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Christina Frei Lecture Oct. 28: "Onward and Backward: Lesson-Planning for a Theme-Based Foreign Language Curriculum"

Burkhard Henke

Date: Monday, Oct. 28, 4:30-5:30 p.m.
Location: Hance Auditorium

Christina FreiIn her talk, Dr. Christina Frei, executive director of language instruction at University of Pennsylvania, introduces the concept of backward design—the instructor identifies and articulates the learning outcomes first, then works backward to design the instructional path for realizing those learning outcomes—and addresses the shift in curricular design for world language education.

Teaching world languages has undergone significant transitions in recent years that have altered the landscape of language education. Current trends structure curricular design around ACTFL’s performance guidelines and the College Board’s six themes for world languages: Family and Community, Personal and Public Identities, Contemporary Life, Beauty and Aesthetics, Science and Technology, and Global Challenges. Theme-based content drives instruction by focusing on the three modes of communication (interpretive, interpersonal, and presentational), which places the audience at the center of all communication and encourages learners to make thoughtful choices regarding their language production. At the same time, performance assessment remains central to successful instruction and thoughtful lesson plans.

Sharing examples from her innovative first-year German project, Dr. Frei will provide step-by-step instruction on how to plan a lesson within a theme-based curriculum.

This talk is open to the public and should be of interest to anyone teaching foreign languages.