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World Language professors share struggles, triumphs

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For the third year in a row, Palomar’s World Language Department invited foreign language faculty from California State University San Marcos and MiraCosta College Oct. 24 to network and help students.

“The overall goal was to get faculty to mingle and share teaching styles, but also to enlighten students on the fact that we work very closely with Cal State San Marcos to prepare them for what our neighboring university has in store for them,” Department Chair Kathleen Sheahan said.

Teaching goals and student interaction was the most heavily weighed subject in the conference. Another issue amongst the faculty was the lack of interaction from the students after listening to a long lecture, and the concern of the overall learning outcomes.

During the introduction of the conference a video was shown to inform professors of the possible disconnect students feel during their lectures.

“Prefacing a preface of a preface so that no one really understands the point that I’m prefacing,” The Youtube video “Every Presentation Ever” echoed through the resource center.

Instructors throughout the room agreed in “mhm’s and aha’s!” that this video was an accurate interpretation of how a lecture usually operates.

“The focus was all on him,” Sheahan said about the speaker giving a presentation in the video. “Have you ever noticed that you’re usually the only one excited about the PowerPoint you put together?”

To break this boredom, teachers were treated as students and placed in groups to work together as a unit and answer listed questions.

The languages of Chinese, Italian, French, German and Spanish filled the room in conversation as instructors became off-task and discussed their struggles and triumphs of teaching.

But, professors said the burden of learning isn’t just their responsibility.

“Students need to take advantage of the resources,” Jasibe Carslake, a professor of Spanish at Cal State San Marcos said. “Nothing comes easy. It’s sacrifice. If it came easy, everyone would have a degree.”

While frustrations of slacking students were discussed, it seemed to always be brought back to the basis of the desire to teach, and to teach from passion.

Linda Sanchez, a professor of Spanish at Palomar’s Escondido campus, shared her personal journey of becoming a teacher.

“I had a passion for poetry and I really wanted to write a book,” Sanchez said. “While at San Diego State University they told me I couldn’t graduate unless I had some teaching credentials, I didn’t want to teach. Now I’ve been doing it for three years and I love it.“

French Professor Dominique Froidefond explained this passion as one that flows from experience, the type of experience that individualizes each instructor’s journey and wills them to share with students and helping them succeed, too.

The World Languages Symposium was funded by the North County Higher Education Alliance after being approved through a grant application formed by the chair heads of MiraCosta, Palomar and Cal State San Marcos.

They look forward to hosting another symposium next year and hope that the contents explained in this year’s gathering will better the current semesters teachings as well as the semesters to come.

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World Language professors share struggles, triumphs