17 FALL IWL Fall Symposium

Event Date: 
10/27/2017 (All day)
NAU 101

2017 IWL Fall Symposium


Registration link: https://goo.gl/forms/dJNgK9tisfNQfe1u2

Registration deadline: 12 PM on Friday, October 20


Theme: Intercultural Communication: Language and Culture in Action


9:30-9:50AM Breakfast (Nau Hall first floor lobby)

9:50-10AM Opening remarks by Associate Dean Fiorani


10-10:50AM Robert L. Davis

Hacks for language and culture learning: What do you really learn on study abroad?

Junior year abroad. Immersion program. Language house. These and other staples of language and culture study have come under the microscope in recent years, and research has revealed a number of insights about the process of acquiring another language and developing skills in intercultural communication. This presentation will summarize the state of the art in language and culture study, with specific “hacks” and suggestions to improve your learning experience.


Robert L. Davis is Professor of Spanish and the Director of Language Instruction in Romance Languages at the University of Oregon. He teaches courses in Spanish language, linguistics, and teaching methodology. His interests include language pedagogy and materials development, in particular the development of linguistic and cultural proficiency within content-based instruction. He has authored introductory and advanced learning materials on the language and cultures of the Spanish-speaking world for both secondary and post-secondary learners, as well as articles on language pedagogy, materials development, and language program direction. Davis also teaches in the Middlebury Spanish School summer immersion program and was director of the Middlebury at Mills Escuela de español in California from 2009-2014.


11-11:50AM: Panel by UVA faculty 

I didn't expect that!  Reflections on Linguistic Friction and Intercultural Surprises

Karen James (French)

Paula Sprague (Spanish)
Catarina Krizancic (CORE Director / Projects Abroad)
Zvi Gilboa (Modern Hebrew)


1-1:50PM - Erin Kearney

Teaching and Learning Habits that Develop Intercultural Competence in World Languages Classrooms

What does it mean to become interculturally competent while also learning a new language?  What can teachers and learners do to consciously develop their interculturality and in turn enrich world languages education experiences?  In this talk, Dr. Kearney first explores the concept of intercultural competence in the context of world languages education.  She then describes specific habits of mind and habits of action that support development of this kind of competence.  These habits are useful for teachers and learners in world languages classroom and are supported by Dr. Kearney’s and other scholars’ research.  For each habit she discusses, concrete examples are provided.

Dr. Erin Kearney is an Associate Professor of Foreign and Second Language Education at the University at Buffalo (SUNY), where she offers courses in teacher education and applied linguistics.  Her classroom-based research has primarily focused on culture in world languages education and the range of ways interculturality can be developed in classroom settings.   Erin aims to share the insights gained from her own and others’ research with new and practicing teachers and scholars and stakeholders regionally, nationally and internationally.  She currently serves on the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages Board of Directors, further fulfilling goals of serving and advocating for the profession she loves.


2-2:50PM: Panel by UVA students

Lessons from Cultural Exploration Abroad: Bringing the Conversation Home

Moderator: Joanne Britland, Ph.D. Candidate, UVA Department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese


  • Nathan Hellmuth
    • College of Arts and Sciences
    • Study Abroad: UVA Shanghai Language Program
  • Sarah Romanus
    • College of Arts and Sciences
    • Major: Global Development Studies
    • Study Abroad: Alliance for Global Education, Pune, India
  • Rachel Gardella
    • College of Arts and Sciences
    • Major: Linguistics
    • Study Abroad: Tulane Institute for Mayan Languages (FLAS Fellowship), Studied K’iche’ Maya language and culture in Nahuala, Guatemala

Format: Each panelist will provide a 7-8 minute presentation on his or her individual experiences abroad. Following these presentations, the panelists will engage in an interactive conversation regarding study abroad, and how it inspired them and allowed them to learn in a way that they could not from a textbook or classroom.


Studying abroad allows students to immerse themselves in the culture of the language they are learning in an authentic context. This panel of undergraduate University of Virginia students will bring the conversation “back home” to Charlottesville, and will explore and discuss these students’ inspirational experiences of studying abroad. The panelists will share personal stories and anecdotes from their journeys, describing how these trips allowed them to learn in ways that they could not from a classroom or textbook. These students will help the audience understand the importance of studying abroad in terms of learning about culture and language acquisition, but by providing compelling and true stories from their time in a different country and culture. This will involve discussions on how they learned about cultural differences, including communication breakdowns and mishaps, as well as encouraging stories of success. Following their individual presentations, they will engage in an interactive conversation regarding the real experience of studying abroad, and will also be available to answer audience questions.