Fairmont State University will host the West Virginia Foreign Language Teachers Association conference on Sept. 28-29. Foreign language teachers from across the state, representing a variety of world languages and grade levels, will attend the annual meeting, which focuses this year on building empathy through ownership.
The featured guest speaker is Dr. Bill VanPatten, professor and director of the Spanish Program at Michigan State University. VanPatten is internationally recognized for his work in second language acquisition. He is also the author of the renowned Spanish textbook and video series, “Destinos.”
“We’re very fortunate to have Dr. VanPatten at the university because he is nationally and internationally recognized both for his materials for language learners as well as his materials on methods for language educators,” said Dr. Julie Sellers, Associate Professor of Spanish at FSU.
Other guests will be representatives from RESA VII, Fair Trade and textbook publishers.
The theme of this year’s conference is “Building Empathy through Ownership: Become It, Live It, Own It.” Presenters and displays will cover topics on issues facing new teachers, effective pedagogical practices, world language opportunities beyond the K-12 and high education classrooms and study abroad experiences from travel scholarship winners.
“Foreign languages are an important part of higher education because they expand our understanding of the world and of our own language and culture. Fairmont State is delighted to partner with the West Virginia Foreign Language Teachers Association in helping all our students become proficient in foreign languages and cultures,” said Dr. Maria Rose, FSU President of FSU.
Presenters include some of the state’s best teachers from K-12 schools and post-secondary institutions. Fairmont State is proud to be represented by three Spanish Education majors -- Brettney Cole, Sarah Halbert and Brittany Sypolt -- who will be giving poster presentations, and by Sellers’ presentation on service learning.
WVFLTA promotes the study of world languages by facilitating collaboration among K-12 and higher education professionals to re-examine the practical aims and research-based methods of instruction in second-language and global literacy acquisition. For more information or to register for the conference, visit http://wfflta.org. Conference fees include a one-year membership in WVFLTA.