forward to your talk. Could you please tell us a little about yourself, including how the topic of your talk is important to you.

MB: My name is Dr. Marietta Bradinova and I teach various courses in the MA in TESOL and Gen. Education Programs at VIU. I chose my field of scholarly endeavor because somewhere along the line I developed a passion for it. Part of the attraction of a career in academia is the opportunity to share our enthusiasm with others and possibly recruit new disciples to the discipline.  In my early years as a college teacher, “engaging students” wasn’t even on my radar screen. I lectured, they listened; they studied, I tested – and that was that.  However, it was very disheartening to look into a classroom and see disengaged students who make little effort to hide their apathy. So, keeping students involved, motivated, and actively learning is challenging for many of us as educators. Yet, there is no single piece of advice [to do this]. The primary purpose of my presentation is to offer my teaching colleagues, current and aspiring, a wide variety of tips, strategies, and techniques that can help them transform what could be a daunting task into one that is stimulating and rewarding.

VF: Wonderful. Thank you again for devotion to your field and I am more than sure you went through so many experiences and have gained so much knowledge and expertise to reach this far.

VF: Are there any tangible misconceptions out there about the topic of your talk?

MB: Well, for me and I strongly believe that teaching can be tough, and probably one of the toughest professions on earth, but by sharing, we help each other in the problem analysis and solution construction we struggle with, consciously or unconsciously, each time we enter the classroom and attempt to engage students in learning.

VF: What is your source of motivation? How do you keep yourself motivated?

MB: Well, for me, motivation is the portal to engagement. An unmotivated student has checked out emotionally and mentally from the learning process. Students who are motivated to learn, however, will actively seek the information and understandings that constitute engaged learning. Just as a classroom filled with students who are genuinely motivated to learn can be a teaching-nirvana, it can be teaching-hell trying to work with students who are apathetic, bored, or even hostile. Understanding the complexities that underline motivation can guide us in our efforts to set up conditions that enhance students’ eagerness to learn. This is a first and critical step toward increasing student engagement.

VF: If you had to give some advice to pre-service or in-service teachers about the topic of your talk, what would it be?

MB:  As I said earlier, I am trying to provide some practical ideas through various strategists [that] I’m going to model for them throughout my presentation. I strongly believe as an instructor we not only have to explain something about theory, but to show it in action. I would encourage the pre-service teachers to join us on October 5th to get more ideas about how we can engage students in our classrooms.

VF: In general, how do you design instructions so your classroom reflects success? What is success to you?

MB:  You know, from day one, when I go into the classroom, I provide lots of examples from my own personal experience and I have been teaching and in this field for 25 plus years. So, I always try to bring real-life examples into my lectures because when you provide examples, the students can relate to them through their personal experience. We always have great conversations because, as you know, VIU hosts students from around the globe. We are fortunate to share ideas with them and they share ideas with us and I’m growing myself professionally through this contacts with my students.

VF: Where do your students come from?

MB: In general, I would say probably between 15 and 20 different countries. You know, I work with students from Asia, from Latin America, from the Europe, from Eastern Europe, from former USSR, and they all amazing.

VF: In general, are there any principles that guide your own teaching philosophy? If so, what are they and do you have a groundstone for your own teaching philosophy?

MB: Well you know, as an instructor, I always try to share whatever I learned through all these years with my students, and as I said, I share my experience.  Whatever they read for my classes, we would have great discussions. I try to have classrooms in which the students work cooperatively using both small group discussions and whole group discussions. In a three hour long class, I have to break the time and have at least 10 to 12 activities for the students, and I try to engage them from the moment they enter the class until the moment they have to leave the class.

VF: Wonderful, so your classes are very dynamic and engaging.

MB: (And) they are student centered. I always try to be at the background, of course I’m the one who teaches them, will provide solid information to them either through my mini lectures and through the readings…but those discussions are to be led by the students. [The students] have to be the center of them actually.

VF: Are there any projects that you are currently working on?

MB: Actually, I’m working with Claire Gimble from ESL program on another presentation which is going to be at the WATESOL convention in October in Washington, DC. Our talk is going to be about using TED Talks in the ESL classrooms. We are working with Claire and different setups available on website to design different activities that ESL teachers can use with their students in the classrooms. So, that’s my next big project.

MB: And, of course, you know classes- I will be teaching for both on ground and online, so I will be very busy.

VF: Thank you very much for your time out of your busy schedule to share your experience and more than sure there is so much more to talk and I would spend hours and hours talking (with you) and learning from you. Unfortunately, our time is short thank you again for stopping by tonight by our podcast channel.

Please join us again October 10 at our location 4401 drive Fairfax, VA  22030 and the talk by Dr. Bradinova will be held from 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm and the topic is, “Are We All on the Same Page? The presentation will offer college teachers a dynamic model for engaging students and will provide them with tips and strategies that have been proven to help teachers from a wide variety of disciplines motivate and connect with their students. Selected strategies will be modeled, in a ready-to-use format, through purpose, presentation, procedures, examples, online implementation, variations and extensions, and key resources. Faculty looking for ideas to heighten their student engagement in their courses will find useful techniques that can be adopted, adapted, extended, or modified.

Join us by going to our Facebook, like us; also, we are on twitter, word press, and we’re looking forward to our next spotlight interview by our next speaker sometime in September. Stay tuned and thank you again for your time today, Dr. Bradinova

MB: Thank you.

Experience the VIU Difference!

By Kevin Martin, Associate Dean, School of Education

When I describe what VIU is to outsiders, I often describe it as an educational institution that feels like a mini-United Nations. At VIU, we have students from all over the world who come to gain a degree in order to change the world.

With an ever-increasing pool of alumni scattered across the globe, we continue to increase our network of graduates who will affect positive change in their communities. This is by no means a small task, and it is something that we take very seriously in the School of Education.

An Engaging and Practical Learning Experience

At VIU, we recognize and work towards actively meeting the needs of our students by providing a quality education that balances both the theoretical and practical skills required of the modern job market. In the School of Education, we do this by having faculty who have real-world experience, representing a broad set of skills from practitioners to researchers.

Our faculty are really what make us distinct. It is through their efforts that we are able to provide a hands-on, practical experience that combines the latest in research and innovation. This is what makes our learning experience different that other institutions, as we focus on ensuring that our curriculum and classroom experiences meet the needs of all of our learners.

An Extended Learning Community

Within the School of Education, we offer a variety of learning experience that extend beyond the classroom as well. Our premier event hosted on campus is the Conference on Language, Learning, and Culture (CLLC). This event draws people from all over the world to learn about innovations going on in at the intersections of language, learning, and culture. It is a great opportunity to learn about what is going on in our field, and see what is being implemented in practice globally.

In addition to CLLC, we also offer a variety of events throughout the year centered on creating and promoting our broader learning community. Through these events, we strengthen our resolve to growing professionally, as well as network and learn from peers.

Have Fun!

Graduates from our School of Education programs not only get to engage in profound learning experiences, they also get to have fun! Our students become very close to one another during their time together. This happens as a result of learning and growing together through shared experiences in and out of the classroom.