CLS Brown Bag: “The Harvard Language Exchange: Toward Community-focused Informal Language Learning” - Guest speakers: Andrew Ross and Mary DiSalvo

Event time: 
Thursday, March 4, 2021 - 12:45pm
via Zoom See map
Event description: 
The Harvard Language Exchange: Toward Community-focused Informal Language Learning
The Language Exchange began in the Fall of 2019 as a simple idea: to match members of the Harvard community, broadly conceived, who wanted to exchange language practice. Using a Google form and shared spreadsheet, the Harvard Language Center staff began to grow a modest list of users. When COVID forced Harvard to turn to remote instruction and then online teaching and learning, we recognized the importance of the Language Exchange as a community-building tool. With the design support and technical expertise of Harvard IT, we have recently launched a new purpose-built Language Exchange site, which currently has over 300 users.
In this presentation, we will outline the needs case for informal language learning opportunities, describe the history of the project, show the site from user and administrator perspectives, and offer some thoughts on the potential impact of this platform for community-building across a widely varying population of users.
Guest Speakers’ Bios:
Andrew Ross is the Director of the Language Center at Harvard University.  He earned his PhD at the University of California, Berkeley, and served as the director of language centers at the University of Richmond, Brown University, and Arizona State University prior to arriving at Harvard in 2019.  He is also the current president of the International Association for Language Learning Technology (IALLT).  His current focus is on computer-mediated communication, language center design and development, and creating models of integrated support for teaching and learning.
Mary DiSalvo holds a PhD in Italian Studies from Harvard University. Her background is in Italian language and literature instruction. She is currently the Language Support Manager and IT Liaison at the Harvard Language Center, where she provides technical and pedagogical support for language instructors. In addition to continuing to improve the Harvard Language Exchange, her current focus is on starting the LC’s podcasting series.
This event is open for registration in Yale Connect through the Center for Language Study (CLS) group and the CLS Graduate Students and FLTAs. An invite email will also be sent to Faculty, Students and other guests. If you would like to attend, but an email invite was not sent, please contact Maria Ideliu.