students in class

Language Workshop for the DuPage County Institute Day

Are Your Students Learning? Exploring Virtual Practices and Strategies for Teaching Languages

Friday, Feb. 26, 2021

Join us at our 4th annual workshop for foreign language teachers for a variety of sessions that focus on teaching practices and virtual strategies that will motivate our students. Our sessions include exploring best practices for online language teaching and learning, giving meaningful feedback, using LinguaMeeting to enhance student engagement, participating in a beginning Korean class demo, and sharing resources as well as learning what other schools are doing in their online and hybrid environments. This workshop will take place virtually on Zoom.

Five Professional Development (PD) units will be given out at this workshop.


8 to 8:05 a.m., Welcome


8:05 to 9 a.m., Using Video Conferencing to Go Global with Online Language Courses

Presenter: Elana Kranz and Mirta Pagnucci

Are you interested in incorporating authentic online conversation practice into your course? Join us to learn how we expanded and enriched our current online language curriculum in French and Italian by having students communicate regularly via LinguaMeeting video conference with trained native speakers. Integrated into our curriculum, the experience not only provides students with authentic conversation practice, but also gives students listening comprehension practice and valuable cultural input in an environment that supports multiple learning modalities.


9:10 to 10:05 a.m., The Do’s and Don’ts of Online Language Teaching

Presenter: Kate Grovergrys

Teaching languages online can often feel daunting. With so much to do and so many tech tools to choose from, where should we focus our energy? By exploring best practices for online language teaching, we can identify which things we need to do, and which things we can simply take off of our plate. In doing this, we will see that online language teaching can be a rewarding experience that will have lasting positive effects on our future teaching, whether face-to-face, hybrid or online.


10:15 to 10:55 a.m., Hot Topics - Round Table Discussions


11:05 to 11:55 a.m. Myth or Truth: Learning Korean in an Hour

Presenter: Raekyong Kang

Given the unprecedented challenges and pressure in teaching and learning foreign languages online, the presentation is aimed at exploring a variety of instructional methods and technological tools conducive to student engagement and effective language learning both in hybrid and virtual settings. The topic especially focuses on pedagogical strategies in an effort to demonstrate how beginner-level Korean language learners grasp the concept of Hangul, equivalent to an English alphabet and begin to speak and write in a relatively short period of time.


12:05 to 1 p.m., Giving Meaningful and Effective Feedback in an Online Environment

Presenter: Iwona Lech

Meaningful and effective feedback enhances students’ critical thinking, reflective practice, and develops feelings of being connected to a community that is especially crucial in an online learning environment. But what does meaningful feedback in an online environment actually consist of? This presentation will introduce teachers to best practices and formats of effective feedback in an online class that engages students in learning and builds on their performance. It will also discuss how the online environment in particular can foster more ways and forms of feedback that truly changes students’ learning experience


1 to 1:15 p.m., Wrap-up – Evaluations and PD Units Given

Our Facilitators

Mirta Pagnucci, Professor of French and Italian at College of DuPage, received her B.A. from Northern Illinois University and her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is also a certified teacher (K-12) in English, French, and Italian, and has taught at all levels from middle school to post-graduate. She has supervised student teachers and taught Language Methods at Northern Illinois University. She has been very active in study abroad, having directed study abroad programs in both France and Italy. She is an active member of ACTFL, ICTFL, AATI, and AATF and has given presentations on the teaching of language and language acquisition.

Elana Kranz is an Adjunct Faculty member in Italian at College of DuPage and has been teaching Italian since 2005. She has a Ph.D. in Italian Language and Literature from The University of Chicago and works there full time in the Study Abroad office as Deputy Director, where she has been lucky to accompany students abroad. Dr. Kranz is a member of the ACTFL Distance Learning Special Interest Group and participated in the 2018-19 ACTFL Distance Learning Mentoring Program with Dr. Crystal Marull who is at the forefront of integrating synchronous authentic language learning through telecollaboration in online courses.

Kate Grovergrys is a skilled online instructor with over ten years of experience teaching hybrid and online courses. She is proficient in effective technology integration and practiced in providing professional development and mentoring for faculty that are new to hybrid, online and multimodality teaching. Driven by a passion for professional development, she became certified as an online instructor in 2012, when she completed the E-learning and Online Teaching Graduate Certificate at the University of Wisconsin - Stout. In her current position as a Spanish professor at Madison Area Technical College, she has developed and taught introductory, intermediate and advanced Spanish courses in a variety of formats including face-to-face, hybrid, online and accelerated. She specializes in designing and implementing high quality online instruction with a focus on equity, inclusion, student engagement and success. 

Raekyong Kang is adjunct faculty at College of DuPage, teaching beginner-level Korean language classes. She has experience teaching Korean and English to various age groups. Besides her passion as a foreign language instructor, she is an experienced English<>Korean translator whose work includes creating online content for social media and extensive translations in business, psychology, and human services. Her pedagogical interests and endeavors focus on examining diverse linguistic features, pertaining to translation studies and foreign language learning and teaching. She received an M.A. in Linguistics with concentration in Literary Studies from Benedictine University.

Iwona Lech is a postdoctoral research associate at Language and Culture Learning Center at University of Illinois at Chicago and an adjunct instructor at College of DuPage. She holds her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and M.A. in Germanic Studies. She also has a graduate certificate in Distance Education and is an ACTFL OPI and OPIc certified tester. She has taught courses in languages, humanities, educational psychology, and technology in language teaching; designed courses online, and delivered multiple workshops on language learning and technology use in the classroom (F2F, blended, and online). She is also a published author and an avid presenter at national and international conferences. Her current research interests evolve around technology use in language instruction, informal online learning of languages, positive education in SLA, and usage-based models of language learning



Contact Information

Liberal Arts Division Office
Berg Instructional Center (BIC), Room 2E06
(630) 942-2047