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November 16, 2018 at 8:48 am

Modern Languages Hosts Ohio Valley Foreign Language Alliance 35th Anniversary

Ohio Valley Foreign Language Alliance--photo of grad students sitting in a group at the event.

Attendees at the Ohio Valley Foreign Language Alliance.

The Modern Languages Department hosted the annual meeting of the Ohio Valley Foreign Language Alliance on Nov. 3.

This organization provides a forum for collaboration between foreign language instructors from the university level and high school and middle school levels from the southeast Ohio region and from bordering areas in West Virginia. This year’s meeting, which drew more than 50 participants, was attended by teachers from numerous area schools as well as by language students and instructors from Muskingum University and Ohio University.

Grad student speakers Carla Consolini, Leandro Hernandez and Florent Réthoré stand together before giving a presentation.

Graduate student speakers Carla Consolini (center), Leandro Hernandez (right) and Florent Réthoré (left) prior to giving their presentation.

After a welcome by the coordinator, Nikhil Sathe (Modern Languages) and opening remarks by Chris Coski (Chair, Modern Languages), three graduate students from the Modern Languages Department (Carla Consolini, Leandro Hernandez and Florent Réthoré) gave insightful presentations on effective language teaching methods. The keynote presentation was delivered by Martha Pero, formerly of Hudson High School and now Chairperson of the Central States Committee on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, who detailed the logistics and benefits for students of the Ohio Department of Education’s Seal of Biliteracy.

Photo of French professor, Lois Vines, and German Emeritus, Barry Thomas, speaking to the OVFLA student audience.

Lois Vines (left) and Barry Thomas (right) speak to the student audience.

2018 marks the 35th anniversary of the OVFLA, and this milestone was celebrated at the end of the meeting by Lois Vines (Modern Languages) and Barry Thomas (Emeritus, Modern Languages), two founding members of the organization. In their remarks, professors Vines and Thomas described the organization’s many accomplishments and its history.

Spurred by a national pilot program to create collaborations between secondary and post-secondary language teachers, the OVFLA was founded in 1983. By 1989, the OVFLA held multiple meetings per year and helped to establish a network of alliances across Ohio. Today, the organization holds an annual fall meeting at Ohio University and aims to serve language teachers in the region.

As one attendee, a high school teacher of French, commented to a group of education students in the audience, they need to participate in the OVFLA because the meetings not only provide them with inspiring ideas for the classroom but also with opportunities to make contacts with other instructors with whom they can share ideas and form new networks for collaboration.

Photo of keynote speaker Martha Pero delivering her presentation to the actively-listening audience.

Keynote speaker Martha Pero delivering her presentation to the actively-listening audience.

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