Pictured at podium: MIT Lecturer Hee-Jeong Jeong (left) and Wellesley College Prof. Sun-Hee Lee (right)

New England Conference discusses future of language education

October 19, 2019

The New England Regional Association for Language Learning Technology (NERALLT) conference held October 18-19 at Yale University attracted dozens of language teaching professionals, as well as administrators and technologists from around New England. NERALLT is a regional affiliate of IALLT, the International Association for Language Learning Technology. NERALLT describes itself as an organization for those “concerned with the use and development of technology-enhanced teaching and learning spaces, methodologies, and research for languages, literatures and cultures.”

The conference had strong participation from MIT Global Languages. Director and Professor Emma Teng attended, as did Senior Lecturer in French Sabine Levet and Lecturer in Korean Hee-Jeong Jeong. Global Languages' Systems Administrator, Joseph Borkowski, also attended.

The keynote address, “Language education and globalization: The evolving role of language centers” was given by Nelleke Van Deusen-Scholl, Associate Dean of Yale College and Director of the Center for Language Study at Yale.

Sabine Levet, a NERALLT Board member, said that MIT has a long history of leadership in educational technology. Levet recalled that Ruth Trometer, one of the founders and a previous president of IALLT, served for 30 years as Director of MIT’s Language Learning and Resource Center. Levet said the organization continues to be an important place to discuss the future of language learning and technology.

Among the many presentations and roundtables, Hee-Jeong Jeong, gave a presentation “Blended-Learning Model for Intermediate-Level Business Korean” with Prof. Sun-Hee Lee and Dr. Jae Young Song from Wellesley College. Jeong explained, “We had developed a module to combine an online class and an offline class targeting students who are interested in working in Korea.” Jeong said the conference was very useful to educators and much attention was paid to a “multiliteracies” pedagogical approach and “project-based teaching.”

Joe Borkowski said the conference held a lot of excellent examples of putting technology in the service of language learning. He looks forward to assisting MIT’s language instructors in any such endeavors.

Professor Teng said the keynote by Dean Van Deusen-Scholl was "inspiring," and "pointed to the increasing importance of global language and culture education in higher education today, as American universities grapple with rapid globalization, especially in STEM fields."