“Vision 2020: Generation Z, student engagement, and creating global language professionals,”
A 2018 Chronicle of Higher Education special report on educating the new generation of students revealed several striking features of Gen Z’s expectations and preferences as students. This talk will examine the profile of the Gen Z learner (born 1996-2015) against the backdrop of the proficiency-oriented classroom and suggest ways that university world language instructors can make their programs more relevant, attractive, and meaningful to our newest cohorts of learners. Based on the findings of the Chronicle report, the talk will also discuss the place of international education and study abroad programs in the next decade of the 2020s.
Thomas J. Garza (Ed.D., Harvard University) Associate Professor in the Department of Slavic and Eurasian Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, and UT Regents’ and University Distinguished Teaching Associate Professor and Director of the Texas Language Center, He is also past director of the UT Arabic Flagship Program. He teaches, conducts research, and publishes on Russian language and literature, foreign language pedagogy, and comparative cultures. He research has been published in journals including Foreign Language Annals, Russian Language Journal, Modern Language Journal, and Slavic and East European Journal, and has authored several Russian and ESL textbooks, and contributed chapters to numerous volumes language and culture. He has led, and continues to lead, study abroad programs to Russia since 1981 under the auspices of the American Council of Teachers of Russian, of which he is currently president. During his twenty-nine-year tenure at the University of Texas, he served as department chair for six years, director of a Title VI NRC for eight, and the TLC for ten. His current research is on intensive language teaching methods, and cultural portraits of masculinity in contemporary Russian and Latino cultures.