Call for Registrations for April 2 Mellon Language Webinar "Community Based and Experiential Language Learning"

Posted on March 23, 2021

Four Ohio Five faculty members will present community-based or experiential learning projects in language teaching that enrich student experiences and help them prepare for careers.

Ohio Five announces its sixth online workshop for Ohio Five and OSU language faculty "Community-based And Experiential Language Learning, which will be held via Zoom on Friday, April 2 from 4:30-6 pm. Organized by Hanada Al-Masri, Associate Professor of Arabic at Denison University and Marieke Herrmann, Professor of German Studies at The College of Wooster, the webinar is part of a multi-year Ohio Five language enrichment grant sponsored by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

In this 90-minute session, four Ohio Five faculty members will present their projects on how to enrich the language curriculum by incorporating community-based or experiential learning in their major and minor courses, how to create opportunities outside the classroom to enrich students’ experiences, and how to design an interdisciplinary, experiential off- campus course. The presenters will also discuss a Pathways program designed to help students prepare for their career. Presentations will be followed by a 30-minute Q&A session.


1. Dr. Clara Roman-Odio, Professor of Spanish, Kenyon College

“Becoming: First-Generation and Latinx Experiences” ( celspan381/)

In this presentation, Dr. Roman-Odio will demonstrate the incorporation of an experiential learning component into her advanced Spanish course (SPAN 381, Contemporary Latino/a Literature and Film). Using oral history, community-engaged learning, and storytelling, students documented the role of radical resistance that first-generation and Latinx students played in the emergence and sustainability of their identities. Dr. Roman-Odio will share with the participants her course design: learning goals, project details, the process of student engagement, learning outcomes and assessment of the experiential learning project.

2. Dr. Mareike Herrmann, Professor of German Studies, College of Wooster

“Designing and Creating Buy-In for Faculty-led Short-Term Language Programs”

In this presentation, Dr. Herrmann will share her experiences with designing and implementing a 3-week experiential TREK course to Germany, “Sustainability and Green Living,” to be held in May/June 2022. The travel course, a collaboration between professors Dr. Herrmann and Dr. Susan Clayton (Psychology), an expert in environmental psychology, is focused on both cultural/conceptual learning goals related to environmentalism in Germany and on the application of language skills (prerequisite is completion of the first- year language sequence). Her presentation will highlight goals and principles foundational for the course’s design; the use of specific assignments, including a digital course project; and practical issues related to its implementation, from her participation in an interdisciplinary faculty learning community on experiential learning to embedding the course in a newly created Pathway, “Environmental Communication and Action.”

3. Dr. Hanada Al-Masri, Associate Professor of Arabic, Denison University

“Arab Americans: Insider/Outsider Views” 

Dr. Al-Masri will present, along with Cheryl Johnson, two student-centered digital projects that have an experiential learning component to them: the first is the creation of an oral history digital archive on the Arab-American community in Central Ohio, and the second is a digital record of a personal narrative that tells the story of an immigrant Arab American family who migrated during the first wave of Arab immigrants to the USA in the 19th century. These projects were designed independent of regular classes, and students participated on a voluntary basis. The goal of these projects is to enhance students’ experiences outside of class, and to deepen their knowledge of Arabic language and culture, especially when such opportunities are minimal in the case of small programs. Dr. Al-Masri will share with the participants the theoretical aspects of the projects, including project design, goals, outcomes, and their pedagogical and communal values.

4. Cheryl Johnson, Instructional Technologist of Modern Languages, Denison University

Johnson will demonstrate the practical aspects related to the implementation of the Arab- American oral history projects. She will focus on the training process that the students underwent before they went out into the community to record the interviews and will speak about how students were introduced to the “5 Rs” which lay the foundation for critical oral history, as well as the technological practice they received. In addition, she will demonstrate the digital platforms used for these projects.

The workshop is limited to 20 participants who are language faculty members at Ohio Five colleges and The Ohio State University. Participants who attend the full session will receive a $150 stipend funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Recordings of this and previous sessions are available on the Ohio Five website.

To register, please complete this registration form by Friday, March 26. Participants will receive a Zoom link and further instructions about the workshop with their confirmation.