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Professor's Book is Focus of Language Conference

Dr. Cassandra Glynn teaching during one of the FLAND sessions

The Foreign Language Association of North Dakota held a conference for its members Aug. 9-10 at Concordia College. The focus was on a book “Words and Actions: Teaching Languages Through the Lens of Social Justice,” co-authored by Dr. Cassandra Glynn.

Glynn is an associate professor of education at Concordia. With a background in German and French education, she works with the world language professors and directs the Master of Education in World Language Instruction program as well as the Master of Education with a concentration in Teaching and Learning program.  

“Words and Actions” helps language teachers take their curriculum and transform it and integrate more critical social justice topics into their teaching.

“The goal is to help students not just learn a language but to help them become better humans and better citizens of their own communities,” Glynn said. 

The conference gives the opportunity for teachers in middle school and high school education to learn together. This year, they did a book study on “Words and Actions” and Glynn was given the privilege to conduct sessions and help run the conference.

“I got to connect with them and work through some ideas together and collaborate,” she said. 

During her sessions, Glynn gave lessons on how to take the typical topics a language educator teaches and flip them upside down, trying to do something more relevant and current to the students. She says the new curriculum would help broaden a student’s view beyond the language, studying abroad, and the catering toward a more white, elitist approach by simply diversifying what is taught in world language.

Glynn has another book, an edited volume that she and colleague, Beth Wassel, published. “Transforming World Language Teaching and Teacher Education for Equity and Justice” looks at how one can transform world language education and teacher education to include equity and justice in the teachings of language. The book is filled with articles from people around the United States discussing how they can change the language part of education and training the teachers to “push boundaries.”

Written by Chloe Johnson 24