Today I attended a seminar entitled, “Best Practices in Language and Content Instruction”. It was a free presentation held in Seattle, sponsored by Seattle Public Schools and John Stanford International School, funded by the State Innovations grant to the Washington State Coalition for International Education.
The goal of the presentation was to give teachers an idea of Project GLAD (Guided Language Acquisition Design). I was probably the only one there who wasn’t a teacher! But, I still enjoyed the presentation. My initial purpose for attending was to network. I do desperately need to get to know educational professionals in the second language acquisition field. I’m sure it must look strange, though, for a financial aid director to want to break into a teaching field but not want to teach!
This workshop was set up such that two teachers each at John Stanford International School gave a presentation on how they used one piece of the Project GLAD in their classroom. Each model appeared to incorporate all three learning styles (visual, auditory, kinesthetic), and I felt that each lesson plan was very engaging. We moved from classroom to classroom after each 40-minute demonstration.
At the end of the 3-hour workshop, I was left to ponder my research idea. Yes, it is good to look at a connection of actions and language, but how do I separate that in an instructional environment? Or rather, how can I say that learning took place solely because of the gestures when I will obviously need, at the very least, an auditory component in my instruction. I will need to talk some more with my friends who are certainly more adept at research than I. Perhaps they will have some suggestions that I have not yet considered.