In part, this course is structured as a workshop and practical supplement to Scand 518, which is a required course in teaching methodology for graduate students in all language departments at the UW. This workshop is required for all current language Teaching Assistants in the Department of Scandinavian Studies. Primarily, the aim of this workshop is to serve as a forum to share, discuss and learn about good teaching practices and challenges in general and techniques and issues particular to target languages of the department.
The workshop will engage you in discussions and demonstrations about good teaching practices from different perspectives, including reading, writing, listening and speaking. It will promote the Communicative Language Teaching methodology and relate it to the different target languages present in the department. An overarching theme of the workshop is the situated and contextualized nature of language and its implications to language teaching. One concrete goal of the workshop is also to relate the various facets of language skills to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR), a widely acknowledged and implemented description of language skill levels for syllabi, curriculum guidelines, examinations, textbooks etc. used across Europe and for all the European languages.
Thematically, this year’s workshop will nurture last year’s them – relevance – and link it with motivation for studying foreign languages. Language TAs are in a pivotal role in engaging students with the Scandinavian and Baltic languages and studies in general. Understanding and communicating the value and the benefits of language skills to students lies at the core of the department’s mission. We will discuss the idea of students being successful because of their foreign language studies, not despite them, and think of ways to integrate this into daily teaching practices.
The workshop meets weekly during the fall quarter, but TAs are encouraged to meet with the coordinator whenever needed. Usually, there will be a demonstration led by one of the TAs in each meeting. These demos will serve as starting points for the discussion of each meeting. Please talk with Ilmari ahead of your demo. There will also be one peer class observations and one faculty class observation for each TA. You should write a short report on the language class you observed to provide feedback to your peer TA and to broaden your view on possible approaches to language teaching. You will also receive feedback from a faculty member to help you improve your teaching further. These are not for grading purposes but serve as possibilities for self-reflection and learning.
Online Resources and Grading
The workshop will take advantage of the Canvas LMS, and all the TAs are encouraged to use it as part of their teaching as well. Ilmari can provide help whenever needed. Further, all TAs are expected to provide the teaching materials they create to be available for all the future TAs. Workshop will be graded as credit/no-credit only, and all the assignments must be submitted in order to receive the credit.