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Cole and Douglass presenters at next A&H Brown Bag lecture
Saturday, November 28, 2009

The third Brown Bag Lecture in the College of Arts & Humanities, a theoretical dialogue entitled “Contexts Matter: Preparing Learners for Language Use In and Out of Classrooms,” will discuss the importance and relevance of different contexts for the acquisition of English, French and science content in high school and college settings. The talk will take place on Wednesday, Dec. 2, noon, in Williams Center, S-121.

The discussion will be comprised of two Fredonia faculty members: Dr. KimMarie Cole, an Associate Professor in the Department of English, where she teaches courses that prepare pre-service teachers for many of the contexts they will engage with in their future careers; and Dr. Kate Douglass, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, where she teaches French courses at all levels, as well as a methodology course for future foreign language teachers.

Drawing on several of their own research projects as well as several theoretical perspectives on context and language acquisition, Dr. Cole and Dr. Douglass’ conversation will explore three distinct areas: first, they will discuss what is meant by context and examine some realities of the contexts they have studied, including the expectations, assumptions, and roles of both teachers and learners with regards to engagement in these contexts; second, they will envision new roles for learners by exploring different ways of contextualizing language and its use; finally, as scholars involved in teacher training, they will focus on the ways that their scholarship and research findings shape how they work with pre-service teachers.

Dr. KimMarie Cole is the co-editor of the volume The Research Process in Classroom Discourse Analysis (Taylor & Francis, 2007), which takes the theoretical notion of context quite seriously as it illuminates the ways that different research traditions use or reject layers of context in their analyses. She also teaches an elective on Language and Society that demonstrates the power of different social contexts on our speech and language use.

Dr. Kate Douglass coordinates the Adolescence Education program for Modern Languages and supervises Modern Languages students during their student teaching. As a new faculty member, she is currently working to develop new courses in applied linguistics and second/foreign language acquisition and pedagogy which will further develop pre-service teachers’ understanding of multiple contexts for learning. Her research has explored a variety of contexts for learning and language use, including traditional classroom environments; online contexts, particularly blogs; and study abroad.

The Brown Bag Lectures, sponsored by the College of Arts & Humanities, feature new creative and scholarly work by SUNY Fredonia faculty and are held on the first Wednesday of the month, October through May. Each program is free and features a 30-minute presentation and brief discussion, followed by refreshments. All campus and community members are welcome.

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