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International English Center University of Colorado

Spring, 2015

ESLevations Reaching new heights in ESL

“Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine, and at last, you create what you will” – George Bernard Shaw

Thank you to all journal contributors! ~Amanda McCracken, Editor

Students at The IEC Mile Run/Walk in North Boulder 4/14/15

Innovate to Escape By Editor, Amanda McCracken INSIDE THIS ISSUE

What do a hula hoop, essential oils, a mask and a magic wand do for a classroom? Ignite the imagination. Stimulate play. Add dimension. When we enter a classroom, we are on stage. We are the theater director, the actor, prop manager and game designer all wrapped into one. This journal’s theme is innovation.

Innovate to Escape: Editor’s Prelude…...……....1 . Technology: Making it Student Centered………..........3

The escape room, one of the newest international trends in entertainment, is merging the theater and virtual world into an interactive version. This combo is so appealing that participants pay at least $30 each to be locked in a room for an hour (or less) trying to solve a puzzle with a small team of friends and strangers to “escape” the room. Similar to immersive productions, in which the audience becomes the actors, participants in escape rooms are key players—they aren’t sitting behind a computer manipulating characters on a screen.

Authentic Assessment......7

These teammates work together to solve puzzles and riddles, find their way out of a maze, read a treasure map, decipher math problems, crack letter based codes and play logic games

Shout Out!......………..…...16

A Kinesthetic and Visual Approach……….….…….....10

Chai Chat: Prosody .…….12

Happy 104th Birthday, Ruth Purkable!……….…...15

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that involve colors. Costumes and props, like vials of evidence with familiar odors, are all part of the game. The goal? To find the hidden key. Imagine a class whose goal is to solve a word problem in order to travel in time to save the world rather than a class which solely focuses on solving problems to get the needed score on the final exam. Players have noted higher levels of motivation in escape rooms that establish fictitious high stakes. Besides teamwork, what are skills/lessons learned in escape rooms? One participant reported having learned to reapply the “80/20 rule” which suggests a small amount of work we do is responsible for the majority of the outcome. Spending inordinate amounts of time on details while neglecting the more important core aspects can lead to failure in the escape room. Also, an overly confident attitude can lead to becoming so fixated on one solution that we overlook alternatives. And then of course there’s the element of staying cool and thinking rationally under the pressure of a ticking clock. These are lessons that can be applied in the classroom. I’m not suggesting we lock our students in a room to solve a mystery. It seems, though, that the elements involved in creating an escape room can be integrated into our teaching in small ways. Many of us are doing it already. Take for example, the Rube Goldberg projects in the STEM elective in which students design complicated inventions to perform a simple task. The video elective integrates story, props and costumes. The recent Advanced 2 panel on the podcast Serial, a murder mystery, required critical analysis of clues and possibilities. This edition of ESLevations features articles that will encourage us to think about the role of innovation in our classrooms. From using mobile apps to make technology more student-centered, to using authentic assessment or kinesthetic and visual revision of student work, you’ll learn interactive ways for motivating students. You will also read about the challenges of classifying languages based on prosody, which may inspire you to evaluate important core aspects of pronunciation and rethink how you teach it. Finally, you will meet Ruth Purkable, our original IEC “innovator” who recently turned 104. I hope you enjoy these investigations of innovation at the IEC. References Miller, Stuart (2015, April 19) The Art of the Escape Room. Retrieved from http://www.newsweek.com/2015/05/01/art-escape-room-323150.html

Sullentrop, Chris (2014, June 3) In Escape Rooms, Video Games Meet Real Life. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/04/arts/video-games/in-escape-rooms-video-gamesmeet-real-life.html?_r=0 2


Technology: Making it Student-Centered By Kirsten Stauffer

From early recording and listening machines to today’s mobile devices, technology has greatly impacted language learning and teaching for more than a century. Not only have various devices helped connect native speakers and authentic content with learners, but they have been crucial to the development of methodologies, such as the Audio Lingual Method, and the advancement of Task-Based Language Teaching and Content-Based Instruction. Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL), commonly defined as “the search for and study of applications of the computer in language teaching and learning” (Levy, 1997, p. 1), has been improving language learning since the 1960s. Examples of this include tutoring software, Internet-based learning programs, texting and video conferencing. As technology has progressed, CALL has morphed into Mobile-Assisted Language Learning and now offers learners increased autonomy, more customized learning environments, quicker access to a wider variety of authentic material, and greater interaction with speakers of the language. Today’s learners have grown up in a technology rich environment and have come to expect technology to be part of their learning environment. Mark Prensky coined the terms “digital natives” (the generation of learners who have grown up in the digital age and are tech savvy) and “digital immigrants” (those lacking the same exposure to the digital world or skills) (2001). Whether language educators are digital natives or digital immigrants, there are a host of reasons why we choose to integrate technology into our teaching practices or avoid it. We are influenced by our own teaching experience, personal use, training (the technology itself and pedagogy), perceptions, the physical environment, and availability of tools and resources (Stauffer, 2014). In many language classrooms, technology is on its way to become normalized2 (Bax, 2003, 2011); however, most applications are teacher-centered in the delivery of instructional content or practice. Examples of this include videos, pre-recorded audio files/music, and digital presentations (PowerPoint). In my study (Stauffer, 2014) of 22 post secondary language educators1, 100% of the participants had at least one personal device (computer, smartphone, and/or tablet) and used one or more of their devices for professional purposes. The study categorized technology tools by six functions (administrative, collaborative, communication, information, multimedia, social media, and other). All of the tools were very highly used by the participants in the personal domain; however, they reported low use of the tools for professional use.

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The chart below provides examples of the tool functions in personal and professional domains (Stauffer, 2014).

Tool Function

Personal Domain

Professional Domain

Administrative

Calculator, Calendar, Clock

Grade book, Attendance, Plagiarism, Dropbox, Posting, Quizzes

Collaborative

Documents on the Cloud

Wikis, Shared documents,

Communication

Email, telephone, video chats

Email, video chats

Information

Internet browsing, News/ Weather, Specific programs or apps

Webquests, Online dictionaries, Language specific programs, Posting additional resources

Multimedia

Audio recording, Music, Photo/Video, Video watching/sharing

Audio/Video recordings, audio/video files, Digital Storytelling, Podcasts, audio labs, Flipped classroom

Social Media

Blogging, Texting, Chatrooms, Social Media

Blogs, Bulletin/Discussion boards, Social Media

Other

Documents & Presentations, Games, Reading

Word processing, Digital presentations, Games, Virtual worlds

The results of my study (Stauffer, 2014), revealed that the majority of technology use (no matter the teacher’s age or experience level) in classrooms was teacher-centered. Similarly, most features utilized within Course Management Systems (CMS, e.g. Desire2Learn) were heavily teacher-centered. Technology keeps advancing and we need to keep up. Meanwhile, we have to bridge the needs of our students with pedagogically sound applications of technology (and not utilizing technology because it is available). So can we move towards more student-centered integration of technology tools? Is there a way to transfer our personal use of technology (both skills and tools) into our professional life? Fortunately, the answer to both questions is - YES! Over the past few years, Benjamin Bloom’s Taxon4


omy has been examined with relevancy to the twenty-first century. Allan Carrington’s Padagogy Wheel is perhaps the most visual representation of Bloom’s classification structure connected with apps that are commonly available on mobile devices (Allan Carrington’s Blog, 2012, July 7). The Facebook app, for example, targets networking, critiquing, posting, conferencing and collaboration. These skills all address a student’s ability to evaluate, one of the core elements (according to Bloom’s Taxonomy) to move students to higher levels of thinking. As technology progresses, he continues to create updated versions of his Padagogy Wheel. Below is Version 4 published March 2015 (Carrington, 2015).

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The Padagogy Wheel allows us to transfer our skills and the apps we use in our personal to our professional lives. It also provides student-centered language learning opportunities with pedagogically sound applications. While we might not be comfortable exploring apps on our own, it is very probable that a colleague is familiar with particular apps. Even if we are not 100% comfortable with these apps, many of our students are familiar with them or are wired to pick them up. With the Padagogy Wheel, we are one step closer to making technology use in the language classroom more student-centered. 1Language

educators defined as a second / foreign language or bilingual program: i.e. English as a Second Language – ESL, French as a Foreign Language, Bilingual English-Spanish, etc. Computer languages (i.e., C++) and sign languages were excluded. 2Stephen Bax’s concept of computers are integrated seamlessly by language teachers and in and out of the classroom as a teaching and learning tool (2003, pp.23-24).

References Allan Carrington Blog. (2012, July 7). The padagogy wheel … it’s a Bloomin’ better way to teach. Retrieved from http://www.unity.net.au/allansportfolio/edublog/?p=324 Bax, S. (2003). CALL – past, present and future. Systems 31 (1), 13-28. Bax, S. (2011). Normalisation revisited: The effective use of technology in language education. International Journal of Computer-Assisted Language Learning and Teaching, 1(2), 1-15. Carrington, Allan. (2015). [The Padagogy Wheel V4.0 March 2015]. The Padagogy Wheel: Learning Design starts with graduate attributes, capabilities and motivation. Retrieved from http:// www.unity.net.au/allansportfolio/edublog/?p=874 Ertmer, P. A., & Ottenbreit-Leftwich, A. T., (2010). Teacher technology change: How knowledge, confidence, beliefs, and culture intersect. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 42 (3), 255-284. Levy, M. (1997). CALL: context and conceptualisation, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Meskill, C., Mossop, J., DiAngelo, S., & Pasquale, R. (2002). Expert and novice teachers talking technology: Precepts, concepts, and misconcepts. Language Learning and Technology, 6(3), 46-57. Prensky, M. (2001). Digital natives, digital immigrants. On the Horizon, 9 (5). Retrieved from http:marcprensky.com/writing. Stauffer, K. L. (2014). Technology use in post secondary language education (Master thesis). Retrieved from http://scholar.colorado.edu/ling_gradetds/1 Turnbull, M. & Lawrence, G. (2002). FSL teachers and technology: Findings from a national survey. Canadian Association of Second Language Teachers. Retrieved from http://www.caslt.org/ Pring/computers2p.htm. 6


Authentic Assessment: What is it & why does it matter at the IEC? By Olivia Connor

(based on a COTESOL presentation delivered by Olivia Conner and Nick Einterz)

When was the last time you had to take a standardized exam? Better yet, when was the last time you had to choose from a list of five items or fill in a blank with an answer? The fact is these skills are not usually necessary after university, and although we are training our students for university where they will have to perform these tasks, they have probably been taking exams with multiple choice and fill in the blank questions their whole lives. So, how do we measure whether or not our students are actually learning what we are teaching them without the aid of traditional exams? Should we eschew traditional exam methods altogether? The answer is an emphatic no. However, supplementing traditional exams or quizzes with more authentic tasks can be beneficial and can support the IEC’s mission to incorporate more experiential and authentic learning. What this article specifically addresses is how teachers can assess authentic and experiential learning tasks in a way that connects with the style and demands of the tasks themselves. One way to accomplish this is through authentic assessment—which according to Mueller is “A form of assessment in which students are asked to perform real-world tasks that demonstrate meaningful application of essential knowledge and skills” (2014). Unfortunately, many of the books and materials that teachers use for assessment at the IEC are not as authentic as the activities that teachers are creating for their students. This does not mean that the exams in the books are useless but that they could be supplemented with authentic assessment tools to ensure that students can also perform the tasks on which they are being tested. To be more specific, here is an example. At the Advanced 1 level, students prepare to perform an oral debate for an audience. This performance is a form of authentic assessment because students are receiving grades based on their ability to complete research on a topic, speak in public, argue a point, and communicate effectively for an audience—all examples of meaningful application of essential knowledge, respectively. However, the students are also assessed with shorter and more discrete exams, like listening quizzes, oral summary and response recordings, and vocabulary quizzes—which are not as authentic as the final debate but are appropriate scaffolding tools to prepare them for the final debates. Below is a summary of eight critical elements of authentic assessment, according to Ashford (2014). 7


1. Authentic assessment should be challenging 2. The outcome should be a performance or product 3. The design should include a transfer of knowledge 4. Metacognition should be an element 5. Assessment should be accurate 6. The environment should play a role in the delivery 7. The teacher should include discussion or feedback into the assessment 8. Authentic assessment should be collaborative Focusing on these elements when designing an assessment tool will enhance teachers’ abilities to test students’ real life skills and language use that will ultimately help students when they transfer to CU Boulder or another school of their choice. This is because the eight elements above encourage teachers to assess language use when exchanging information, performing tasks, putting on a performance or producing a product. Furthermore, many of these elements listed above can be connected to the list of Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) that all students have to achieve at the IEC. Some examples where authentic assessment is already in use at the IEC are the poster presentations at the I2 level, the homelessness project at the I3 level, the debates at the A1 level, the panel discussions at the A2 level, and the portfolio project for ESLG 1410. If we examine the panel discussion at the A2 level in detail, we can see that the assessment tool fulfills all eight elements of Authentic Assessment. The students are challenged by the preparation for the panel discussion since they are pushed to research difficult and authentic material; the outcome is a performance in front of a group of teachers and administrators; the students transfer knowledge to each other and to the audience; they question their own biases and facts before proceeding with the presentation (Metacognition); the rubric used to assess their performance is based on the SLOs for the course so the assessment is accurate; the environment mirrors that of an academic panel discussion; teachers give all students written and oral feedback; and the students collaborate during the research process to reach their target presentation. Although not every assessment tool will involve all eight elements, they are excellent goals to strive for when designing an assessment tool. One counter argument to authentic assessment is that traditional assessment is perceived to be an easier way to assess students. One cannot disagree that grading is much easier when all teachers have to do is check true/false answers or multiple 8


choice answers on an exam—especially if it’s a textbook exam. It seems much more difficult to objectively assess students’ oral presentations or their role sin a written conversation using a rubric or a Likert scale. Nevertheless, teachers should perhaps question whether or not those assessment tools are accurate enough measures of student learning. To support this idea, Reeves asserts that, “Assessment is most effective when it reflects an understanding of learning as multidimensional, integrated, and revealed in performance over time” (2000). This means that perhaps using some multiple-choice exams are fine, as long as they are supplemented with additional assessment tools that integrate the skills learned on previous exams. Good teaching practice includes providing students with effective feedback and accurate assessment. At the IEC, faculty members are developing relevant and meaningful experiential learning projects such as debates and poster presentations which naturally lead to authentic assessment. Hopefully in the future, we as a center can implement more authentic assessment into our curriculum so we can confirm that our students leave our program with skills and abilities that have prepared them to function in the “real world” as well as the university.

GUESS WHO!? GUESS WHICH FACULTY OR STAFF MEMBER IS DESCRIBED BELOW:

1. __________climbed Mount Fuji.

2. ___________worked at a falafel stand in Tel Aviv and a shrimp boat in Thailand.

3. _______marched in the Macy’s day parade with her high school marching band.

Ashford-Rowe, K., Herrington, J., & Brown, C. (2014). Establishing the critical elements that determine authentic assessment. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 39(2), 205-222.

4 __________worked with seriously emotionally disturbed elementary boys in L.A.

Mueller, J. (2014). What is Authentic Assessment? Retrieved January 2015, from http://jfmueller.faculty.noctrl.edu/toolbox/ whatisit.htm

5. ____has a 1966 cherry red Mustang.

References

Reeves, T. (2000). Alternative assessment approaches for online learning environments in higher education. Educational Computing Research, Vol. 23(1), 101-111.

6. _______traveled to Malaga, Spain in search of Antonio Banderas.

Find the answers on page 13.

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A Kinesthetic and Visual Approach to Revising Student Work By Barbara Flocke For reading and writing classes, or any class in which students revise their writing, I like to have students review their work using visual markers. These marks clearly point out students’ writing structure and organization and help students be more independent in improving their draft revisions. Students interact with their draft on the computer and highlight different aspects of their organization and style through the use of color highlights, bold, underlining, and italics. This kinesthetic and visual approach to revising seems to help students make advances in their writing. The act of looking for and highlighting certain parts of their essay or paragraph makes students aware of how well they organized and developed their writing. They can easily see if they have forgotten to write a clear thesis statement, a citation or attribution language, or if they have not written enough detail in their body paragraphs. The visual aspect of the revisions also helps students easily check for variety of language usage, such as the use of different types of transitions. Here are some examples of revision directions: 1. For a basic essay For the introduction Bold the hook. Italicize the background information. Highlight the thesis in yellow. Underline the topic and the controlling idea. For each body paragraph Highlight the topic sentences in red. Underline the topic and the controlling idea. Italicize the details and examples of your body paragraphs. Highlight the concluding sentences in blue. For the conclusion

Highlight your reference to or restatement of the thesis in the concluding paragraph in yellow Highlight your prediction, advice, insight, etc. in the concluding paragraph in light gray.

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2. For a summary paragraph For the topic sentence Highlight the overall main idea in yellow. Underline and bold the source: title, author. Underline the attribution language. Italicize the type of text you are summarizing (article, editorial, chapter, etc.). Bold the in-text citation. For the body of the paragraph Underline attribution language used throughout (“Jones mentions,” “the author later states” “at the end of the article”) Highlight transitions in light gray. Bold in-text citations. For the concluding sentence Make the concluding sentence blue.

3. For a response paragraph: Highlight your opinion in the topic sentence in yellow Underline and bold the source: title, author. Underline all attribution language used throughout. Highlight in light blue the summarized or paraphrased main ideas from the text that you discuss. Bold all in-text citations making sure that you have a citation after each summarized point. Italicize your opinion of the summarized text (including explanation, details and examples). Highlight the transitions in light gray. Highlight the concluding sentence blue.

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Chai Chats: The Classification of Languages Based on Prosody By Michelle Raese This chai chat will examine the tangled web of language classification according to prosody—the rhythm, stress and intonation of speech. Our recent Lunch & Learn discussions have informed our teaching of English pronunciation of segmental features such as vowels and consonants and suprasegmental features such as word stress, sentence stress and rhythm. However, we did not have an opportunity to fully explore rhythm in language that relates to the distinction of stress-timed languages and syllable timed languages. The idea of “rhythm” in language is based on a theory of isochrony, meaning we can organize the rhythmic patterns into relatively equal intervals. David Abercrombie (1967), a noted phonetician, classified languages such as English, Russian and Arabic into stress-timed languages and languages such as French and Spanish into syllable-timed languages. Since then, the controversy has been whether there is a clear distinction within these categories that allows a given language to be labeled one or the other (Roach 1982). Furthermore, Asian languages such as Japanese had initially been classified as syllable timed, yet may now be classified in a new category known as mora-timed. Mora timing is based on syllable nuclei, so that a diphthong has greater weight than a short vowel sound. In spite of these attempts to form clear categories, these classifications are based on the presupposition that rhythm in language is actually isochronic. So, how are these categories assigned? In the past, phoneticians like Abercrombie, asserted that being able to distinguish the criteria for placement in either category required specialized perceptual training. Fortunately, Abercrombie is also known for listing six different languages, three for each category, that were definitive examples of each type. In the syllable-timed category, French, Telugu and Yoruba were listed. For stress-timed languages, English, Russian and Arabic were listed. As more and more linguists raised doubts that a test could be devised to measure time intervals to distinguish stress versus syllable timing, Peter Roach decided to test for phonetic differences and duration of syllables of six native speakers of each language and from each category listed by Abercrombie. Roach (1982), in testing Abercrombie’s theory (ibid.,98), claimed that: (i) `there is considerable variation in syllable length in a language spoken with stress-timed rhythm whereas in a language spoken with a syllable-timed rhythm the syllables tend to be equal in length'. 12


(ii) `in syllable-timed languages, stress pulses are unevenly spaced'. Only one native speaker from each language was chosen, and Roach felt it was important to use spontaneous rather than scripted speech. Each participant was given a photo and asked to speak about it for two minutes while the speech was recorded and linked to intensity meter traces. Regarding Abercrombie’s first claim, Roach’s study refuted Abercrombie in that there was more variation in syllable length for syllable-timed languages. However, Abercrombie’s second claim was more difficult to measure. Although duration of time intervals could be measured via acoustic signal, listeners perceived the intervals to be regular despite what was measured instrumentally. In other words, our brains want rhythm to be isochronic, so we tend to perceive it that way. Perhaps this is because in music, rhythm does tend to be isochronic; however there are many variables that can influence what we want to call rhythm in language. More studies have cast doubt on the idea of syllable timing as an applicable category. For example, in studies of Spanish, once thought to be a syllable-timed language, Pointon (1973,1980) Alvarez de Ruf (1978) Toledo (1988) and Almeida (1997, 1999) concluded that Spanish cannot fit into either category, and such a label is not appropriate. In terms of French, once considered the prototypical example of a syllable timed language, Wenck and Woland (1982) concluded that French syllables are influenced by accented syllables, therefore it is impossible for the syllables to be of equal length. Finally, in an ambitious study by Antonio Pamies Bertran (1996), seven languages were studied with a morphologically varied corpus to test factors such as open and closed syllables, types of consonants following vowels (such as plosives and fricatives) and intonation patterns. The languages studied included the supposed stress-timed English and Russian, syllable-timed French, Italian and Catalonian, and lastly Spanish and Portuguese, which were at different points in time even assigned a dual citizenship in both categories. Due to the results of the study, which contradicted the categories of stress timing and syllable timing, Bertran was left questioning whether in fact rhythm exists in language, or if a new definition of rhythm as it applies to language specifically is needed.

GUESS WHO RESULTS 1. Jackie Wong climbed Mount Fuji.

2. Karen Eichhorn worked at a falafel stand in Tel Aviv and worked one night catching shrimp on a Thai boat.

3. Kim McMillen played her clarinet in the Thanksgiving Day Macy’s Parade.

4. Steve Olson worked with these young boys in L.A.

5. Jessica DeHerrera rou-

tinely works on her ‘66 Mustang.

6. When Amelia was 22 she traveled to Malaga in hopes of spotting Antonio Banderas.

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Given these mixed research results, how should teachers teach rhythm? Marianne Celce-Murcia, author of many pronunciation teaching texts, encourages teaching both segmental and suprasegmental features in balance, with the goal being communicative competence rather than native-like pronunciation. Based on my discussions with IEC teachers, there is consensus that competence implies proper articulation. Celce-Murcia cites research from Todoka (1990) and Chela Flores (1993) showing that the most common pronunciation challenge for English language learners is shortening unstressed syllables and lengthening stressed syllables. So, it’s essential teachers provide many activities (see me for suggestions) that help students build awareness and practice syllable length. Stay tuned for the next “Chai Chat” in the fall journal! Submit your topics to Michelle Raese. References Abercrombie, D. (1967). Elements of general phonetics. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. Almeida, M. (1997). Organización temporal del español: el principio deisocronía. Revista de Filología Románica, 14(1), 29-40. Almeida, M. (1999). Tiempo y Ritmo en el Español Canario. Madrid-Frankfurt: VervuertIberoamericana. Alvarez de Ruf, H. (1978). A Comparative Study of the Rhythm of English and Spanish. MPhil.thesis, Department of Phonetics, University of Leeds. Celce-Murcia, M., Brinton, D.M., Goodwin, J.M. (1996). Teaching Pronunciation. A Reference For Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages. New York: Cambridge University Press. Pamies, A. (1999). Prosodic Typology: On the dichotomy between stress-timed and syllable-timed languages Language Design: Journal of Theoretical and Experimental Linguistics, 2, 103131. Pointon, G. (1980). Is Spanish really syllable-timed? Journal of Phonetics, 8, 293-304. Roach, P. (1983). On the distinction between stress-timed languages and syllable-timed languages. In D. Crystal (Ed.), Linguistic Controversies: Essays in Honour of F.R. Palmer. London: Arnold. Toledo, G. A.(1988). El ritmo en el español. Madrid: Gredos. Wenck, B. J. and Wioland, F. (1982). Is French really syllable-timed? Journal of Phonetics, 10, 203216. 14


Happy 104th Birthday, Ruth Purkable! By Larry Fisher

It was my honor to deliver greetings from the IEC to Ruth Purkable at her 104th birthday celebration, March 14, 2015. Ruth played an important role in the creation of the IEC back in 1974. She led a delegation from the Division of Continuing Education, UCB, to the Colorado Commission on Higher Education seeking approval for a new intensive English program in Boulder. The document submitted to CCHE proposed a center offering instruction in English “to a level satisfactory for university work.” The Commission approved the proposal and offered some “seed” money to help establish the IEC. Caption describing picture or graphic

At the birthday celebration, Ruth was pleased to hear that the IEC will celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2016. And when she learned that over 200 students from more than 20 countries are studying at the IEC, she appeared moved and said: “Congratulations. I’m so proud.” Ruth’s role in the creation of the IEC was just one of her many achievements in the area of international education and activism on behalf of citizens of other countries. Ruth is fond of saying that she traveled to all 50 states and every continent except Antarctica. In 1938, shortly before the start of World War II, Ruth was bicycling through Nazi Germany. She loves to talk about her efforts during WW II to get young Japanese-Americans out of the internment camps by enrolling them in universities. When I returned from teaching English in Turkey in 1974, I taught in a special CU summer program for Japanese students organized by Continuing Ed and supervised by Ruth. I recall the numerous picnics and socials she organized for international students on the CU campus that summer.

Her work with international students stretched from Washington to New York. Seemingly, every one of her assignments included the name “Foreign Student”: Committee on Friendly Relations among Foreign Students, the Greater New York Council for Foreign Students, and National Hospitality Program for Foreign Students. Eventually, Ruth found her way back to Colorado and Boulder. In 1968 she was hired as the first full-time director of CU’s Study Abroad program, a position she held for 10 years before retiring in 1978. 15


The IEC too was the benefactor of this long life lived to bring young people together from around the world. Even at Ruth’s birthday party, the talk was largely international. Travelers to China reported on life there. Former Peace Corps volunteers reminisced about their overseas experience decades ago. And young college students about to embark on their first international trip listened eagerly to the experts. Ruth listened attentively and smiled as her own memories surfaced.

“SHOUT OUT!” Colleagues recognizing colleagues doing good at & for the IEC Karen Eichhorn and Holly for volunteering to help me with ongoing orientation for new students this session -- they gave up their Wed lunch hours for six weeks to make sure the students got informed about classroom culture, honor code, drugs and alcohol, digital responsibility, discrimination and harassment, and dating ~ Susan 

All of the I2 teachers for putting the poster session together. It had the feel of a real conference and the students were obviously proud and generally prepared to present their work ~Nick

Susan for her `open door' policy for students who rarely seem to have made appointments. Susan is always so gracious and accommodating, even to those who appear demanding and pushy ~Mike Hammond

Kirsten Stauffer for all her help with technology with the University Prep. Curriculum. She saves us so much time by formatting, cleaning up, and making sure the material is user-friendly ~ Agnes

Barbara Flocke for her patience and care for studentes and colleagues. She always has a minute to lend an ear ~Agnes

Steve for spending countless hours helping students edit their writing for no pay and the occasional thank you ~Olivia And for writing thoughtful midsession evalutaions with lots of feedback for students ~ Ruth

Olivia and Nick for their work in Tokyo, continuing to build a growing relationship with TDU ~Amanda Mc. 16


Caption describing picture or graphic

Amelia running with student Aminah during the annual IEC Mile run/walk

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ESLevations Journal, Spring 2015 - International English Center, University of Colorado Boulder  

This edition of ESLevations features articles that will encourage you to think about the role of innovation in your classroom. From using mo...