Welcome to LLU!
LLU was started in 2005 as a place for people interested in language learning and technology to come together and discuss, ponder, or complain about teaching and learning languages in the 21st century…
But why here?
On any given K-16 campus there may be one (and just one) person who supports the teaching and learning of languages. While our fellow language faculty know and appreciate and respect our work, quite often our colleagues throughout the rest of the campus have absolutely no idea what we do, or how we do it. As a result, we often labor alone at our schools, and yet we crave the ability to connect with others who are in similar jobs, facing similar concerns.
When we search outside of our schools to find someone who does –exactly– what we do it is a challenge: there is no one “flavor” to this new professional role of the “language learning technologist center director teaching position library liaison lecturer server dude.”
Despite the differences within our job descriptions and between the institutions where we work, there is a lot that we have in common. We know that teaching a language requires that we challenge our students’ abilities to read, write, speak, and listen…and because there are not enough hours in the day (or night) that technology can be a useful tool as we pursue these goals. However, we are also realists: We believe that good technology cannot save bad teaching or an ill-planned syllabus.
Oh, and we also know that not all that glitters as Web 2.0 is gold…
Having said all that, we often think how nice it would be if we could come together on a regular basis and discuss these things. Alas, in this era of dwindling funding for conference support, as well as the high cost of travel, face to face meet ups are becoming fewer and fewer. Enter the blog, the webcast, the chatroom…
We must thank Jeff LeBow and the always charming, or something, Dave “Boston Massacre” Cormier and EdTech Talk for giving LLU a test run on their servers way back in 2005. Jeff and Dave taught us about webcasts and chatrooms and were always generous with their knowledge and expertise.
Another thing we all have in common is that we belong to IALLT (The International Association of Language Learning Technology). If you read this blog and can identify with the things we discuss, you might want to think about joining IALLT.
It is our hope that our blog posts and the webcasts will help to connect us with others just like us, both within the US educational system and beyond. Together, we hope, we can share information in order that we may do our jobs and teach our students better.