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VFF 2016-2017

Virginia International University’s School of Education would like to thank our 2016-2017 Voices from the Field speakers who contributed to a unique learning experiences through our speaker series. Below are the 2016-2017 speakers and links to recordings of their sessions.

“Language Learning and Intercultural Exchange in the Technology Era: Benefits and Challenges of Telecollaboration ”
Yuka Akiyama
Yuka Akiyama, is a Ph.D. candidate in Applied Linguistics at Georgetown University, a former instructor of Japanese in American universities and a coordinator of several telecollaboration projects between Japan and the US.
We now live in a world where collaboration is possible even without physical co-presence. This has a number of implications for language teaching and learning, as well as study abroad opportunities. This talk will start with an overview of the practice of telecollaboration, namely a type of online intercultural communication where geographically distant groups of language learners collaboratively learn languages and cultures. I will then talk about a video-based telecollaboration project that took place at Georgetown University in seven different languages and exemplify the benefits and challenges involved in conducting such a project. These range from socio-political factors, curricular constraints, and technology affordances to individual differences. I will conclude the talk by suggesting a few future directions and pedagogical suggestions.

Date: Thursday, November 3, 2016
Time: 3:30pm-4:30 pm
Location: Village Drive Room 101,

“Technology-Enhanced Pronunciation Teaching”
Di Liu
Di Liu is a third-year doctoral student at Boston University. He is working with Dr. Marnie Reed on phonology and applied linguistics. His research focuses on technology-enhanced pronunciation teaching, cross-linguistic investigation of discourse prosody, and the cognitive influence of native and nonnative speakers’ pronunciation on learners of various language backgrounds.

Pronunciation is integrally related to other language skills but is difficult to teach due to its complexity and abstract nature. As a result, teachers “usually avoid dealing with this subject” (Breitkreutz, Derwing & Rossiter, 2001, p. 58). Technology has the potential to provide teachers with effective tools to teach pronunciation and integrate the closely connected skills that are otherwise taught in isolation. However, a systematic and effective way of using various software, websites, and apps in the classroom is lacking. This talk will demonstrate and evaluate various pronunciation-teaching tools and provide a systematic way to integrate technology into the classroom.

Date:Thursday, February 2, 2017
Time: 3:30pm-4:30 pm
Location: Village Drive Room 101,

“Diversifying your job search: Alternate careers for multilingual educators panel. ”

Muhitdin Ahunhodjaev
Muhitdin Ahunhodjaev is originally from Uzbekistan. Muhitdin graduated from World Languages University in Linguistics (English and Farsi) and has been in the USA for 21 years. He taught for Diction, ICA, CLCi, DLI, and other governmental contracting language centers, translated, interpreted, and was involved in other activities in the field of Linguistics. Working languages are Uzbek, Russian and Uyghur. Owner of a LLC.

Originally from Ukraine, Victoria holds degree in English art and a master’s degree in linguistics from University of Delaware. She has over seven years of experience working on the various governmental sponsored linguistic projects such as language testing development, language training for the attachés, translating, and interpreting services, teaching ESL for over 8 years. She serves as an Academic Coordinator for the School of Education at VIU.

Victoria Fedorets
With the social changes of the American and global society come the inevitable shifts in their respective job markets. This panel of multilingual educators will discuss the pros and cons of the challenging career outlook and application process for jobs in multilingual education and job search tricks to consider within the very competitive metropolitan areas.
Panelists will explore some challenges and opportunities of those pursuing the career paths of advanced degrees in education, linguistics, and TESOL, suggest ways to sustain and interchange the field with other sciences in order to break the regulatory practices, and raise questions about some of the unpredictable results for the career choices these majors may produce. The multilingual graduates are not only solving the most complex political, medical, legal, computational and social challenges, but also utilizing their L1 knowledge and cultural background to bring their countries and beliefs to the “melting pot” they are an immense part of. To summarize, the presentation suggests looking into options of comfortable and challenging careers and the way they are closely intertwined with other majors as an option for graduates to consider.

Date: Thursday, March 2, 2017
Time: 3:30pm-4:30 pm
Location: Village Drive Room 101,