LTS

Language Teaching Studies Blog Site at the University of Oregon

June 29, 2016
by LTSblog
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Faculty Spotlight Jeff Magoto

What is your position at the University of Oregon?

I’m the director of the Yamada Language Center, which is one of the best jobs on campus. I get to work with faculty and students working in one or more of the 20+ languages offered at UO, whether that’s the four students taking Persian or the thousands who are taking Spanish, or the one instructor in Swahili or the many dozens in Romance Languages. Our staff of 15 tries to support their efforts by offering flexible classroom and self-study spaces, resources for language practice and development, and training in both pedagogy and technology use. Lastly, I get to join the heads of other language units in advising our College of Arts and Sciences deans on language, linguistics, and general humanities matters.

How are you associated with LTS?

I’m an ardent supporter of LTS, and even though I don’t teach in the program very regularly, I’ve been able to work with numerous LTS students over the years. I usually serve as a reader for at least one student’s Master’s Project a year, and I’m the supervisor for the Fulbright Language Teaching Assistants (FLTAs) who take courses in LTS and teach in YLC’s Selfstudy Language Program, LT 199. I also regularly work with LTS faculty members Deborah Healey and Robert Elliott on course development and CALL projects for departments such as NILI or AEI .

What other projects are you involved in?

Well, I’m currently one of the conveners of the UO Language Council. UOLC is a collaborative effort of faculty, administrators, students and staff to support and inspire language study on campus and beyond through professional development, innovation, and outreach. It’s a wonderful chance to work with folks across the spectrum of CAS, International Affairs, Professional Schools, and Admissions, each of whom has an impact on who ends up in our language. classes. I also have a nearly 10 year-old speech-based software project, ANVILL, that grew out of my work as Norman Kerr’s advisor on his LTS Terminal Project in 2007. It continues to grow and improve because there have always been brave LTS alumni willing to try it out, take it out into the field, and guide us in its development. Thanks to them, it’s now used in about 10 countries in addition to the US. They still send us suggestions for improvement!

What do you enjoy most about working with language educators? (video response)

October 12, 2015
by LTSblog
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Faculty spotlight Deborah Healey

Could you tell us a little bit about your connection to the LTS program?

I have taught in the LTS program and online teacher education courses from the American English Institute since I came to the University of Oregon in 2009. Appropriate use of technology in teaching is a passion of mine. I’ve done workshops in a wide range of countries and contexts to encourage teachers to understand the technology available to them – and what might be available in future – so that teachers can make good choices about the resources they use.

Could you briefly describe the course you teach?

I teach the Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL) Workshop in Fall and Winter terms. The courses are designed to give a sense of ways that technology can be used to achieve teaching and learning goals, both as an LTS student and as a language teacher. Aside from our learning management system, Canvas, the CALL course uses freely-available resources that are accessible outside the UO so that LTS grads will be able to take what they’ve worked on and use it wherever they go.

What is the best part about your work?

I greatly enjoy the way that the different aspects of my professional life fit together. Currently, I’m co-teaching a massive open online course (MOOC) with Jeff Magoto and Elizabeth Hanson-Smith. We co-developed the two 5-week courses that have been taken by over 50,000 people in the past two years. I’ve also developed and taught several fully online courses to English language teachers around the world, and I’ve been privileged to give workshops internationally as an Academic Specialist with the US Department of State. My face-to-face teaching has benefitted from all of this. Sometimes I can see the results of the work, as with the Gabon Oregon Center project. I did teacher training in Gabon with Keli Yerian with the goal of enabling Gabonese teachers to become teacher trainers. This June, that paid off with the opening of the Laboratoire de Langue in Libreville, offering general English and teacher training courses and staffed by Gabonese teachers. We were also able to provide an internship opportunity to 2015 LTS alum Tiffany Van Pelt in Gabon, where she is right now.

What advice would you give to LTS students?  (video answer below)

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