Making the Most of Authentic Resources

I have written about how to use the experiential learning cycle to organize language classroom practices. I also tend to talk about my own approach with authentic resources in workshops and conference presentations (most recently in a workshop for language and culture faculty that I co-designed and co-led with my colleague Vivian Finch, which is where this particular graphic originated).

If you have ever wondered how to make good use of authentic resources in your language classroom, I think this model provides an excellent place to start. I also have a pedagogy-centered article in progress that explores what this model might look like for different kinds of resources, and I will link to that as soon as it is read to share.

Exp Learn Auth Resources

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Making the Most of Authentic Resources with the Experiential Learning Cycle by Stacey Margarita Johnson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Adult Learning in the Language Classroom

Do you want to read about language teaching from the perspective of adult learning theory? Have you been looking for a supplementary text for your methods course that takes on topics like critical pedagogy, transformative learning, and learner identity?

Check out my book!

Hybrid Pedagogy Presentation — Student Produced Videos

Over the last two years,my colleague Berta Carrasco and I have been working on a research project with the goal of developing our own theory of practice for teaching with technology in the context of our first year classes at a liberal arts college. Our study used case study and action research approaches to explore methods we employed in our own classes. The format of the book was also based on our own experiences teaching with technology and training instructors new to technology. In February, our short monograph will be published by Springer. So, keep an eye out for that!

Just a month or so ago, Berta and I presented a small portion of our findings at the annual meeting of the Mid-West Association of Language Learning and Technology(MWALLT). Our next step is to submit a paper based on that presentation to the IALLT Journal, then present a follow-up to our presentation at the annual conference for the international parent organization, IALLT. It has been an exciting year for this project!

Here is the Prezi that we used in our presentation. I am posting it publicly with the hope that someone can make use of it!

Transformative Culture Presentation

On July 11, 2014, I gave a presentation called “Teaching Culture for Transformation” at #AATSP14 with my colleague Lee Forester. Here are the accompanying slides as a PDF for those who expressed interest in seeing them. Please let me know if and how you are able to make use of these slides. I would love to keep in touch and continue the conversation around these topics!


Am I confident?

I don’t think of myself as terribly confident, but I do believe I can do pretty much anything. A foundational belief of mine is that people can do almost anything given the desire, time and resources.  (Although, this inevitably leads to a whole other discussion for another time about how privilege and systemic issues play in to the resources available to individuals and the ability to access those resources).

That’s where my confidence to take on big challenges comes from. Not because I believe *I* can do things, but because I believe anyone can, so why not me? That is also why failure is not the worst thing that can happen to me. If I don’t get it this time, I just need more desire, time, or resources to make it work.

If I am part of this confidence gap as the Atlantic would have me believe, I don’t think the issue is that I think less of myself. I think the problem is that, as a woman academic and a single mom, I know that I do not have the time and resources others do. I may at some future point, but not now. I need more of something for sure. But confidence isn’t what I lack.

…but not that uncomfortable.

Continuing my previous discussion about making students uncomfortable, I often second-guess myself or feel that, when I bring up topics that may be too challenging, I am opening myself up to negative consequences.

Articles like this one and this one do not help me feel safe (Addendum 10/18: or this one). To me, what these two articles have in common is that the two professors in question dared to be exactly who they are, out in the open, in front of students. Students or administrators felt threatened by this authenticity. We want professors to be real, to be challenging, to make students uncomfortable — but not that real, not that challenging, not that uncomfortable.

Although not fired for her actions, I also think about this professor who, like me, is an academic single mom, and, also like me, has had to bring her children to class at times to meet the demands of the profession.

The thing about tenure is it doesn’t make you safe. Pre-tenure faculty definitely aren’t safe. Despite Parker Palmer’s edification that the best professors teach who they are, after reading enough of these sorts of articles, I am much more inclined to think that professors who challenge students, who are openly complicated or opinionated or just plain real with students, these professors are setting themselves up for a fall. The system in which we work does not serve the interests of those who toil within it, not the students and not the professors.

Of course, I plan to continue challenging my students and being myself. But I have to admit that, in the back of my mind, I worry about the possible consequences.