ACM Pedagogic Resources > ACM/FaCE > Projects > Information Literacy in the Foreign Languages > Final Summary

Information Literacy in the Foreign Languages: A Collaborative Workshop Exploration

Supported by the ACM Faculty Career Enhancement (FaCE) Project.

September 24-25, 2010

Host: Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa, in collaboration with Lake Forest College and Coe College.


Devan Baty, Assistant Professor of French, Cornell College
Joyce Janca-Aji, Assistant Professor of French, Coe College
Marcela Ochoa-Shivapour, Associate Professor of Spanish, Cornell College
Gizella Meneses, Assistant Professor of Spanish, Lake Forest College
Laurel Whisler, College Librarian, Cornell College
Jennifer Rouse, Consulting Librarian for the Humanities, Cornell College

Workshop Overview
The overall aim of the collaborative workshop on Information Literacy and Languages was to give participants the opportunity to discuss ways of better integrating information literacy into the study of languages in order to strengthen the cultural competence and global perspective of foreign language students. Institutional teams consisted of representatives from foreign language faculty, information literacy librarians, and academic media specialists in order to foster future collaborations between these groups in and outside of the classrom.

Noteworthy ideas that were highlighted in the workshop:

Workshop participants came to the following conclusions about what makes a student a scholar:

Workshop Schedule and Program
Friday, September 24

The workshop began the evening of September 24th with dinner and a keynote presentation by Dr. Sue E. K. Otto, Director of the University of Iowa Language Media Center and Adjunct Associate Professor of Spanish & Portuguese and International Programs. The presentation was entitled "Information Literacy in the Foreign Languages: A Collaborative Workshop Exploration." In this presentation, Dr. Otto explored numerous meanings of the term "literacy," changing educational needs of the newest generation of students identified by Mark Prensky as "Digital Natives," changing educational reforms for the 21st century from teacher-directed classrooms to interactive collaboration between students, the most recent economic impact on institutions of higher education, and current trends in language pedagogy prompted by SLA research.

Saturday, September 25

The day began with small group discussions followed by a comprehensive wrap-up session from 8:30-9:15 about the various meanings of "information literacy" for foreign language pedagogy.
From 9:15-10:15, workshop participants attended two of five different information literacy activity presentations, respectively facilitated by John Gruber-Miller, Professor of Classics at Cornell College, Marcela Ochoa-Shivapour, Associate Professor of Spanish at Cornell College, Jen Rouse, Consulting Librarian for the Humanities at Cornell College, Devan Baty, Assistant Professor of French at Cornell College, Laurel Whisler, College Librarian at Cornell College, and Joyce Janca-Aji, Assistant Professor of French at Coe College. The group came together from 10:30 to 11 to work in small groups to design their own information literacy activities for the classroom.

The afternoon was divided into two groups of concurrent sessions. In the first concurrent session, participants attended two of three interactive presentations. Devan Baty and Jen Rouse led a session on "Authentic Inquiry & Critical Thinking," Marcela Ochoa-Shivapour and Rebecca Wines, Assistant Professor of French at Cornell College, led a session on "Cultural Literacy," and John Gruber-Miller and Laurel Whisler led a session entitled "Making Sense of It All: Analyzing and Synthesizing."

In the second concurrent session, language faculty attended a presentation on "Technology and Teaching Foreign Languages" by Renata Debaska-McWilliams, World Languages Center Director at St. Olaf. In this hands-on presentation, language faculty learned about how to use Nanogong to record voice files in Moodle. During this same period, librarians attended a round table discussion on their current and future collaborations with language faculty

From 2:15-3:15, participants were divided into groups consisting of librarians, language faculty, and academic media specialists in order to share ideas from the previous concurrent sessions and discuss how to better collaborate in the future.

After a short break, the entire group assembled for a concluding session in which small groups brainstormed about the top ideas they will take away from the workshop. These ideas were shared with the entire group. At the end of the day, participants were asked to fill out an evaluation form for the workshop.

Comments by Participants

Participants of the ACM Information Literacy in the Foreign Languages Workshop benefited in various ways from the conference.

Several participants reported that the workshop inspired them to increase the amount of collaboration on their campus between librarians and language faculty:

Participants also reported that the workshop motivated them to design assignments at all levels of the foreign language curriculum which will better integrate technological, cultural, and information literacy:

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