By Stacey Hopkins, MAT-S Student & Dr. Nicole Sherf
The 43rd Massachusetts Foreign Language Association (MaFLA) Conference held in Sturbridge offered students and faculty a wonderful opportunity to advance their skills, collaborate with other teachers, purchase classroom materials, and learn new techniques to improve instruction. Approximately thirty Salem State College students and faculty of the Department of World Languages were in attendance. In addition to attending workshops, many students volunteered their time facilitating workshops, as well as working on advocacy for MaFLA, including Katherine Lopez-Natale, SSC Visiting Lecturer and former president of MAFLA, and SSC MAT in Spanish student, Stacey Hopkins.
There were an abundance of high-quality workshops available to attendees presented by nationally renowned professionals, including some of our very own SSC faculty. Dr. Michele Dávila-Goncalves, Assistant Professor at SSC, presented an interesting presentation in the Spanish strand titled “Puertorriqueños y Nuyoricans: su cultura a través de la literature, lenguaje y música.” Katherine Lopez-Natale and Nicole Sherf, 2009 President of MAFLA and Education Program Coordinator, presented a workshop, “Negotiating the Licensure Process,” which provided clarity for teachers seeking preliminary, initial or professional licensure. Dr. Sherf also presented with a panel of experts on “Programmatic Assessments that Improve Instruction.” In addition, Dr. Anna Rocca, Italian Program Coordinator, and Elizabeth Blood, Chairperson of the Department of World Languages and French Program Coordinator, co-presented a workshop in the French strand entitled “Communicating Through Images: La Bande Dessinée.” Dr. Blood and Dr. Rocca, in conjunction with Dr. Kristine Doll, MAT-Spanish Program Coordinator, presented another workshop, “About Better Community Connections,” which covered the French, Italian, Spanish and Education strands. Their workshop also ties in nicely with the topic of the theme of the next MaFLA conference for 2010.
MaFLA will co-sponsor ACTFL 2010 Annual Convention and World Languages Expo in Boston November 19-21, 2010. The conference theme will be Languages: Gateway to Global Communities. This year’s MaFLA conference provided attendees with a wealth of knowledge and resources to bring back to the classroom. The collaboration with ACTFL in 2010 and the interesting theme make for a conference that can only increase in quality and certainly cannot be missed!
The Massachusetts Foreign Language Association welcomed local teachers at its 43rd annual conference in Sturbridge, October 29-31. Standing in front of the 2009 Student Foreign Language Poster Contest winning entries are Bachelor of Arts Foreign Language students Michael Aliberte, Nicole Toulopoulos, and Mary Vassallo.