Updates from the HT Team!

Greetings from the Heritage Telecollaboration team at CILC!

We are thrilled to share that on Friday, February 26th our center hosted a talk on assessment by Dr. Lorena Llosa of New York University. Following a presentation on the principles of assessment and relevant theoretical framework, Dr. Llosa elaborated upon the implications and applications of assessment in foreign language curriculum and welcomed participants to reflect and share their own perspectives and considerations on the topic.

As part of the discussion, the Seven Keys of Effective Feedback proposed by Dr. Grant Wiggins were overviewed. Wiggins’ article is available here.

Our faculty working on the HT project had the privilege of participating after the talk in a private workshop with Dr. Llosa to evaluate and discuss assessment methods for the HT projects.

The HT projects are moving forward as planned.

We are currently piloting two telecollaboration projects for heritage Spanish courses.

Dr. Laura Villa of Queens College (CUNY) and Dr. María Jesús Barros of Saint Xavier University in Chicago are currently piloting the first module of their telecollaboration project entitled Latinos en EEUU. Students are debating such topics as the political history of the terms Latino, Hispano and Spanglish, as well as issues of Hybrid Identity, Digital Etiquette and Digital Footprints. Partners have been matched using a compatibility test, and are getting ready for their first conversations, which students will complete and share with the instructors using Google Hangouts on Air.

Dr. Aránzazu Borrachero of Queensborough Community College/CUNY is piloting, together with Dr. Pedro Lange-Churión of the University of San Francisco, a telecollaboration project they are calling Mapas Alternos: comunidades latinas de Nueva York y San Francisco, in which students will explore the differences and similarities between Latino New York City and Latino San Francisco. Currently, students are completing an analysis of Latino photographers, while at the same time sharing their own vision of Latino autorretratos and discussing the power of visual representation.

In Fall 2015, Dr. Xiao Li of Queens College (CUNY) completed the pilot of the mobile telecollaboration project between her beginner heritage Chinese students and students of English at the Beijing International Studies University (China). Project design and first execution are currently being reviewed, and a complete report of the project including activities, materials, and teaching resources will be available on our website in Fall 2016.

We have begun the design phase of two telecollaborative units for Professor Wei-Yi Cheng’s heritage Chinese course at Hunter College (CUNY), in partnership with Professor Yun Guo and her English course at the New Horizon College in China. The project aims to engage students in a cross-cultural analysis of topics such as global food trends, McDonald’s global adaptations, and a cross-comparison of student life in the two target institutions and cities. The telecollaboration modules will be piloted in Fall 2016.

As the background research and development of these courses progresses, we will publish references and materials on CILC’s website. Ultimately, complete, ready-to-implement telecollaboration units based on these pilot courses will be available on our website.

Upcoming HT conference presentations

  • Heritage Language Projects at CILC
    HT representative- María Jesús Barros
    Midwest Heritage Language Summit. East Lansing, MI, April 23.
  • Mobile Language Exchange using WeChat: Intercultural Discussions Using Smartphones.
    Valeria Belmonti
    COIL (Center for Online International Learning) Conference 2016. New York, NY, April 25-26.
  • Benefits of implementing the COIL model in heritage speakers instruction.
    Laura Villa
    COIL (Center for Online International Learning) Conference 2016. New York, NY, April 25-26.
  • Latinos in the US: Promoting interaction among Heritage Language Learners through Telecollaboration.
    Laura Villa
    CALICO Conference. East Lansing, MI, May 10-14.

Valeria Belmonti is Associate Director of Technology at CILC and Coordinator of the Heritage Telecollaboration projects.