BOONE - Appalachian's College of Arts and Science's Master's in Romance Languages has been producing alumni making significant contributions to the study of language.
Laura Parker, a recent alumni, was named North Carolina's French Teacher of the Year by the NC chapter of the American Association of Teachers of French on Saturday, April 9, 2016 in Winston-Salem. The AATF is is the state and national-level professional organization for French K-12 and College teachers. Ms. Parker's award recognizes her outstanding teaching, her concern for the progress of all students, and her ongoing contributions to the teaching profession.
Ms. Parker teaches French at Burns High School in Cleveland County in Lawndale, NC. She is a frequent presenter at the Foreign Language Association of North Carolina, the professional organization for teachers of all world languages in North Carolina.
In Summer 2015, Ms. Parker shared her expertise on Francophone West Africa by presenting in the workshop Global Content for Your Classroom. This workshop sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education helped K-12 teachers of all subjects add international dimensions to their teaching. Ms. Parker joined the group from her summer workplace in France via Skype, after generously sharing resources in Francophone literature and culture (fables, fairy tales, poetry, and art).
This material was created through her participation in the department's Fulbright-Hays Group Project Abroad in Senegal a few years earlier. Ms. Parker joined ten other French and Area studies teachers on a month-long study trip. The participants and two faculty leaders from the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, developed classroom materials on Francophone West Africa and created a month long exhibition on Senegalese culture at the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts in Boone.
Stephanie Schenck, a recent alumni of Appalachian's MA program in Romance Languages (Spanish K-12 Teaching), also made strides in the study of language and education by publishing a focus article in The Language Educator's special, edition: Creating Standards-Based Assessment, Evaluation, and Grading.
Her article We Need the "How." Exploring Ways to Prepare Students for IPAs, gives world language teachers concrete ways to create authentic assessments of students' language proficiency. Stephanie also shares how the IPA (= Integrated Performance Assessment) has transformed her own teaching by ensuring that both her teaching and her testing are connected to real-world tasks where students really use their Spanish.
The Language Educator is a national level, peer reviewed publication for world language teachers. It is dedicated to providing state-of-the-art approaches to teaching, assessment, and language advocacy.
Stephanie was recently elected President of the South Carolina Chapter of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP). She is a doctoral candidate at Clemson University's program in Literacy, Language, and Culture. Since 2013, she teaches Spanish at Clover High School in South Carolina.