I have been teaching languages for 2 decades: 2 decades of professional development, research studies, and teaching experience (2 countries, 3 US states, 2 languages, 6 different institutions, study abroad, immersion, foreign language, second language, online, blended, face-to-face, etc.). When I started teaching at Portland State University, I was vehemently opposed to technology in the language classroom (I preferred books) and I was not convinced that a focus on communication rather than explicit grammar was the way to go (after all, I had studied Latin in Gymnasium). Obviously my experiences, my training, my students, my research, and my wonderful mentors and peers have changed my perspective and have helped me develop into a scholar, who investigates the impact of technology-mediated language learning and teaching and includes technology (mostly computer-mediated communication tools) in all of her courses.
Last year some of the wonderful students, I have had the pleasure of teaching and learning with, nominated me for the ACTFL/Cengage Learning Faculty Development Programs Awards for Excellence in Foreign Language Instruction Using Technology with IALLT (Postsecondary), which I received in November. What made this award so special is that it was the people, who I hope to positively impact through my use of technology, who took time out of their busy schedules to nominate me for the award. Thank you so very much to all of you for nominating me. I was very touched.
I was extremely honored to be selected for this award. The award is recognizing the work I have completed in curricular innovation, teaching, research, and service to the profession. Looking at the list of previous recipients, I was humbled, as the list includes the people whose work has informed and shaped me, for whom I have the utmost respect (Anne Green, Lara Lomicka, Sue Otto, and Donna VanHandle as prime examples). Thank you for all of your work, previous recipients, and thank you to the committee.
Naturally all of my work has only been possible because of
- the excellent training I received both at Portland State University in the MA TESOL program and the University of Arizona in the SLAT doctoral program;
- mentors who have nudged me and believed in me such as Bill Fischer, Kim Brown, Marge Terdal, and most importantly Mary Wildner-Bassett;
- my peers, from whom I have learned so much and who are always a wonderful sounding board, most notably my SLAT-buddy Claudia Kost and also Karen Barto, Cindy Ducar, Kim Helmer, Kay Huxford;
- the CALICO family, which has become my scholarly home and support system, most notably Nike Arnold, Lara Ducate, Bob Fischer, Gillian Lord, Scott Payne, Julie Sykes, and Steve Thorne;
- the support of my institutions, who provided an infrastructure that made CALL practice and research possible: in particular the COhLab at the University of Arizona (especially Hale Thomas and Justin LeBreck), CLEAR (especially Dennie Hoppingarner and Joy Cambell), and CeLTA;
- my colleagues in German at PSU, UA and MSU and Lisa Jurkowitz at PCC, who have given me the space to experiment;
- my colleagues in SLS, who support each other to strive higher and higher;
- my wonderful co-authors Estela Ene, Kara McBride, Theresa Schenker, Paula Winke and most importantly Angelika Kraemer;
- the wonderful teachers with whom I have had the opportunity to work with over the years, who showed me new tricks of the trade, inspired me, and always enthusiastically stood behind new ideas (especially Natalie Eppelsheimer, Zera Otus, Tina Badstübner, Angelika Kraemer and the 201-202 instructional team at MSU (first and foremost Adam Gacs and Katie McEwen));
- the engaged and curious graduate and undergraduate students, who have patiently let me experiment – much of what I have learned from/with/through them has influenced my pedagogical and empirical work (especially my wonderful Doktorkinder Susan Hojnacki, Betsy Lavolette, Carly Lesoksi, Jeff Maloney, and Theresa Schenker).
Thank you to all of these amazing people, who have shaped, who I have become as a learner, mentor, researcher, teacher, and member of the profession.