Foreign Language and IUP Libraries faculty and students at the PSMLA conference

Christina Huhn and students

Heide Witthöft and Marjorie Zambrano-Paff with their presentation

Christina Huhn, Dawn Smith-Sherwood, Heide Witthöft, Marjorie Zambrano-Paff (Department of Foreign Languages), Harrison Wick (IUP Special Collections), and six students attended the Pennsylvania State Modern Language Association’s annual language teachers conference, held at Seven Springs resort.

Huhn participated in a panel discussion on language programs and teacher preparation, titled “Underrated or Outdated? How do we Save our WL Programs?”

Smith-Sherwood presented  “An Interdisciplinary Integrated Performance Assessment Approach to Independent Study: La Brega meets Music Education” with IUP music education student Laura Hopf (’23). Their presentation detailed an interdisciplinary approach to independent study by using the ACTFL Integrated Performance Assessment.

Five Spanish education students (Mason Cymbor, Kelli Kovalik, Ian Limey, Julia Vislosky, and Veronica Duran-Paramo) and one music education/Spanish minor student (Laura Hopf) participated in the conference as well.

Zambrano-Paff and Witthöft presented “The Risk of Stereotyping Accents when Teaching Foreign Languages.” Their presentation explored how specific accents could be misperceived in media and movies.

Harrison Wick presented “Learning from Archives: Teaching Diversity with Primary Sources.” The session shared the results of a recent PHMC grant that made it possible to not only digitize oral history interviews with African American women who worked in Pennsylvania, but also to transcribe these invaluable resources that discuss civil rights, discrimination, and women’s equality.

The conference brings together teachers, students, and supporters of foreign languages from throughout the state and provides opportunities for collaboration and reconnecting with other language teachers. Presentations address topics related to world language education, such as language proficiency, teacher preparation, community, language teaching pedagogy, technology integration, diversity/equity/inclusion/social justice, and more.